The Gospel Coalition

I really like David Platt. We’ve spoken at the same conferences a couple times and run in some overlapping circles. My personal interactions with him have always been encouraging. David, the pastor of The Church at Brook Hills (a four-thousand member congregation in Birmingham, Alabama), is humble, down to earth, funny, a devoted student of the Scriptures, and a gifted preacher.

And if you’ve heard him speak, you may have noticed that he is kind of passionate.

I’m glad David is one of the good guys because I expect the Lord will give him an increasingly large platform in the years ahead in his city, the Southern Baptist Convention, the broader evangelical world, and the global church that he loves so deeply.

His first book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream (which I read first and later decided to review when TGC Reviews asked me to) is not for the faint of heart. Radical is an all-out assault on cheap grace, easy-believism, consumer Christianity. Writing as a megachurch pastor leading a congregation in a leafy suburb of Birmingham, David admits this is hard to reconcile with his present situation “with the fact that my greatest example in ministry [Jesus Christ] was known for turning away thousands of people” (2). David hits hard, but never claims to have it all figured out.

David’s honesty and wide range of experiences (from teaching houses churches in China to fleeing Hurricane Katrina) make him an accessible and engaging author. Combining real-life examples from his congregation, his travels abroad, and his own personal wrestling, David has written a provocative book that will serve as a wake up call to many Christians who are ignorant of their own cultural captivity and indifferent to the needs of the poor and the plight of lost.

There is much to like about Radical. I applaud David’s call for serious discipleship. I love his bold words about counting the cost and pursuing something better and riskier than the “good life.” I am grateful he never shies away from the hard edges of God’s sovereignty and God’s wrath. I especially appreciated Chapter Seven (“There is No Plan B”) where David walks through the book of Romans and makes a strong case for why non-Christians must hear the gospel and put conscious faith in Christ in order to be saved and why Christians must make it a priority to reach those who have never heard.

Radical is a stirring book that will help many Christians.

A Few Concerns

But not everything here is helpful. Let me highlight a few concerns I have with the book and with the some elements of the larger “get radical, get crazy Christianity” that is increasingly popular with younger evangelicals. I hesitate to mention these concerns because there is so much in the book I agree with and because David does provide caveats here and there to soften the blow of his rhetoric. But people tend to hear what we are most passionate about, and I’m afraid the take-home message from Radical for many people may reinforce some common misconceptions about what it means to be sold-out for Jesus.

Here are a few concerns in increasing order of importance.

First, I think David’s context sometimes leads him to overstate his conclusions. For example, David is very negative about church buildings, calling them “temples,” “empires,” and “kingdoms” (118). I can’t help but feel that David’s own struggle with preaching “in one of these giant buildings” has forced him to speak too sweepingly about the way most churches in America (which are small) approach their facilities (119).

Second, we need a better understanding of poverty and wealth in the world. The Christian needs to be generous, but generous charity is not the answer to the world’s most pressing problems of hunger, inadequate medical care, and grinding poverty. Wealth is created in places where the rule of law is upheld, property rights are secured, people are free to be entrepreneurs, and there is sufficient social capital to encourage risk-taking. We can and should do good with our giving. But we must not lead people to believe that most of human suffering would be alleviated if we simply gave more.

Third, there is an implicit, underlying utilitarian ethic in many “radical” streams of Christianity that makes faithfulness to Christ impossibly daunting. To his credit, Platt says we don’t need to feel guilty for everything that is not an absolute necessity (127). But earlier we are made to feel bad for the money we spend on french fries (108). It is easy to stir people to action by relating how little everyone else has and how much we have in America, but we are not meant to have constant low-level guilt because we could be doing more.

Paragraphs like this pack a punch, but on closer inspection are not as helpful as they seem:
Meanwhile, the poor man is outside our gate. And he is hungry. In the time we gather for worship on a Sunday morning, almost a thousand children elsewhere die because they have no food. If it were our kids starving, they would all be gone by the time we said our closing prayer. We certainly wouldn’t ignore our kids while we sang songs and entertained ourselves, but we are content with ignoring other parents’ kids. Many of them are our spiritual brothers and sisters in the developing nations. They are suffering from malnutrition, deformed bodies and brains, and preventable diseases. At most, we are throwing our scraps to them while we indulge in our pleasures here. Kind of like an extra chicken for the slaves at Christmas. (115)

I know David believes in the necessity of corporate worship but I’m not sure how our obligation to worship squares with this paragraph. Surely, we are not guilty for worshiping on Sundays just because the poor exist. Moreover, surely it is appropriate to hold to believe in some sort of moral proximity when it comes to the pressing needs of the world. We do have more responsibility for the boy drowning in our pool than for the boy starving on the other side of the world. The whole world wasn’t rebuked for neglecting the man on the Jericho road, but the priest and Levite were (Luke 10:29-37). The needs of the church come before the needs of the world (Gal. 6:10) and the needs of our families take on a priority that other needs don’t (1 Tim. 5:8).

Along the same lines, as evangelicals rediscover a biblical concern for the poor we must be careful our applications are tied to careful exegesis. Some passages we quickly employ, like James 5 (see p. 109), are not just about the rich, but about the ungodly rich who acquire their wealth by cheating the poor. And other passages like the rich young ruler (Mark 10, Luke 18), which David uses extensively, must be seen in their larger context. The question “Who then can be saved?”—referring to the disappointed rich man in Luke 18—is answered in Luke 19 where Zacchaeus gives, not everything away, but half of his goods to the poor (v. 8). Others in Luke are well-regarded for simply supporting the disciples “out of their means” (8:3). The point of the rich young ruler is not to make us worried that having anything might be too much, but to help us see more clearly the models of lived out faith in wealthy people like Zacchaeus and Joseph of Arimathea (Matt. 27:57; Luke 23:50-56).

Fourth, I worry that radical and crazy Christianity cannot be sustained. If the message of Jesus translates into “Give more away” or “Sacrifice for the gospel” or “Get more radical” we will end up with burned out evangelicals. Even when Jesus said his hard saying (and he said a lot of them) it was not his basic stump speech. His message was repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15). When Jesus challenged the crowds to count the cost or let the dead bury their dead it was to make clear that following him was not all about miracles and wonders, it was about giving him the preeminence. The emphasis was doxological first and foremost. Worship Christ. Believe in Christ. Walk with Christ. And therefore, before you follow Christ be prepared for opposition.

I don’t worry for David’s theology, but I worry that some young Christians reading his book might walk away wondering if a life spent working as a loan officer, tithing to their church, praying for their kids, learning to love Christ more, and serving in the Sunday school could possibly be pleasing to God. We need to find a way to attack the American dream while still allowing for differing vocations and that sort of ordinary Christian life that can plod along for fifty years. I imagine David wants this same thing. I’m just not sure this came through consistently in the book.

Fifth and finally, we must do more to plant the plea for sacrificial living more solidly in the soil of gospel grace. Several times David talks about the love of Christ as our motivation for radical discipleship or the power of God and the means for radical discipleship. But I didn’t sense the strong call to obedience was slowly marinated in God’s lavish mercy. I wanted to see sanctification more clearly flowing out of justification.

Now I don’t believe that every command we ever give must include a drawn explanation of the gospel. But in a book-length treatment of such an important topic I would have liked to have seen “all we need to do in obedience to God” growing more manifestly out of “all God’s done for us.” At times the discipleship model came across as: “Here’s how we need to live. Here’s how we are falling short. Here’s how Christ can help us live the way we ought.” The gospel looks more like a means to obey the law, instead of resting in the gospel as respite from the law.

Further, I wish there was more of an emphasis on what we do when we fall short of radical obedience. How do we get balm for our stricken consciences? Where do we find rest for our sin-sick souls? Just as importantly, I would hope that as David speaks in risky ways in order to challenge us all to shake off nominal Christianity, he would also on occasion speak in such a risky way that he’s charged with antinomianism (Rom. 6:1). On the whole, I think the motivation for obedience in Radical would have been more biblical and more balanced if it landed more squarely on the greatness of God’s love for us as opposed to the nature of the world’s great need and our great failures.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I should say that David and I have had a chance to talk about some of these matters over the phone. His demeanor could not have been any kinder. He listened humbly and pushed back graciously. I’m happy to call David a friend and look forward to learning from him in the years ahead. To that end I’ve invited him to respond to my review and suggest any areas he thinks I’ve misread or any areas he might want to clarify.

*******


David's Platt's Response


I really like Kevin DeYoung. I am thankful to call him my friend, and I join with a multitude of evangelicals who are increasingly grateful for the grace of God expressed in his keen mind, his sharp wit, his theological acumen, his gentle spirit, and his pastoral wisdom. For this reason, I was thankful to discover that he would be reviewing the book I recently wrote entitled Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream.  I was thankful because I knew that even if I did not agree with everything Kevin might write, nonetheless his insight, analysis, and critique would serve readers well in avoiding any potential pitfalls they might encounter in processing or applying what I have written. On a more personal level, I was thankful because I know I have so much to learn as pastor, preacher, writer, and most importantly follower of Christ, and I need brothers like Kevin DeYoung to sharpen me in my own life and ministry.

While Kevin was writing his review, we had an opportunity to discuss a variety of issues, and in turn he invited me to offer a response to some of the ideas he has articulated. Kevin is gracious to give me this opportunity, and I am grateful for it. In what follows, my goal is not to respond to every single sentence he has written, but instead to express some thoughts on what I believe are the most significant concerns in his review, and in turn to address what I believe are some of the most important issues for discussion among readers of Radical.

Gospel-Driven and Grace-Saturated

Over and above everything else, I want to convey a shared concern with Kevin for gospel-driven, grace-saturated, God-glorifying obedience. The last thing I want to do is to leave people living with low-level guilt, constantly wondering, “When am I going to be radical enough? What do I need to do, how do I need to give, or where do I need to go in order to do enough for God?” These are obviously unhealthy questions, for the gospel teaches us that Christ alone is able to do enough. He alone has been faithful enough, generous enough, compassionate enough, etc. The gospel beckons our sin-sick souls to simple trust in Christ, the only One who is truly radical enough. In him, we no longer live from a position of guilt, but from a position of righteousness.

All of this to say – comments in Radical like the assertion that over 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day (they struggle to find food, water, medical care, and shelter with the same amount we spend on french fries for lunch) or the reality that multitudes of our brothers and sisters around the world are suffering with malnourished bodies and deformed brains because they have no food or water are not intended to promote guilt-driven obedience. Instead, my goal is simply to help open our eyes to realities in the world that we would rather ignore and to call us to look at those realities through the eyes of the One who “though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9; p. 113 in Radical).

Worship With Our Eyes Wide Open

Along similar lines, I certainly want to clarify any confusion regarding my comments about worshiping while approximately a thousand children in the world around us die of starvation or preventable disease. My goal is in no way to question the biblical warrant or practical need for us to gather together for worship. Instead, my goal is simply to call us to worship God in a way that opens our eyes to the needs of those who are hurting around us. Surely true worship of God compels tender mercy toward others (Is. 1:10-17; Am. 5:21-24; Mic. 6:6-8; Jas. 2:1-24). On a brief side note, and I don’t believe this is a major point for discussion here, but in light of churches spending up to $115 million on buildings in our day, I do think we need to examine our use of resources in churches of all sizes when it comes to buildings.

A Possible Point of Disagreement

All this leads to a point that Kevin and I may differ on, at least to some degree. I would certainly agree that there is a level of moral proximity that governs our response to needs in the world. Without question, I am uniquely accountable before God for needs in my physical family as well as the faith family I lead called The Church at Brook Hills. At the same time, there is clear Scriptural precedent for also helping our brothers and sisters in other churches. One of the primary examples of giving we see in the New Testament is the offering among various churches for the church at Jerusalem. I have always loved Romans 15:26, where Paul references how the churches at Macedonia and Achaia made a contribution to the poor in Jerusalem, and the word for contribution there is koinonia. The fellowship fostered by this offering was a beautiful picture of one part of the body of Christ saying to another, “We are with you. You are not alone in your need.” And it is here that I believe in our day we have missed the pattern of the New Testament church in a dangerous way. We as North American Christians have grown incredibly wealthy compared to the body of Christ around the world. If all we do is provide for one another’s needs here in the name of moral proximity, it seems that we are saying to our brothers and sisters, many of whom are literally starving, around the world, “We are not with you. You are alone in your need.”

Now I immediately want to offer a variety of qualifications. I am, again, not denying that we have a unique responsibility to care for members in each of our local churches. I am not trying to oversimplify the complex problems (and complex solutions) associated with impoverished peoples in various countries and contexts, and I am not trying to put an unsustainable burden upon any person or church to care for every other needy church in the world. And my goal is not to cause us to feel guilty. Instead, my goal is to call us to look to Christ, as individuals and as local churches, and to ask him how we can best use the resources he has given to us to care for one another in our local churches and to provide for suffering saints in the global church. In the end, my prayer is that God would use sacrificial love for our needy brothers and sisters in other places to demonstrate the unity of the church and the generosity of Christ to a lost and watching world around us.

One Final Thought

That leads to one final thought regarding care for the poor. As Kevin noted, Scripture clearly teaches that the needs of the church come before the needs of the world (Gal. 6:10). But this obviously does not mean that we ignore the physical needs of those who are lost. While we do not have much explicit instruction in Scripture to care for the unbelieving poor, we do have the Great Commission. If we are going and making disciples of all people groups, and if the majority of people groups in the world are far poorer than we are, then we are certainly going to care for the poor while we proclaim the Gospel (i.e., if the person we are sharing the Gospel with is dehydrated and/or starving, we will give them water or food). The question then becomes whether or not we are going to people groups like these, and if we are not, then maybe we need to create a moral proximity to them. Whether in the church or among the lost, I want to avoid an unhealthy localism that disregards our brothers and sisters around the world and is detrimental to the spread of the gospel in all nations.

All of this leads back to where I believe Kevin and I wholeheartedly agree. He mentions that Jesus’ “stump speech” was, “Repent and believe the Gospel,” and I could not agree more. In fact, I think even the hard sayings of Jesus that Kevin mentions and that I reference throughout Radical all come back to this essential message: repent and believe the gospel. Whether it was the rich young man, the three prospective followers in Luke 9, or the constant crowds who surrounded him, Jesus was calling them all to turn from themselves and to trust in his grace.

Consequently, as Kevin has mentioned, the message of Christianity is not that we need to do more for God, but that we need to trust in what God has done for us. Like Kevin, I want more than anything for sacrificial living to be grounded “solidly in the soil of gospel grace.” As a part of this grounding, though, I want people not only to believe in the gospel grace that was shown to us on the cross, which is the basis for righteous standing before God, but I also want people to believe in the gospel grace that is being given to us right now, which is the power for righteous living before God. I want to shepherd people away from only thinking, “Look at all that Jesus did for me at the cross; now let me try to live for him today.” I want people to realize that Jesus’ work for us did not stop at the cross. He is working for us today, as well, and he has promised to work on our behalf in the future. That is why I try to use language intentionally and consistently throughout Radical to describe not just what Christ has done for us in the past (as if that weren’t enough!), but what Christ is doing for us in the present, at every moment, to enable us to live in obedience to him. Oh, the wonder of it. Not only have we been saved by his grace at the cross (Chapter 2 in Radical), but he has given us his Spirit (Chapter 3 in Radical), and he now lives in us to empower radical, life-changing, world-impacting obedience for his name’s sake in all nations (Chapters 4-9 in Radical).

Summary

In summary, I am deeply appreciative of Kevin’s various cautions concerning “radical and crazy Christianity.” The last thing I want to be a part of (or worse yet be promoting) is a stream of Christianity that thrives on guilt over gospel, prioritizes our work more than God’s grace, or burns out evangelicals in unsustainable efforts to do more, give more, or sacrifice more. I certainly regret any ways I have contributed to this kind of thinking or way of living. My goal has simply been to call people to believe the gospel – the gospel that not only saves us from our sins, but also compels us to lay down our lives gladly for our own good and ultimately for God’s glory in a world of urgent spiritual and physical need. This is the kind of “radical and crazy” Christianity that has characterized servants who have gone before us like George Muller, John Paton, and Jim Elliot, and this is the kind of “radical and crazy” Christianity that marks our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world who are not looking to passively sustain themselves, but who are living to passionately spend themselves for the gospel, no matter what the cost. I long to stand with them in a line of brothers and sisters from every vocation who are resting daily in the unfathomable grace of Christ while living radically for the immeasurable glory of Christ in every nation.


Comments:

Chuck Hazen

September 9, 2010 at 12:34 AM

The gentle kindly exchanges between Platt and DeYoung, plus some of the posted Comments, illustrate the corrosive deception bedeviling the Church: the pernicious assumption that the highly visible institutional manifestation of chrisendom is the Church. Nothing could be further from the Truth as it is in Jesus. The nakedness of the institution is growing ever more visible. That the emperor has no clothes on is gaining ever greater recognition. The ills decried by Platt in his book are institutional ills, not pathologies of the true and eternal Body of Christ. The Body will probably always include its normal portion of members who are immature, this seems the norm according to God's Scriptures, but Christ the Head will never fail to glorify His heavenly Father, and through His current earthly Body, to be sure. Institutionalism and its handmaiden, clericalism, are increasingly in disarray, being discredited, and seen for what they are. Platt could hardly have realized it, but his book indicts the very system of which clergy parading in front of 4,000 as he does, are today's superstars, the same system shared by DeYoung . They may be dear brothers, or not, but they are caught in a pernicious web of man's making. Father, if they are yours, please free them, and all of your true children who are similarly entwined. Amen.

Chuck Hazen

September 8, 2010 at 01:09 AM

David Platt and Kevin DeYoung treat one another kindly, and that glorifies God. But with all his brother affection proclaimed, did you notice Platt gave not an inch regarding DeYoung's specific points? Isn't that typical of institutional clergy? Is admission of error a hallmark of religious leaders of 4,000? Their exchange seems to make little progress toward reconciling their disagreements about the few questions Kevin raised in his generally positive critique of David's book. They and all others posting Comments broach so many points and counterpoints related to their exchance and to the book, one's head fairly swims. It's the sort of thing that may have prompted the apostle to warn the brethren of his fear that their minds were being led astray by the enemy's cunning from the simplicity and purity in Christ. Where in Platt and DeYoung do you find confident ringing declarations that Christ Jesus is Heading His Church and doing so gloriously? Not even a hint. I believe that all the issues raised find their resolution and reconcilement in the too often ignored glorious good news of our union with Christ Jesus, that we are in Christ and He in us. That we are His Body and He the Head. That He is the Vine and we the branches. God says in His Scriptures that His children know God and know Jesus Christ whom He has sent. He further says that His children are in Christ and Christ in them. God defines eternal life as knowing Himself and Jesus. Not knowing about them. Knowing them. Huge difference. Evangelical religion knows about God. Those born again from above know Him. Profound difference. If we know Him, if we are in Him, if He is in us, then all questions of being radical, or not radical, sinning, not sinning, obeying, not obeying, glorifying, not glorifying, boil down to simple alternatives. Are we abiding in Him, or are we not? Are we walking by the flesh, or by the Spirit? Are we walking by faith, or by sight? Has He not promised that He has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness? Modern evangelical religion has slowly slithered down a slippery slide into a man-centered perspective, rather than God-centered. David Platt's book as reflected in Kevin DeYoung's piece manifests that man-centeredness. So does Kevin's critique. So do most, but not all, of the Comments posted. What God is doing in His adopted children is ignored, unrecognized. The message is very Old Testament in flavor, much beating of breasts over discovered sins of omission. The Truth is that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, is not a failure. He is not failing to glorify God according to God's eternal purposes that He has purposed in Christ. Christ is building His church. The gates of Hell shall not prevail against her, because of Him, His perfections, His glorious Person, His power, His victory, His reign, His sovereignty. The smallest plant in the nursery, that He planted as a tiny mustard seed, is growing and will continue to grow into the largest tree in the garden, by His doing, and no-one can thwart this revealed work of Lord God Almighty. DeYoung says, "Radical is an all-out assault on cheap grace, easy-believism, consumer Christianity." What neither Platt nor DeYoung can see, or what they are loath to admit, is the our Lord says that the enemy sows weeds in along with the cultivated grain of God. They fail to recognize, or admit, that to some extent, possibly a great extent, the ugly sort of Christianity, with all its failures, that does not glorify the Name of Christ, in America, and worldwide, is simply a man-made religion, not of God, and populated by unconverted citizens of the kingdom of darkness. Trouble is, for whatever reason, those phonies, those weeds, slip into churches, alongside and among those who by the Spirit know and love the Father and the Son. The counterfeits color and flavor the whole and commentators like Platt look only at the now-flawed big picture, a photo degraded by the enemy, and the commentators fail to discern between the spiritual and unspiritual individual members. No attempt, or insufficient effort is made in these broad brush indictments like Platt's, to differentiate between the real children born of heaven and the fakes. Frankly, this is a manifestation of 1,800 years of painfully long-unfolding infiltration by and unavoidable failure of clericalism and institutionalism in the Church. Clergyism and institutionalism need constituencies of people and money to survive, and the need discriminates little between the people and money of darkness and those of the light. Do true children of God, occasionally walk by the flesh? Yes. Do they always walk by the Spirit? No. Do they always abide in Christ? No. Do they sometimes or often abide in Him? Yes. Do they never abide in Christ? May it never be! Is His Spirit ineffective? How can one even think such a thing, disparaging God, demeaning the Almighty? Until authors like Platt can learn to discern the true Church from the false, they will continue to play into the evil one's hands, and further his pernicious schemes, by belittling what the Lord is doing in His glorious Body, due to their failure to discern that Body. The Head of the Body is not thwarted, He is not failing, He is glorifying the Father, He is not late, He is not behind schedule, and it is grievously sorrowing to read implications to the contrary. And gentlemanly critics like DeYoung only add fuel to the enemy's fire.

[...] The book has been reviewed by Kevin DeYounge. [...]

On the Discussion of Hell | beautiful theology.

September 26, 2013 at 07:40 PM

[…] towards the self-giving cross that is the center of the Christian faith. While I do share some of Kevin DeYoung’s concerns about his book—and some of his approach in general—I think his is a prophetic and needed voice […]

[...] his followers to sacrificial burnout (for a more balanced critique of Radical see Kevin DeYoung’s review and Platt’s response to it).  Despite this criticism, Radical has been one of the most [...]

Pastor Joe Scott

September 22, 2011 at 02:34 PM

David Platt's call to radical Christianity is genuine and i believe it is the call of the Lord in these last days. I am commenting on Kevin DeYoung's review because I agree with it also. What I hear from Mr. DeYoung is a call for balance. Which i wholeheartedly believe in. My Pastor has a saying: "If you have too much of the Spirit you will blow up, If you have too much of the Word you will dry up, But if you have the Spirit and the Word you will grow up!"

Radical Together by David Platt | joelws.com

September 11, 2011 at 05:22 PM

[...] of the concerns that other leaders brought up regarding his first book (see Kevin DeYoung’s review of Radical here). I don’t have time to write an extensive review, but for one that offers a [...]

Jett

October 9, 2011 at 04:12 PM

Wow... I was so deeply touched by the manner in which the review and the response were handled. In an age where people are quick to go for the jugular or state our opinion without acknowledging those opposing it, this moved me. I'm only partly through the book Radical, but the conviction I've felt from reading it is not so much a feeling that our only focus needs to be foreign missions. I think Platt's response sums it well: the idea is to wake up, take our dependency off the American dream, and start being aware of what's going on outside the church walls... then outside of our community... then outside of our city... then outside of our country. There's been a distressing trend I've seen in many churches, places striving to do great good for the Kingdom of God, that in trying to emphasize that not everyone is called to the mission field, there's almost a sense of indignity towards the it. Lines of division form between the mission field in our own country and service to other nations. The idea I got is to strive to understand and grow in the sides of Christ's teaching we've brushed under the rug, and to be aware and start seperating our interpretation of Christ from the American right of the pursuit of happiness. It's a touchy subject, one easy to misinterpret... but I'll say I have not gotten a punch to the gut of my soul in years like I did when I read the first chapter of that book, not guilt to hopelessness but conviction. This is a subject that needs to be talked about and people are talking. It is beautiful that this review shows both the author and the reviewer talking with such respect and civility. Radical.

Rick Weiss

October 9, 2010 at 09:17 AM

Joe Hale

WOW
I read Crazy Love, Then,,, So you dont want to go to church any more, Forgotten God, Radical, and now Pipers Dont Waste your Life.

Seems there is a common thread that maybe God wants us to follow? Namely the First Commandment?
Eh?

God Bless

Shaun Groves

October 9, 2010 at 07:57 AM

Thank you for such a healthy respectful educational exchange of important ideas here, guys. Refreshingly mature.

Joe Hale

October 8, 2010 at 09:37 AM

I strongly disagree with the comments which insinuate there must be resolve on the differences of the points-of-view of these two godly men. Do you really think the goal of either is to "resolve the issue?" Praise God that we can enjoy relationships within the Body of Christ where absolute "resolve" of every issue doesn't have to be the goal! This mindset only further divides His Body. Any book written by any author will have points of weakness, issues of potention over-emphasis to make a point, etc. I thoroughly enjoy the exchange, and frankly, would have been disappointed in either point-of-view giving in to the other. Both perspectives are sound and healthy...worth consideration. For me, Radical was greatly used by God to provoke my thinking; I happend to be reading John Piper's "Don't Waste Your Life" at the same time, and WOW....those two books are companion books incredibly. I'm not worried one second about today's Christians "burning out," although that might be true of some guilt-motivated folks; but, in fact, most are too busy "keeping up with the Joneses" to worry about ministry burnout.

Tamra Farah

October 4, 2011 at 12:35 PM

In 1976 in Columbus, Ohio - as the tsunami wave of the Jesus movement hit the west coast and crashed east - I got 'radically saved' as a 16 year old. I had a passion for Jesus, read my Bible voraciously for 1 1/2 hours per day as a junior in high school, was persecuted in my Christian school for being such a zealot, spent months combined in Mexico, India, and 15 additional countries doing missions/exploratory work and have had a love for knowing Him and making Him known since that time. My husband and I have raised our two children (now 18 and 22), have experienced success in business and have always served the church and our community. In our hearts and choices we attempt to be faithful to our family and to the local family of God where we serve as leaders, while stretching out beyond to the nations in need, to help stop human trafficking, to support orphans and widows. We meet in a church facility, but we know it isn't the 'house of God' - the people are. We eat dinner out - even french fries - and enjoy times of restful and refreshing vacation, while not losing sight of our highest devotion to God, our family, His family and those in the earth in need. This is a great reminder from our brother David Platt, but it isn't necessarily something countless thousands aren't already walking in. As for a great move of God? I am waiting for the next one in our nation, until then, by the grace of God we will be faithful in little and give cups of cold water in His name.

Rick Weiss

October 4, 2011 at 08:05 PM

Tamara
I don't know you. But I Know you.
Yes the Faithfull are working the fields of the Lord. And yet the percentage of those I'n each corporate church is small.
Carry on faithful servent. :)

Radical by David Platt | joelws.com

October 27, 2010 at 11:16 PM

[...] done a much better job at probing a few other points than I can, so I’ll point to his review: Getting to the Root of Radical: A Review and Response. What is particularly helpful is that he offered David Platt the chance to respond to some of his [...]

book briefs: radical « native pilgrim

October 12, 2010 at 09:25 PM

[...] some reviewers have noted, Platt’s radical call is subject to being misunderstood or taken in the extreme. Readers who [...]

A Radical Response | Kingdom Church

November 9, 2013 at 10:28 AM

[…] That being said I think Platt’s focus on me giving sacrificially as an individual to help the poor is misplaced. As Kevin Deyoung points out in his fine critique of Platt’s book , “ we need a better understanding of poverty and wealth in the world. The Christian needs to be generous, but generous charity is not the answer to the world’s most pressing problems of hunger, inadequate medical care, and grinding poverty. Wealth is created in places where the rule of law is upheld, property rights are secured, people are free to be entrepreneurs, and there is sufficient social capital to encourage risk-taking. We can and should do good with our giving. But we must not lead people to believe that most of human suffering would be alleviated if we simply gave more.” (http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2010/05/25/getting-to-the-root-of-radical/) […]

Nicole

November 7, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Amen Joe!
As a christian, I am just tired of seeing us in America "do church" and desire for us to actually be just that. I dont think many of us believe Jesus actually meant ALL the things He said in the bible.
just a thought! Love this article. I too wish I could frame Platts response. :)

BH

November 6, 2011 at 10:16 AM

I've been following these comments for quite a while now after a portion of one of my blog posts regarding Platt's book was somehow logged as a "comment"/pingback. There have been some interesting and very well-written remarks. There have also been some blasts with the "doctrine gun". There have also been some cries for help which is what I was certain would happen when I read Platt's book. For the majority of post-modern people in the 21st. century, the modern Western church is fast becoming irrelevant. Why? Do Platt's varied theses make a post-modern long to attend a church? Hell, no. I'm a Christian. I have been since the beginning of my life. There has not been a day that I have not been in love with the person of Jesus. I'm patrilineally Jewish so I have an understanding of what profound legalism is as well. I've got one foot in Christianity and the other in Judaism. Many of my friends are atheists. They have observed that evangelical Christians are hypocrites--quick to judge, stingy, mean, and lacking in compassion. Quick to say they attend church on Sunday, quoting scripture. while leaving next to nothing for a tip for the server at Sunday brunch. I ask them why they don't consider going to church. Their response: "If I ever want to feel truly bad and ashamed about who I am as a person or just shunned, I'll go to church." This is not the Gospel message. We are not talking about "conviction". That is not the description of what it is to feel convicted by the Holy Spirit. That is shame, and, friends, God never does shame. He leads us to repentance with kindness. If we want to know what God looks like, then we must look at the person of Jesus. If the church is the body of Christ, then we, too, must look like Jesus, We look nothing like Jesus because we look irrelevant to our culture. We have hurt our culture. We have spent far too much time pointing and saying, "Sinner! Sinner!" and dealing in negatives when our sin and sinful nature were nailed to the cross. Our sinful natures are dead. They are gone. The "flesh" is DEAD!!!!! The church's job is to proclaim that because that is the good news. God does not deal in negatives. He is only dealing in the positives of who you already are in Christ. Not who you think you are because of how you feel about yourself, or your failures, or your struggles. This is true for a culture, for a people group, too. Sexual addiction? What?! Adultery?! Lust?! Those are all dead in Christ! He would be giving you the opposite spirit, and telling you to move in that! TEaching you the better way not telling you to "preach against". We have been far too concerned with what we are not rather than who we really are. And, who we already are in Christ is far more magnificent than a corpse because that's what we're dealing with, trying to make better, when we're preaching against something. Trying to heal the dead. Why not walk amongst the living? Not to mention an intimate and dynamic relationship with the person of Christ..pursue that as a priority for a lifetime, and you'll be changed, but sanctification takes a very long time. And, God isn't in a hurry. He already sees all of us through the rose-colored glasses of the work of Christ. To him, we're splendidly favored and perfect because we are in Christ.

roughdaniel@hotmail.com

November 6, 2011 at 02:13 AM

David Platt’s position on masturbation is wrong. He is off the mark with the assertion that it is a homosexual act. In fact, this very statement lends credibility to the gay lifestyle. Inadvertently he is calling better than 90 percent of the male population bisexual. There has seldom been a number above 10 percent assigned to this deviance. In fact, speculation over accurate numbers has been one of the facts frustrating to the gay community. In one sentence he gave these numbers back to them by traveling down a road few theologians attempt. At the core of his error, like many young bible scholars, is pride. He should have asked a few more questions as he sped over these topics. He also compared masturbation to pedophilia by pointing to the lack of biblical specificity over that deviance and drawing a line between the two. In fact, all acts of sexual impurity are covered in various scriptures. The specifics are not necessary. If they had been there would be a specific prohibition assigned. Now, because of his statement, there is not a distinction between excessive self abuse and a few isolated and normal self discoveries. That distinction needs to be there because it is truth. Children must discover certain things about their bodies. They grow up. They mature. Masturbation is a normal part of this maturity. Ironically, gender distinction was one of the very points he worked so hard to establish and masturbation is another typical manifestation of that difference.
What scripture do we apply to the notion that masturbation is a homosexual act? Do we simply apply human logic that since the man is touching himself, it is man touching man?
This reasoning has terrible implications for personal hygiene.
Since most experts agree sex is first mental then the thoughts of man during masturbation are the issue. The very act of touching himself is secondary. God’s grievance with man is over the thoughts and intents of his heart. Sexual deviance lies in man’s mind and heart. The physical act is no more than evidence of it. Is lust a sin? Absolutely. Scripture is clear. Then preach against lust! Is an evil thought life a sin? Absolutely. Then preach against wicked thoughts! Is adultery in the mind a sin? Absolutely. Then preach against adultery! Is rampant self gratification a sin? Absolutely. Then preach against it! Do what so many better theologians for centuries have done. Avoid wresting scripture and dogmatic assumptions that are based on ambiguous texts. It is a horrible tendency that plagues the church since the Judaizers. As people of the book these kinds of scatter guns damage our credibility.

[...] Kevin DeYoung’s concerns with Radical, and David Platt’s Response Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tags: David Platt, Kevin DeYoung, Radical [...]

Mike

November 17, 2012 at 12:05 AM

I am going through "Radical" with a group of young adults. I probably started off on the wrong foot with this book as the title sets the book up for failure..."Radical" might be better titled "Normal."

My biggest criticism of the book is that Dr. Platt defines "radical" Christianity as NOT doing something...NOT being selfish. Christianity is far more radical than not doing something! I agree with the admonition to stop being selfish...but please don't stop there. Fuel hearts and minds with dreams and radical possibilities what God would have them to be and do and we start living a far grander story with small behaviors losing their grip.

Jamie

November 16, 2010 at 08:25 AM

As harsh as Chuck may have been on some of his points, I agree with him. God has not messed up, and David Platt is not the new holy spirit. I have had friends read this book, Radical, and are now so much "holier" than me that I have wondered how their new outlook resembles Christ at all. They have claimed to be radical and trusting in the Lord, but they don't give it all up to Him. Instead they have made radical choices and then rely on others to take care of them. Is God broken? Can He not take care of them?

I am afraid that by making us all socially responsible we are heading in a direciton not intended by Christ. We are to take care of others because our heart is in the right place, not because we are SUPPOSED to. No sacrifice is truly a sacrifice if it is done because we are told to do it. Platt's book warns us of the dangers of keeping up with the Joneses...but I am worried that all his book has done is create a new catagory of people to keep up with, the Radicals.

Rick Weiss

November 16, 2010 at 04:01 PM

Jamie,,, Hi

I could not disagree with you more.Many Views of the book Radical seem to have different basic opinions about what Platt is intending, and It seems your friends are in the give your stuff away and live on 50,000. mode. Which is not the main theme of the book.

Though If you were to study in depth the book Radical you'll find that personal responsibility to work out your own Salvation , a personal relationship with God and to actually DO what Jesus commands of us, i.e. "Go out into the nations (gentiles) preaching repentance and forgiveness and baptizing in the name of the Lord are Platt's main Preaching.

We will stand alone at the Throne of God, we will each of us be held accountable, saved or not.

Aleichem shalom
Rick

Dan Elifson

November 10, 2011 at 08:45 PM

Dear Kevin,

Thank you so much for your gracious but accurate concerns about the book Radical.

DE

Angela

May 7, 2011 at 01:16 PM

I have conflicting feelings about all of this. On the one hand I can understand where Mr. Platt is coming from, this is a man who had is heart broken for things that he has seen in this world. I can identify with that, I’ve had my heart broken for injustices that I have witnessed and I expected that those around who heard what I had to say to adopt the same passion that I had to promote change. The problem with that thinking is that God created us all to be different, gave all of us our own unique gifts and talents, set us each in different environments and positions, allowed us to be exposed to different things, and ultimately has given us each our own burdens. Another problem that I have with this book is that David states that saying a “simple” prayer is not enough to make us saved. I do not believe that to be true, because that would negate John 3:16. I said my “little prayer” to accept Jesus into my heart over 11 years ago and I truly believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that had I died that night I would have went to be with the Lord. However, according to Mr. Platt- if I am understanding this book correctly, that would not have been good enough. My life in the past 11 years has been a journey, or a process if you will, of learning, growing, surrendering, and healing all at a pace that I could handle God has been more than patient and merciful with me. If I were to go back 11 years ago and see my life as it is now I would have said “wow, that’s radical”, however, it is no way near the “radical” as defined in this book. For me, living by faith has meant moving as God calls me to move and changing as God calls me to change, “radical faith” for me has been about obedience and learning to listen and obey God’s voice. I believe that for each and every person God has a plan and He works in each of us according to who we are and what we can handle. We are not all called for overseas missions. Jesus even said that the poor will always be among us, we cannot make this world poverty free anymore than “living green” can change the climate. For me, radical faith means believing all the time that it is God who controls this world and not us. If my purpose in life- my calling from God to serve him is to serve overseas, or the inner city, or visiting the elderly, or teaching Sunday school, or baking pies, or singing in the choir, or just reading my Bible- whatever it is it, it is my personal walk with the Lord, only He knows my heart and if I am truly being obedient to Him. This is my Father’s world, not mine, not Mr. Platt’s, not anyone else, and there is an evil unleashed in this world and a spiritual battle at work that is not ours, but the Lord’s. It all comes down to balance and contentment and knowing who you serve even the Apostle Paul said “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” So according to this Paul didn’t always live “radically” as described in this book, he lived by faith in obedience to God’s calling and sometimes that meant he had plenty and sometimes not. My assumption is that God has called Mr. Platt to live radically as defined in this book and perhaps God will use this book to call others to follow this way of living also, but at the same time it is no one but God's position to judge others who may or may not hear and/or answer this call. Is it an injustice to worship in a multi-million dollar building while people are starving? Perhaps. Perhaps not, it all depends on how God plans to work all things according to his purpose. What if a $115 million dollar worship center attracts many wealthy families who little by little over the course of time grow in their walk with the Lord and learn to be more obedient to sacrificial giving and this mega building generates in the course of 30 years more than $500 million dollars or even a billion dollars to charity- yeah I could see God doing that!

Baughman, Jennifer

May 6, 2011 at 11:14 AM

What a great review and response. Two godly, humble men interacting in a highly civil yet challenging way. Now to get past the discussion and move on to the application. Anyone interested in this book will appreciate the account of one couple's radical discipleship found in "Passport through Darkness". God is so amazing! He doesn't NEED us yet he uses us to bring hope and comfort to the hopeless! May He be forever praised.

[...] to the world around us Posted on May 31, 2010 by Scott Kistler Kevin DeYoung offers a review and critique of David Platt’s Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, and includes a [...]

Rick Weiss

May 30, 2010 at 10:40 PM

Jerry,
Brother,
On burnout, When you are Indwelt with the Holy Spirit you are given Supernatural gifts,Gifts (1Corinthians 12: 7-31) Using those gifts for the kingdom of God alone I don't believe that you can burnout. Instead you get a hunger to use those gifts to Glorify the Father. I have been in Prison Ministry as a Lay person for 10 years.

David
Hi
I Thess. 4:10-12 you have taken out of context, In that time in Thessalonica there were people in the church that not only refused to work and were a burden on the brethren There were also people who were busybody's causing dissension in that starter church.
We the Laity as we sit in the pews letting the clergy do the heavy lifting are not living as Jesus commands us to live. In fact I dare to say that many of the church attendees are not Christians. Of course this is true of all of us one time or another, who knows when a person will come to the Christ ?

Though Jesus calls us, and that calling if you are a follower of the way is to be as active in the body of Christ as your pastor. We, you and I are to preach the Gospel and live a life worthy of the name above all names.

The Final Judgment Matthew 25: 31-46......Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus Luke 9: 23-27

Jerry Brown

May 30, 2010 at 08:42 AM

I find the exchange about possible burnout rather interesting. You can only burnout if you were "burning". For too many of us, burnout is not an option because we are far too lukewarm and comfortable. Just the way Satan wants us. If more believers in Christ and the Gospel really believed and lived their lives as though they did, there would indeed likely be more burnouts, but what an effect those brightly burning candles would have had on this dark world!

David Wayne

May 30, 2010 at 08:21 PM

Thanks for this wonderful exchange Kevin and David. I am wondering if either of you might comment, particularly David, on how "Radical" fits with I Thess. 4:10-12 - But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
It seems that Paul's own exhortations to his readers here was that they aspire to quietness, doing one's own work and tending to one's own affairs. While we are all called to follow Paul as he follows Christ (I Cor 11:1) he doesn't seem to mean that we do the same things he did. The more quiet, "un-radical" (apologies to David - I couldn't come up with a better word) seem to be the norm for the vast majority of Christians.
Also, have either of you come across an old article by Monte Wilson called "Green Berets for Jesus" (.pdf here - http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/ref-rev/08-2/8-2_wilson.pdf). Monte was one of Arthur Blessit's followers who was "sold out" and "on fire" and a true "Green Beret for Jesus." Over time he came to see that the demands Christ's makes on us look far different, and yes - more subdued in some sense, than our "on fire" church culture makes it out to be.
In saying all of that I know I am coming down firmly on Kevin's side on this - and I am sorry about that because I do know that David is right on that the change Christ makes in us is radical. I am just wondering if our ideas of what constitutes "radical" are driven more by a mindset more reminiscent of revolutionary radicalism than Christian radicalism.

Dan

May 29, 2010 at 12:06 AM

Here is another review of "Radical."

http://www.jdgreear.com/my_weblog/2010/05/radicalreviews-and-thoughts.html

Bauer Evans

May 29, 2010 at 11:09 AM

I don't know what encourages me more: the clarity of the convictions you are talking about or the tone of the conversation being shared. Thank you gentlemen for putting on Christ (Col. 3:12) in your dialogue with one another. It is edifying and models Christ-like character to me.

Malin Friess

May 29, 2010 at 05:22 AM

Kevin-

I think you nailed it. I have never been to the Church at Brook Hills. I have only heard a sermon of his on podcast...but I left feeling guilty and burnt-out and all of this...and our family is currently doing medical missions in Kenya.
I don't think it is necessary to knock down the American Dream....to eat a few french-fries to promote the Gospel.

Malin

Heavy Rain | Official Strategy Guide

May 26, 2010 at 12:46 AM

[...] Getting to the Root of Radical: A Review and Response – Kevin DeYoung [...]

David Axberg

May 26, 2010 at 04:37 PM

Thank you Kevin again nailed it! the exchange top notch! God bless you and David.

@ Jennifer Keep living the Christian life where you are and rest in Christ His yoke is easy. He will guide completely.

@ rick "I guess from my understanding of the Gosple is that we Layity are to be as or more active than clergy," Amen and Amen.

We the laity need to step up to action like Jennifer. God Bless you all!

Morris Brooks

May 26, 2010 at 03:15 AM

Social consciousness has become the new litmus test and the new mantra for the "Radicals" as Kevin has called them. The issue is not what is the church doing or not doing, but what is each one of us doing, personally, right where God has put us, in the US? Each community has its own share of the poor, each church has its own share of the poor.

It is easy to beat the drum and chide the church, while we are doing nothing personally. What about the poor in our own churches, are we looking for ways to help them, do we even know who they are? And when we know who they are, do we look for ways to assist, giving of our own personal means directly? Not to be jaded, but I have seen far too many on the social concious band-wagon get all worked up about Africa, Asia, Appalachia,etc, while ignoring the people right under their nose.

Another note, pastorally, this is why Paul admonished Timothy to preach the word, in season and out with mega patience and instruction. People very rarely change in one sermon or one sermon series, or one book. We can put the guilt whip/guilt trip on them to get them to respond for the moment, but the conformational process takes time, and it is way too easy for us as pastors to become impatient and frustrated when the results we are wanting to see aren't immediately visible.

God typically works at the speed of life and at the pace of people, and still is ultimately sovereign over the lives of all people. Jesus did not heal every disease, cast out every demon, or feed all of the poor as He could do nothing of His own initiative because He sought not His own will, but only the will of Him who sent Him (John 5:30).

We should have a heart of compassion, and be merciful; we need to be generous and ready to share (past what we give to the church/ministries) and rich towards God. This comes about as we move forward in maturity, walk more in love, and become less self-seeking. Selfishness (and we are all selfish pigs) gives way slowly. So let's have zeal and passion, but temper that with wisdom about the way people truly are, so that we will not grow weary and lose heart, and turn people off with our frustration.

Rick Weiss

May 26, 2010 at 02:01 PM

Reg

Hi

Seems that people read or get from this book what pulls there hearts strings, and for me it is church goers not living for Christ or as the Christ teaches, in as to live your life in obediance to Him.

I go on Missions with multu denominational men and women and there is a common action we see and that is the % of people in churchs who actually serve God is few.

From Mentors to the ladies who cook for funerals to Youth Lay Ministers. few people doing the heavy lifting.

I guess from my understanding of the Gosple is that we Layity are to be as or more active than clergy,

Reg Schofield

May 26, 2010 at 01:38 PM

Radically living for Christ seems to be the new catch phrase to show just how true blue a Christian you are . The trend seems to be growing and the implications if taken too far will provoke a us and them type of finger pointing.

Granted I do believe that this dialogue is needed and has to take place . Without having read this book yet (I plan on ordering it ) I can only speak from observation around me. What I have seen in my own life has been the gospel hasn't been as transforming in all areas of my life as it needs to be.Since my wife's cancer and being without work , it has caused me to totally look at what is primary in this life. That has been a good thing. The questions I have asked myself are how much do I love this worlds pleasures and have I bought into the idea of compartmentalizing my faith .

As the gospel of Christ has really taken a hold of my whole life , I realize glorifying God has no shut off switch. But that being said to be radical is realizing all that we do , even if is in the ordinary activities of the day , lived in the light of the gospel can be radical. Plus it has been freeing to let go of what this world thinks as success. Bigger house,bigger car,affording a cottage,big retirement egg etc... those are things that really do not matter. Whatever years my wife and I have been given on this earth , I do not want the gold of this earth to dull my heart to the glory of God. I want to give more, share the gospel more,love more and press on towards that heavenly city that does not fade.Not out of guilt but out of thankfulness. Plus even in taking time to be still and rest . Enjoying my wife,my sons ,friends and family .

I'm a Canadian , and even though we wouldn't say we follow the idea of the American dream , that is not totally true . It may be a little different but its the very similar. I think a book like this is very healthy to shake and till the ground in Christians and many churches were the lifestyle in terms of their purse strings are , reflect the world . I'm not saying we need to give up many amazing gifts God has given us to enjoy but I have come to realize after my own personal crisis, we had squandered so much money on useless stuff instead of letting the gospel impact all our actions.

As always Kevin your provide an excellent critic and exchange in a very Christ like manner.

[...] your review of David’s book was just about as fun and worthwhile as David’s book itself. And you were very respectful [...]

Marc Lewis

May 25, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Good conversation. I finished reading Radical not to long ago and was shaken for the good of the gospel. Pray for the Thai people!

Rick Weiss

May 25, 2010 at 11:11 PM

Andrew
I normally do not use a wide brush, I kinda use a mop :)
But I knew that
A good discussion In America now would be Faith-Full teaching

You have heretical Churches
Emergent Churches
Famous Pastor Churches
The Sinners Prayer Churches,
Luke warm Churches
and Faith-Full Churches which mostly teach using an Expository method which is pretty hard to beat.
EXCEPT I have stumbled onto “Reformation Society" meeting which is working to bring America back to the Bible as truth
http://www.alliancenet.org/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID307086_CHID615424_CIID2484444,00.html

The Spirit of this age is tainting Christianity. The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Its good stuff

The other thing is Books like Radical and Crazy Love, these guys have an Idea thet me and my peeps been evangelizing for decades in Prisons, and that is to want God more than your life in freindship and in Worship

Fear God Bro.

A Radical Exchange « Honey and Locusts

May 25, 2010 at 10:14 AM

[...] Read this exchange here [...]

Timothy Koller

May 25, 2010 at 10:02 AM

I enjoy reading DeYoung's posts, and I thoroughly enjoy the model of this post!

The exchange of ideas and the model this creates for having a balanced dialogue is absolutely wonderful!

Thank you for the example!

Andrew Faris

May 25, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Kevin,

I suppose the two biggest things that come to mind with your review are your critique of David's view of church buildings and your critique that this could lead to burn-out.

Regarding the first, even in smaller churches we need to think about percentages. My church has about 80 members, so we'll never spend millions of dollars on church buildings. But we do currently spend around half of our budget on it. Does that really seem right? My Dad is a house church pastor and was immediately pleased that within a year of his church leaving his building and transitioning to house churches, they could spend 86% of their budget directly on ministry. I agree wholeheartedly with Platt that we've spent way, way too much money on the comforts of nice buildings- buildings which, as we all know, are certainly not mentioned in the Bible anywhere.

Second, maybe it's just me, but I get the sense that burnout is a massive problem in "non-radical" Christianity. What Platt has exactly right is this: mission catalyzes discipleship in remarkable ways. So as Platt takes his church on mission, both locally and globally, I suspect he's finding people whose spiritual lives are waking up in new ways.

I find that pastors and other church leaders, paid or lay, are especially susceptible to burnout. But I sure never get the sense that Paul was burned out- do you? I'd venture that the reason for the difference is that a lot of what we do doesn't end up being actual ministry- it's running a church instead. I know that there is plenty of that stuff that really does need to be done, so I'm not writing it all off. Still though, the difference seems plain to me.

Andrew Faris
Christians in Context

John

May 25, 2010 at 09:57 AM

Thanks for this! In my perspective, Christianity is not about external constraints we put on ourselves -whether that be giving or helping the poor, or anything else. It is about a new creation. As Christ transforms us by his word, our values change. Our treasure changes. This affects how we live our life. The most important thing, I believe, is to continue emphasizing the gospel, otherwise I fear that the YRR crowd will turn into little fundamentalists with a list of dos and donts for spiritual maturity.

Jimmy C

May 25, 2010 at 08:55 AM

Thanks to DeYoung and Platt for showing a watching church, world, and blogosphere how to disagree with grace and to live for God's glory biblically in love.

Godly Discourse « Jonathan Shradar

May 25, 2010 at 08:25 AM

[...] DeYoung, pastor and champion of the “young, restless, and reformed,” has reviewed the book on his Gospel Coalition blog and he has some concerns with the book. But what is hopeful is not in his concerns but in the way [...]

[...] Gospel Coalition has published an interesting exchange between Kevin DeYoung and David Platt about Platt’s new book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith [...]

Matt W.

May 25, 2010 at 07:27 AM

Nice review and exchange.

I'm wondering if there is meant to be a "not" in the last sentence of your second concern with the book. If there isn't, then I'm just not able to get my mind functioning properly this morning.

Andrew Faris

May 25, 2010 at 05:18 PM

Rick,

You do see the irony in saying, "A problem with most teaching is that it paints with a wide brush" don't you?

Andrew Faris
Christians in Context

Rick Weiss

May 25, 2010 at 04:05 PM

Jennifer

A problem with most teaching is that it paints with a wide brush.

For 40 years I was an Enemy of God. Now his Servant. SO how do we know we are serving God to his standards, A Question that is so debatable in church's.

If I may be so bold.
The Holy Spirit is a Gentleman he will not come and Over fill you with his Spirit unless you Invite him in. Ask him to tell you what he wants of you.

That being said. Holy Spirit convicts you to do what God wants you to do when he gives you supernatural gifts to accomplish his will. When you have those gifts you will not tire and you will not grow weary using them to serve God. And you will know without a doubt your doing his will.

Yes Jesus tells you to put nothing before God but he will give you the tools to accomplish his will.

A Pastor friend of mine asked God what he wanted of him. in one week he was sent a unsolicited application to seminary, and a person cam to them to by there real estate, another person came to them to buy there livestock and another person came to them to buy there machinery.
Without a doubt God wanted him to become a pastor, He left his state job and lost hi retirement.

As for me, God moved me, a man who has been severely hurt by crime to go into Michigan Prisons to evangelize. Every Prison God wants me to go to he opens a door, and now it is 4 Prisons. I get to keep my job, my house, and all I have to do is give all I have to accomplish that which God has given me to do.

These 2 examples are no greater than youth ministers, Music ministers or Administration. God gives his Spiritual gifts to who he chooses for his glory, we are all different parts of the body.
1 Corinthians 12: 28-31
God Bless , Rick Weiss

Jennifer

May 25, 2010 at 03:12 PM

This is especially timely for me, because I tend to get caught up in guilt-based Christianity. For example, I homeschool our three children in our 1800 sq. ft. house in a nice, moderately-priced neighborhood. We tithe at least 10% of my husband's income (I don't have one), and we have several other ministries budgeted into our monthly giving. We work in our church's nursery (lately, the 2-yr-olds), and we always have our eyes and hearts open to anything else the Lord may direct us to accomplish for him. Yet I feel guilty most of the time about what I have...my house, my clothes, my makeup, my haircuts, my daughters' ballet lessons, our late-night ice cream runs (these are our "dates" lately!). I feel like I'm greedy, and I worry the only way to be a "real" Christian is to give everything away and move to Zimbabwe. Is there only a handful of ways the Lord can use His people? Do I have to be finacially destitute to serve Him? Given that our family would joyfully sell all our possessions and move to the uttermost parts of the world, am I necessarily out of His will because I'm middle-class, and not, say, poverty-stricken for the sake of the gospel? I'm asking these questions seriously, by the way.

Graham

May 25, 2010 at 02:40 PM

Fantastic exchange!! Thanks for the effort! I could frame Platt's summary paragraph! Amen and Amen to that brother!

Rick Weiss

May 25, 2010 at 02:17 PM

KevinIm a Yooper so pardon my Ignorance of style.
I wonder from your critique of the book Radical if you might have missed a great deal of what David Platt was speaking of, at least to me.
Yes sin, and taking care of the least of these are serious things we shall always have with us, and only God can overcome, But my read from Radical is that fact that so many self professing Christians are not Christians at all, even the reformed and the Hard headed evangelicals.
Brother Platt states quite plainly that IF your a Christian your life mirrors the Christ, these scriptures that I list here to me are how we are to live.

The Great Commission Matthew 28: 16-20
The Greatest Commandment Matthew 28: 28-34
Not Peace, but a Sword Matthew 10: 34-39
Rewards Matthew 10: 40- 42
The Parable of the Talents Matthew 25: 14-30
The Final Judgment Matthew 25: 31-46
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus Luke 9: 23-27
The Cost of Following Jesus Luke 9: 57-62
Spiritual Gifts 1 Corinthians 12: 7-31

I believe Platt was correct when he said American church's and Christians have twisted the worship of the Christ into there own perverted view and in so, worship themselves.

Anyway, God Bless you Kevin,
And I wonder If you might want to spend 4 days from June 17th in Strongs MI in the U.P. .. We are bringing our Prison program to the people in the world
We are not Inmates but men from many denominations around Michigan who go into Prisons for 4 days at a time to preach the Good news. Much like Pentacost, We are all together in one place and all of are needs are taken care of. and many are saved daily.

Paul C

May 25, 2010 at 02:08 PM

What a wonderful example of graciousness from both individuals. I especially appreciate the spirit of the message that Pastor Platt is endeavoring to deliver. It is necessary. For Pastor DeYoung to allow this is unusual and shows his desire to give the benefit of the doubt.

In our day, the bigger danger is not that people will wring their hands in guilt-ridden consternation, but that they sink into a form of convenient Christianity that is dead and fruitless.

Jeremy D Huff

May 18, 2011 at 09:16 AM

David Platt was very gracious and very patient in explaining his perpsective in Radical. Mr. Deyoung seems very invested in protecting "the American christian". I'm sorry but the one visit a week to church, and then "Live Yo life" in our current pop culture is not a good thing. If we are tuly beleiving and following God we are going to want to do everything, everyday, every minute to further his kingdom. This does mean shut down everything, quit jobs, etc...but to ask God daily for guidance and direction and for blessings. Could you imagine a America where every Christian is using their resources, part of their time, and energy to actually do one thing during their week to support missions, one mission trip a year, sacrifice a vaction, etc.....This is where the problem is.....Our American church is the Church of Laodecia. You can protect it all you want, and you can say...well were doig something....but all you have to do is ask one questions....What are you going to say when God asks you "what did you do to further my kingdom"......SORRY FOLKS THE ANSWER "Well I went to church on Sundays, tithed 9%, and watched Dancing With the Stars is not going to work....It is time to Wake the American Church up.....and on another note for all of you Pre-Trib Rapture beleivers..why would God let let us punch out exspecially when we have been sleeping and sedated bu our pop culture since 1945..Oh yeah we are going to have some very hard livivng coming up, and I truly hope that the Christians that have been follwoing him..do not turn out to be fairweather "Lexus" christians (Note..my wife has a Lexus)...

[...] Getting to the Root of Radical [...]

Herb

March 8, 2011 at 12:16 AM

I really like David Platt’s Radical. As pastor of a large mega-church and with two undergraduate and three advanced degrees, there is no doubt David knows his stuff. I get his point. We need to take a serious look at our churches affluent model of Christianity, materialism, and negating a radical obedience to Christ. There is much in the book with which I agree, yet I’m afraid the get Radical for Jesus message left me with more questions than answers. The ideas presented in Radical are not new. David does an excellent job repackaging the message and backing it up with testimonials. The book is popular among new generation Christians wanting to make a difference and is taught in many small group sessions. It concerns me that some will simply jump on the bandwagon to prove to their love for Jesus and call it faith without serious prayer, contemplation, and discussion.
Here are some questions and thoughts I had while reading the book. I encourage you to consider how taking radical steps without forethought by calling it faith does more harm than good to those we’re trying to help and deliver the love of Christ.

In Chapter 1, The book talks about Christ turning away thousands. Isn’t the message actually about thousands turning Christ away?

The book discusses how we should worship with the hearts of the secret churches. Isn’t being free from bondage exactly what these people dream about? To have a safe, warm, comfortable place for their families to worship like in the churches of America? Wouldn’t that be their ultimate goal?
I agree that we should be willing to give our all in our Christian walk, but isn’t the purpose of Christianity is to accept Christ through faith? The book does briefly address this issue. It ‘s not of ourselves or as a result of works like how much we give away, whether or not we went to our Father’s funeral or even how many hungry we feed or whether we give up everything to move to a third world country. If we study the scripture for six hours a day and take off to a third world country to feed people and teach them the gospel, then are we good enough? Does that make it so that Jesus will say He knew us? It sounds like works based theology and the Bible is full of examples to the contrary. How did Jesus feel about the Sadducees and Pharisees? What about the ministering to the rich or those in need of Christ in our own country and communities? I wonder who has funded the author’s many missionary journeys? Was it the people who believe in the American dream and wish to spread the gospel? Without some Christians working and being financially secure then no one would be capable of financially supporting the missionaries. I wonder what has happened in the pastor’s past convicting him to such a dogmatic theology?

Jesus came that they might have life and have it abundantly. If our hearts are in the right place and in congruence with God and our spirit. Is it His wishes for us to be penalized for being successful and talented? The poor are not inherently more righteous or sanctified. There’s nothing in the Bible that indicates that poverty is a desirable state or that material things are evil. In fact, wealth is a gift from God. Giving up everything we have to feed the poor is too altruistic and simplistic. There is harm in inappropriate relief. There are too many other factors like political turmoil, psychological issues, and cultural implications. Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something improper. How do we handle it when people aren’t open to the message because they are essentially satisfied with their lives? The attitude that if I don’t personally touch it and feel it then it’s not real, can be selfish.

The book tells a story of a church bulletin where on the left it read, “First Baptist Celebrates New 23 Million Building” and on the right side of the bulletin it talked about how the church had raised something like 5 thousand to feed the Sudanese. This is a naive line of thought to support the point and doesn’t compare apples to apples. The money for the building is earmarked for that specific purpose. Maybe the purpose is twisted, but it’s the result of factors like capital campaigns and endowments set up years ago and designed to meet the needs of an increasing congregation. The funds are legally bound and can’t be used for any other purpose. Does it not meet the needs of the church to serve more members to get more funding to feed the Sudanese with funds that are now earmarked for that purpose? It would be like passing a new school bond issue and then complaining because the money didn’t all go to teach the children to read. If the money is from loan proceeds, a lender would be willing to fund the building project with the collateral of the land and building. It’s a great dream, but out of touch with reality to think that a financial institution is willing to lend someone 23 million to feed people in the Sudan.

The book states, “This is the reality about humanity. We are each born with an evil, God-hating heart.” Aren’t we created in the image of God? I don’t ever remember hating God. It’s my love for Him and His unconditional love for me that is the very reason I follow Him.

We can do anything through Christ that strengthens us and Christ only had twelve disciples, but let’s put the tiny secret church belief to test. Pick any church of your choice that fits the description and place it against a first class American dream mega-church with money, a large congregation, and no fear of retribution for worship. A church where people have a love of God and believe in themselves and their power to accomplish things and make a difference. I’m sure you’ll find both types of churches have the power of God living in them. I believe the typical large American church will be the one accomplishing the most for the glory of God and once again, sounds like works based Christianity.

The book talks about people not knowing about God and worshiping the sun or some other form of idolatry. I agree that according to the Christian belief system, all people are guilty and condemned for rejecting God. What about those that aren’t worshiping the sun or some other form of idolatry? What about babies? A four year old? A ten year old? What about a person with mental retardation? Is the line drawn with someone with mild, moderate, or sever retardation? Is it a level one or level five? What about people suffering with mental health issues? What about those with brain damage hindering or removing their ability to reason and discern right and wrong? Is hell full of people with retardation, crazy people, children, or young teens? How many times does a person need to hear the Word and be expected to grasp it before it’s considered a rejection of God? One cattle call? Two? Do we use the Age of Accountability defense? Based on the Biblical principals introduced in the book, we are born sinful in nature. Do we justify it by saying, “Yes, but those people you’re talking about don’t understand and can’t comprehend the concept of whether to accept or reject God.” By the same line of reasoning is it fair to ask someone who has never heard of something to be expected to accept and comprehend it or does God declare them to have rejected Him? Do we make ourselves feel better by convincing ourselves, “At least we planted a seed and we don’t know what God has in store for their future.” What about a person that’s only heard the word one time? How many times does someone have to sit through an invitation to accept God and accept the Lord as their Savior before it’s their fault and not someone’s bad presentation of how someone can be saved or the butchering of a just and loving message? If so, it’s a tremendous pressure to get it right, so as not to condemn someone to hell because we screwed up. Are we held accountable for that? If the Holy Spirit fills you with the words to say and works through our sharing His message then what happens to free will? If that happens then why doesn’t it happen for everyone who hears His message? Do we use the easy way out and say, “It’s not for us to know” or “We won’t know until we get to heaven”. If something is brought to our attention challenging our comfort zone or belief system, do we listen and give it consideration? Do we automatically dismiss the person as an angry rebellious spirit, not a true believer, lacking faith, arrogant, or blasphemous? Do we contemplate uncomfortable thoughts to determine what we believe to hold truth and what we consider fallacy or do we instead play victim and say, “Why do they ask such questions?” and revert to some canned cliche by telling ourselves, “We must have faith and not let anyone shake our belief system.”

In conclusion, the book is powerful. The fact that it is controversial and has so many contemplating the message and the way the American church operates makes it one well worth reading. I’m concerned that buying into it’s message without prayerful consideration and without truly understanding grace and God’s love for us could lead many feeling guilty and empty for not living up to it’s challenge.

Morris Brooks

March 28, 2011 at 12:36 PM

BH,
Not to be nit-picky or prickly here, but the pastor should not sit down with the church to find out which direction they want to go. To do this is much like the parents sitting down with the children and asking how they would like them to parent. The pastor is to provide the leadership and look to the Scriptures to provide the "direction." Unfortunately, so many pastors are looking for direction anywhere but the Scriptures.

Living in a fad driven culture has influenced way too many in the church, and for these people not being in on the latest wave is a sin equal to heresy. Honestly, it points out to a lack of trust in the Scriptures and the Spirit of God. The sad thing is that this lack of trust is in many who hold to the inerrancy of Scripture.

BH

March 28, 2011 at 04:01 PM

Morris, I respect your opinion! Thank you!

Morris Brooks

March 28, 2011 at 03:58 PM

BH,

Obviously we will have to agree that we disagree. Certainly there are many pastors that are inexperienced and/or immature, etc.; but that is what a plurality of elders is for. Leadership does not come from congregants, but from those called by God to lead (Hebrews 13:7,17). However, wise leadership is not autocratic and does not make decisions in a vacum, but pays attention to its people, asks for opinions, input etc, as it does not live above the people, but among the people (I Peter 5:1-3). But at the end of the day, leaders must do what God has ordained them to do, which is lead, guide, and make decisions.

BH

March 28, 2011 at 03:39 PM

Morris, I don't find you to be prickly at all. We all have opinions as to how the modern Western church out to be led/directed/run, what have you, but I don't agree with your comparison. A congregation is not necessarily a group of little children, and the pastor isn't necessarily the wise parent with the years of life experience because that's what parents generally have in comparison to their children. In the modern church, pastors are accountable to others as well--a board or some elected body of people (e.g. deacons, vestry, depending upon the denomination). Members of a congregation can be gifted in many ways, and it is essential that when important decisions regarding the direction of a church arise, the congregation be consulted because the congregation is the body of Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that enables us to understand and discern the will of the Father when we consult the scriptures for these truths are spiritually discerned. It is our relationship with the Godhead--Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit and how we interact with God through the Bible and the accountability that is established in our lives--particularly those in leadership--that is crucial. You can read the Bible 'til the cows come home, but if you don't have a vibrant relationship with Christ and understand experientially that he loves you personally AND intervenes on your behalf, interceding before the Father at all times on your behalf as well, you've only got religion, and that is not the Gospel. That's just religion. I digress...I understand what you are saying though, but I respectfully disagree with your comparison. I've known pastors who are very immature and congregants who are far more equipped to lead. The structure of the modern church doesn't mirror the NT model, but that's another discussion altogether. Have a brilliant week!

All the best....

Rick Weiss

March 28, 2011 at 01:10 PM

@ Morris
Well said sir. The striveing for the Social Gospel, Emergent Church. And the Itching ears of the rainbow/fuzzy kittiy church goers has tainted the name of Christian on most Denominations I'n America. So sad to see the ELCA and Episcople denominations separate themselves from God gleefully.

BH

March 25, 2011 at 04:10 PM

It is interesting to observe various pastors jumping on the latest bandwagon or following the latest trends rather than sitting down with their church, finding out what direction their church would like to go, then charting a course, and leading the way; or, perhaps equipping their church to go out and "do the stuff" rather than fostering spectatorship and entitlement. There are so many views out there regarding the role of pastor, but I don't know if the current American/Western view which can be ultimately traced to Constantine (4th c. AD) is truly biblical. For the sake of offering another view, give Graham Cooke's Divine Confrontation a read. It certainly is another view to consider when discussing the Holy Spirit, the role of the church, and how pastors and the church can respond, grow, and ultimately serve their congregations and the world at large as the Body of Christ.

Rick Weiss

March 25, 2011 at 03:57 PM

@Carolyn
Nothing new under the sun sister. It's just that people forget from one generation to the next. Much like the Jews 4,000 years ago. If a person writes out the words of Jesus you would come to the same conclusion as Platt. Chan. Washer. Etc.
So I agree with you. The Bible is the Book. Yet it is good to be reminded that our understanding of the words Faith Love and Belief need to be deepened.
God loves us. He gaves us everything. :)

Carolyn Cassady

March 25, 2011 at 02:31 PM

RADICAL
Well ..I guess how I came about posting on this site is....I need to pray to surrender my feelings...Our pastor, the word "radical" has been a word since last fall......The last few months our our sermon topics.....Radical Relationships...Radical Missions...and our Sunday classes ..life groups....That's how the book got in my hands ..We are to begin a Bible study with David Platt"s book as our material.....Radical....Hum .... Years back it was Rick Warren.....We did all that.... Of course I am a member of a Southern Baptist Church.... but it's okay... I understand who I am in Christ... and He always works out all things for good for those who love Him... I would much rather just study the Bible... God is so good!! Just wanted to share this........

Herb

March 25, 2011 at 02:01 AM

@Rick
See, I am learning from your posts! :)

Thank you Rick for all your posts. Not just to me, but throughout the site.
I'm truly grateful and take your views to heart.

Rick Weiss

March 25, 2011 at 01:30 AM

@ BIll
Hi :)
I live in a nice house, I have some nice things, Does God want me to give them away? I asked him, he told me this.

Do not put anything between you and loving me or others. Do not be a slave to stuff.
God requires my life all of it, what's God gonna do with my stuff, put it in his pocket :)

And the more I desire God, and Give my life to him, the less stuff pleases me, so that the things I care for are God, Family, Poor, everything else is just filler.

BUT to answer your question
Did the Jerusalem believers need help after the Diaspora? And as for 1 Tim 6:18 I don't also recall Jesus telling Peter to sell his stuff either. ( boats nets)
I think Francis Chan in Crazy Love has a better handle on this money thing than Davis Platt. To not live a life of sloth, but to help when you can to be the hands of Christ is how I want to live.

Rick Weiss

March 25, 2011 at 01:19 AM

@ Herb

Hi and God Bless :)
Herb "yes"
I do feel that old school learning from traditional American church institutions is truly destroying Christianity.
The Masters in Divinity or a Ph.D. in Divinity while great learning cannot and generally does not qualify a person to be a Pastor. Though I come out of a ELCA background and most pastors I knew it was just a job. And now that I attend a Baptist church and am in Multi Denominational Mission work I find that God calls men no matter what there learning is. Be it a bible school, mainline seminary or self taught. Though the main line denominations are teaching Social Doctrine rather than Biblical Doctrine i.e. Ordination of gays, The abandoning of the 5 Solas, and the throwing Israel under the bus in support of the Palestinians.
Also it is not 100% the teaching Institutions it is the denominations themselves.
Train the called, not Call the Trained seems biblical but not the norm.

As for the amount of Christians in the world, are they? really? Christians?
It is my understanding that a Christian is a follower of the Christ, Even in more Evangelical (Baptist) and certainly in Lutheran church's the Pastors and congregations have remade there worship of God in there own image instead of the teachings of Jesus. If a person would outline the words of Jesus in the book of Matthew I hazard to guess many would not agree with what Jesus Commands. and just the main Commands to love God over all else and love your neighbor is anti the American dream.
Though I do not know people who claim to be Christians from other countries, from what I read Americans and people of European ancestry's seem to be the largest demographic of Faux Christians.

Herb as for having what is needed to answer the call, or works, I have seen for decades people working in a church project who would rather have root canal surgery than what there doing, but they do it out of a sense of duty to there church, friends, pastor or whatever.

Friend, I stand by what I said, In prayer what are the gifts God gave you to expand the kingdom, And then is the performance of those gifts bring you joy? Will it bring you everything you need to glorify God?
Many people I know who have been serving the Lord in mission for years and some for decades find joy, happiness, pleasure, peace, fulfillment, and more. Look at Missionaries to other countries who have been at it for years,

To many people take on service for many reasons. If God has called you, he will give you what you need.

David Platt right now is in India, my Hero Francis Chan though is on continued sabbatical, not knowing where God wants him to go next, and If God wants Francis to cool his heals for the rest of his life, then that's cool. Will Platt continue to work in other countries as well as his own church? And will Paul Washer get punched in the nose for speaking the truth about false Christianity in America. Who knows but God,

But I am grateful to these men for giving me hope for Christianity in America. Though I have to say that the 100 plus men I serve with in the Mission fields from Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodists, Bible, Assembly of God, Mission church's, Evangelical , Catholic, Mennonite, and Baptist all have a zeal to serve the Lord, for no pay, no reward, nothing but the joy of dieing to self, sacrificing huge blocks of time from there family's and knowing the filling of Holy Spirit when they answer " Here I am Lord"

God Bless you Herb, richly

bill stroup

March 24, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Lots of comments. Thanks for your wisdom. Just a few thoughts here. Anyone ever notice that after the saints in Jerusalem sold all their possessions and had everything in common (which, btw, was not commanded) that Paul had to take an offering for the poor saints in Jerusalem? Acts 4:32-35 and Romans 15:20-28. What happened here? Could it be that the Jerusalem believers swung the pendelum too far in getting rid of all their possessions and now needed to be taken care of by others?

Also, Paul told the rich believers to be "generous and ready to share" 1 Tim 6:18. Why didn't he tell them to sell all their possessions and to downsize?

Carolyn Cassady

March 24, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Personally I am tried of Pastors putting God's people on guilt trips...
Everyone needs to serve in the same box ..obedience to the personal convictions of another...so lets beat our brothers and sisters into submission...Our BOX... God is bigger than that.....There are people all around us suffering and yes we are to have compassion .. go out... give generously........Sin is that of unbelief...We have forgotten or don't know who we are ....It's about identity in Christ... who works in each of us to His Glory... Materialistic ..Yes when we put our love for whatever before God....We could live with less...Thankfulness and content in what you have.......It's about falling in love with the Mighty Creator...
.......allowing HIM to inspire you....let your heart burn with HIS love..and he will greatly use you to bless others...........He is far reaching........

Unity in the Body of Christ
4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”
9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? [1] 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds [2] and teachers, [3] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, [4] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
The New Life
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, [5] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you

Herb

March 23, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Hi! Rick I want to thank you for sharing your viewpoint regarding comments about the “Radical” book. Julian, I also appreciate your views and the views of everyone who has taken the time to comment on such an important topic.

Rick’s last message included “@Julian Batchelor” at the beginning of the post. I wasn’t quite sure if it meant the post was directed “at” (meaning toward) Julian’s post or perhaps it was posted @ (from) Julian’s account. I cracked up when I read, “Thee protest much sir.” It reminded me of of a version of Shakespeare’s quote by Queen Gertrude when she says, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”. If the comment is toward my previous post, it is well taken and humbly accepted. The use of the word ”sir” in Rick’s message and because I don’t really see anything in Julian’s comments leading me to believe she’s hung up on divesting oneself of assets to help the poor, so I'm guessing the post is directed toward my comments.

If the comments are directed toward my posting, I understand the miscommunication.

I’d like to say, “I’m not hung up on the divesting oneself of assets to help the poor and consider it an important responsibility of Christians.” I fully believe we should “Go” and to be “Sent”. In my opening statement I wrote, “We need to take a serious look at our churches affluent model of Christianity, materialism, and negating a radical obedience to Christ.” I do feel David Platt’s view is correct that we need to do more. The effrontery is that in cases like the example regarding the amount donated toward a new building versus the amount given to help the Sudanese, I don’t feel the book is comparing “apples to apples” in supporting his view. The comparison becomes trivial given the importance and power of the book’s overall message.

My main point was that we should all have faith and there’s no doubt God will provide our needs. At the same time, we should be intelligent in the way we help others. In studying socioeconomics, culture, and poverty in graduate school, we were made aware that if we’re not careful to define parameters and meet certain criteria, we can actually exacerbate the problem and cause more harm than good. The plight of many short term mission trips with loving hearts and good intentions are filled with such stories. Julian makes an excellent point that we need to define terms like evangelism, the gospel, and how our goal/purpose is to evangelize the world for the glory of God. To properly evangelize and make lasting change in spiritual matters, our methods need to include many support systems including a respect for different cultural belief systems and the inclusion of the people being served. A great book discussing such issues is: “When Helping Hurts-How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor and Yourself” by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert . I encourage anyone actually considering getting radical for Jesus by following the guidelines in the Radical book to read it.

Rick, I’m wondering if you really feel that old school learning from traditional American church institutions is truly destroying Christianity? With all of the American church’s flaws, complacency, and need to reevaluate their mission, Christianity today is stronger than ever. Thirty three percent of the world’s population considers themselves Christian. I don’t claim all are on fire for God and I’ll be the first to admit we have far to go, yet there are over two billion Christians living in the world. The World Christian Database projects Christianity to grow by over 52% between 2000 -2050. Much of this is a direct result of the very institutions that we’ve been so quick to condemn.

I appreciate and understand your comment: “When Holy Spirit elects you to a mission for the glory of God. You never tire, you never stumble. God gives you every little thing to expand his kingdom.” To that, I say, “Amen.” It reinforces my feelings when I referred to Philippians 4:13 by saying, (I) “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (me). I’m so glad this has been your experience. I’m sure your blessings have been many and I admire and respect you for allowing God to work through you by taking on such a prodigious responsibility. For whatever reason, this isn’t always the experience of others. Whether they’re not prayed up, it’s not God’s will, or they’re dealing with other issues. The fact remains that both in a secular setting and in such prestigious Christian counseling centers as the Minirth or Meir clinics, people are counseled everyday for feeling overwhelmed, stressed, inadequate, depressed, and burned out because they failed to live up to such challenges.

Once again, thanks Kevin and to everyone for their reviews. A special thanks to David Platt for passionately wanting the American church to reevaluate their current structure and become radical in their desire to share the gospel.

[...] towards the self-giving cross that is the center of the Christian faith. While I do share some of Kevin DeYoung’s concerns about his book—and some of his approach in general—I think his is a prophetic and needed voice [...]

Rob Nash

March 21, 2011 at 09:07 PM

Hey, I just want to say, thank you. Thank you Kevin for your honest review and thank you David for your forth right response. It is great to see your hearts and minds pursue truth. God is glorified in such open debates. And I praise Him for your concern for God to remain the center and the gospel to remain untainted. Thank you! I look forward to chatting more in the great reunion of eternity some day. Then we shall all see much more clearly. Blessings brothers.

Rob

Rick Weiss

March 16, 2011 at 09:20 PM

@ Julian Batchelor Thee protest much sir.
Much of David Platts book Radical tells us to Go. To be Sent.
Apparently your hung up on the divesting oneself of assets to help the poor.
Personally I find your posting does reflect old school learning from the very institutions that has been destroying Christianity.
As a evangelist in four Michigan prisons I feel a need to tell you an error in your post.
When Holy Spirit elects you to a mission for the glory of God. .. You never tire, you never stumble. God gives you every little thing to expand his kingdom.

Julian Batchelor

March 16, 2011 at 06:45 PM

Hi,
I am deeply disappointed that Radical resources don't make absolutely clear the goal/purpose of the Christian Church on the earth. Our goal/purpose is to evangelise the world for the glory of God i.e. Of the five versions of the Great Commission in the New Testament, Mark's is most clear: 'go into all the world and proclaim the gospel'

That everyone on the earth hears and understands the gospel message not just once but multiple times is THE goal.

Critical terms like 'evangelism' and 'the gospel' are not defined in the Radical series. This will leave readers as hazy and confused about the goal of the Church as they were before they started the Radical series - maybe even more confused.

The author has missed the opportunity to clear the fog.

I guess it shows how far even many of our leaders have shifted from the very DNA of the New Testament.

I was pleased to see the reviewer (Kevin Deyoung) getting close to picking this up. Jesus' stump speech was actually 'go into all the world and proclaim the gospel.' Central to this message is 'repent and believe the gospel.'

Kevin says: "Fourth, I worry that radical and crazy Christianity cannot be sustained. If the message of Jesus translates into “Give more away” or “Sacrifice for the gospel” or “Get more radical” we will end up with burned out evangelicals. Even when Jesus said his hard saying (and he said a lot of them) it was not his basic stump speech. His message was repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15).

In response David Platt responds by saying:
"He (i.e. Kevin Deyoung) mentions that Jesus’ “stump speech” was, “Repent and believe the Gospel,” and I could not agree more.

I find David's response flabbergasting! How can he say 'I could not agree more' when the urgency and priority of the going into the world and proclaiming the gospel to all people everywhere is vague and peripheral in the Radical Resources? Is this just rhetoric or what? If he couldn't agree more, why was it not central in the Radical series?

I was left thinking 'Does David even know what 'evangelism' and 'the gospel' (as Mark uses it in Mark 16:15) really are? I think not.

David, my prayer and hope is that you would produce a sequel to your current series which would focus entirely on the goal of the Christian Church. Then, and only then, will you help bring the body of Christ full focus back to the DNA of Jesus.

We'll be praying.

A Critique of Radical! | niddriepastor

June 7, 2011 at 04:35 AM

[...] being said, there is an even-handed critique here from Kevin DeYoung about this book here. I know that often this means that people end up reading the critiques rather than the book itself [...]

[...] If you’ve heard of David Platt, I’m sure your aware of the growing trend in certain evangelical circles of re-evaluating our lifestyles in light of the great commission.  As with any personal conviction, there are proponents and opponents.  Recently, Kevin DeYoung and Platt had a very friendly back and forth about the subject, which can be read here. [...]

Radical by David Platt Book Review

June 24, 2010 at 08:02 AM

[...] and more critical review of Radical read Kevin DeYoung’s review and dialogue with David Platt here.  While I agree with much of what DeYoung wrote, I would like to offer a couple observations [...]

June Linkathons « BrianD blog

June 23, 2010 at 02:04 PM

[...] Kevin DeYoung’s likes and dislikes on David Platt’s book Radical, and Platt’s response. [...]

Relating to the World Around Us « Endued

June 15, 2010 at 11:42 AM

[...] to the World Around Us Posted on June 15, 2010 by Scott Kistler Kevin DeYoung offers a review and critique of David Platt’s Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, and includes a response [...]

[...] I’m not saying that Platt’s path is the path for everyone.  I just thought that it was worth passing on.  Also, it’s interesting how an American pastor was impacted by the global church.  You can see a review, critique, and author’s response regarding Platt’s recent book here. [...]

Thomas Brunt

July 6, 2013 at 12:11 PM

One bad thing though about this book, (very few bad thing's about the book): Would it cost true followers who really know the Lord to start doubting themselves about their belief & faith in Christ?

[...] I’m not saying that Platt’s path is the path for everyone.  I just thought that it was worth passing on.  Also, it’s interesting how an American pastor was impacted by the global church.  You can see a review, critique, and author’s response regarding Platt’s recent book here. [...]

[...] language.  I strongly doubt that Platt would disagree with these points (see his discussion with Kevin DeYoung, for example), so I do not exactly mean these as criticisms.  They are more [...]

Diane

July 21, 2010 at 03:17 PM

I just bought this book today and have been looking at the study guide material with plans to lead a study with college and twenty-somethings in the fall. First, I truly appreciate the sincere brotherhood between these two men of God. It is a good example that you may disagree on issues, but discuss them with grace and respect.

My husband was on church staff over a large flourishing youth group until a few years ago. We came to a place where we could no longer stand the knowledge that we were teaching these young people biblical principals that were anything but being lived out in the multi-million dollar, corporate-run establishment we called "church" that looked nothing at all like the humble Body of Christ that was instituted after the sacrifice of our Lord. A dawning moment came to me when I was standing in the hallway of the church tearing down VBS decorations and preparing to trash them. Thousands of dollars are spent yearly to make many VBS programs more alluring than the church down the street. The same can be said of youth programs, senior programs, etc...

As I stood there with hundred of dollars worth of "stuff" in my arms and at my feet, a young man came to the church office, baby in tow, asking for some help with a $70 electric bill. He was, as is standard "church" practice, told that it would go before committee and he could leave his name and number and they would get back to him if it was passed. Now, I realize that people scam and abuse the church often and that great discernment needs to be used when distributing financial resources; even bringing the baby in with him could likely have been a false plea for pity. The child might have not even been his, however, the point remains that in the American church as a whole, we have become completely comfortable in our own situation and are more interested in having the biggest and best inside our church buildings to draw more numbers in the door, that we have forgotten what it means to have a true heart of compassion for people truly hurting inside the body as well as outside the walls. Most church goers will never see the ugly inside of the Monday morning staff meeting that makes it apparent that the numbers game has little to do with souls being saved, rather it is often so the leadership can crow among themselves and within their associations that they are the fastest growing, baptizing the most people or bringing in the most money. My husband was called into full time ministry out of 20 years of working in a corporate environment with the thought that there would be hours of praying together and seeking God's power and direction. He was quickly disillusioned to find that the church he was staffed in ran things in a more corporate, business fashion than anything he had been a part of in his previous secular position. The pastor loved calling himself the CEO. That should leave no room for misunderstanding.

After leaving this church, we planted a new church that has no paid staff, no owned building and we encourage our body to 1st meet the needs of people that God puts in their path during the week and if they want to give an offering to the church fund, we use it to help members of the body as well as the community and throughout the world. We have several men of God who have the gift of preaching and teaching deliver the message, we have a mulitude of people leading praise and worship instead of a set "worship leader" and we encourage small groups througout the week in people's homes rather than Sunday school, youth group, etc... It has been an amazing journey to watch the transformation of God's people who have always been told by a man in the pulpit what they need to do with their time and their money - where selfish motivation is surely to get in the way many times - to teaching them to seek the leading of the Spirit of God with the resource and gifts that He has purposed to them as individuals. What greater joy can come from seeking God's will and then being a part of the plans that He is accomplishing for His glory. It hasn't been an easy transition - we are looked at as traitors by many with whom we used to fellowship and work beside because what we are doing is making Christians in our community ask questions about their own journey of discipleship. But to walk in obedience to the leading of God rarely brings accolades. I would; however, much rather welcome the scorn of man now and receive a "well done" from from our Lord later.

Sorry I've been so wordy - but this is a passionate subject with us as we have been on the inside of what is called "church" and now are a part of who is the "Church". The sweetness in the Body of Christ really can be the encouragement that is meant to spur us on as The Day approaches! Blessings ~

Richard Weiss

July 16, 2011 at 10:40 AM

@ Morris
I guess instead of writing from the hip in my truck I should have replayed to you using my Greek parable Bible as to be more correct in my postings.
Literally you are right, and i wholly understand the difference between exegesis and eisegesis.

Though my words come also from experience in Mission with Holy Spirit, seeing God move first hand in his calling of his own to himself. Friend, ( do I dare call you brother?) To hold to the New testament without physical interaction with Holy Spirit is in error.

The followers of the way in those first decades were dependent 100% on the actions of Holy Spirit, there was no Bible and they carried no Scrolls, Holy Spirit gave them there words and directly led them and brought the chosen to them.

Nothing has changed.

God Bless you , Rick

Rick Weiss

July 16, 2011 at 09:54 AM

@kern
If a person truely followed the Lord would they not as a love offering desire to pay there own way?

Kern Pegues

July 16, 2011 at 08:14 AM

Besides all the money churches spend on buildings and staff. How about all the money that is spent on people attending seminars that many of the pastors are speaking at. Not only the cost of the seminar, but paying the speakers expenses ie, flights,meals, hotel rooms, and usually not just for them but their spouses and teams.

Kern

Rick Weiss

July 15, 2011 at 12:12 AM

@karuizawa
Hi
God Bless:)
hmm first and formost Jesus said love YOur God with everything, EVERYTHING,,,not happening very often in America where EVERYTHING takes us away from God.
Second Love you Neighbor more than yourself,,, Really? even wetbacks, blacks and Nancy Pelosi? Jesus said EVERYBODY

Jesus also said to not let anything come between him and us ( he does not mention wife though, probably becasue a wife needs to be yoked with her husband as one) In Amertica EVERYTHING comes between us and Jesus

American Religion is an Incubator for hell

Morris Brooks

July 15, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Actually, Rick, it love your neighbor as yourself, not more than yourself. Paul follows this command up with some commentary in Romans in saying that love does no wrong to a neigbor so as to give us some insight on what it means to love your neighbor; and Christ also gives us insight into what this means in Matthew 7:12 when He tells us to treat people the same way you want them to treat you.

Morris Brooks

July 15, 2011 at 04:58 PM

Rick,

1. Don't stretch the definition of the word agape beyond the context in which it is used. To love our neighbors as ourselves sets the boundary for our interpretation and application of agape in that verse. Context should always rule our interpretation, especially specific instruction.

2.Don't confuse the command to love our neighbors as ourselves, (which, again, you misquoted and misapplied), with the command Christ gave us to love one another as He has loved us. There is a different level of love expected to be given to those in the family of God versus those outside the family of God. For example, look at the use of beloved of God in connection with those that are called and chosen. You will never find God calling beloved anyone that is not His own...ie those of the world/unbelievers.

My friend, it is not frog hairs. Precision leads to clarity, and clarity to proper application; and proper application leads to a life that bears fruit and is well pleasing to God because it aligns properly with His word. Making the Scripture say less or more than it actually says ultimately leads us away from the truth, regardless of the sincerity of our intentions.

Rick Weiss

July 15, 2011 at 02:50 PM

@Morris
Frog hairs?
Friend. Jesus said to turn the other cheek and to comply under force and to give a theif your other possessions. Friend this is no doubt a love greater than yourself. Google the type of love Jesus and Paul speak of and that would be Agappe love. A love of neighbor that puts his wellbeing above your own.
Which is a rare thing I'n religion.

The Christ demands that we die to self as we love our neighbor so if we fade from self while building up our neighbor then I'n fact we are loving him more than ourself.

Morris when was the last time you saw I'n Religion people people going without as they bless others ?

karuizawa

July 14, 2011 at 07:21 PM

Mark 10:21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” So, is that a command for all Christians to follow? Was Jesus talking to a believer or unbeliever? Could it be that in this case, Jesus knew that the rich man was trusting in his riches and not in Him and He, therefore, confronted the unbelieving man about his misplaced trust? What about "rich christians"? Should they sell all they have and give to the poor to be "spiritual"? Or should they follow Paul's advice - 1Tim. 6:17   As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Just wondering. I often find that the Bible sheds light on a lot of commentaries that I have read.

Rick Weiss

July 14, 2011 at 06:36 PM

@Ryan
I agree with Andrew. Every one needs to be sent. Be it foreign mission or local needs Jesus calls all of his to be his hands I'n this world. It's sad that church attendees believe that there followers of Christ by being pew sitters.
Jesus is very harsh and firm I'n his requirements to follow him. Platt. Chan. Gotchell. Piper are voices calling out I'n the wilderness of American religion to turn away from the American dream and live your life as Jesus Commands.

andrew

July 13, 2011 at 05:56 PM

@Ryan:

this issue, and Platt's book, have almost nothing to do with foreign missions aside from utilizing examples of sold-out Christ-followers. i think you may be presuming or generalizing a bit too much... ;O)

i, personally, DO NOT believe everyone is called to foreign missions, but i wholeheartedly agree with Platt's general premise.

BTW, Platt is saying nothing that John Piper hasn't been saying for the better part of 30 years, see him here [http://youtu.be/dQhIxvaqteo] in 1998 .

the church in the West desperately needs to open its ears to Platt's message. Platt (and others like him) need to swings WAY OUT into controversial territory and offend some people in order for some of us to listen.

just food for thought.

in Him,

~a

Ryan

July 12, 2011 at 01:00 PM

While I trust Dr. Platt has godly intentions for writing this book, his criticism is like a shotgun. He sprays critiques in countless directions towards the Western church with sweeping presumptions and categories that can confuse the reader precisely because Platt is so humble in character.

I wish this camp of "radical revivalists" would come out and simply speak their mind - which is that they clearly believe we are all called to foreign missions, and anything less would be disobedience to Christ. At least then we can have an honest discussion.

Book, The Walkin' Bible

January 29, 2011 at 06:33 PM

I am 30 years old. I grew up in one of the worst neighborhoods in St. Louis. I do not know how much is too much, but i do know that without a White man and his wife who chose to be RADICAL, I would be dead, in jail, or a hypocritical preacher with no integrity. What did they do? Instead of going out to dinner every Friday, they came down to the city and taught a Bible Study for teens. And instead of sleeping in on Sunday mornings, they got up early and drove the church bus around the city to pick up kids and bring them to church. The reason why they burnt out was not because they were doing too much; it was because other saints were unwilling to share the burden. People thought that since they gave tithes and that money helped pay for the gas in the vehicle, then it was enough. No, brothers and sisters, David Platt is not the problem. The problem is that most people in the church spend more time trying to ease their conscience by telling themselves that they are doing enough. To the sister who is recovering, my heart goes out to you. You take them meds because the Lord has ordained doctors and medication. And I am going to be going before the throne on your behalf until you get past the anxiety. We are called to bear one another's burdens and in so doing fulfill the Law of Love. And you have just showed me something I have to watch out for as I do ministry. Pastors need to come up with plans that monitor how much a member is involved in. You were doin too much! You should have had older women in the faith to reprimand you for being overly involved. You should have had church leaders and ministry leaders who took you out of ministries or at least forced you to narrow your involvement down to 2 since you were working and doing school. that is not your fault. May the Lord be merciful to those whose watch you were under.

BH

January 25, 2011 at 07:50 PM

Dear Heather,

I relate to your story. I highly recommend "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" by David Johnson, "The Ragamuffin Gospel" and "Abba's Child" by Brennan Manning, and "Tired of Trying to Measure Up" by Jeff VanVonderan. I am very familiar with self-loathing and the crippling effects of religious effort. The love and overflowing favor of God is very real, and, thankfully, we needn't do a thing to earn it. Thank you so much for your courage and transparency in sharing your perspective and story. May the abundant peace, love, and favor of God be yours as you continue to journey onward. Shalom.

Morris Brooks

January 24, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Heather,

Unfortunately your story is all too common. May I recommend the books, "The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges, and "Lord I Need Grace to Make It" by Kay Arthur. I have seen them used to bring healing to both heart and soul. It is never about our performance, but about His grace.

Morris

Rick Weiss

January 24, 2011 at 08:31 AM

@Heather
Peace to you sister.
Many feel that I am on that same path. I am a carpenter, Yet the time I spend ministering in prisons does not wear on me as many people say. Mostly because God sent me where I did not wish to go and then gave me a heart to serve him. ( about a hundred plus days a year)
And when you read scripture and count the times Jesus went off to be alone. It tells us that we need to take care of ourselves.

I wish I knew you to just chat in a leisurely setting. If possible I wonder if you would enjoy being at a retreat house where you may be made anew.

God bless you. My heart goes out to you
Rick

Rick Weiss

January 24, 2011 at 03:40 PM

Morris
hi

We are reading The Discipline of Grace at Mens Sunday School
Which refered us to Miltons Vincents Book " A Gospel Primer"
FYI

Its a pretty good book for the soul

God Bless you for careing about people

Rick

Anybody read David Platt's book "Radical"

January 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM

[...] Alabama) and his book may be another matter. There is a review of it by Kevin DeYoung at Getting to the Root of Radical: A Review and Response – Kevin DeYoung. You might want to read it before getting the [...]

Heather

January 23, 2011 at 04:47 PM

To provide some context for my comment, I need to give a little background. I grew up in a Christian home and became a believer at the age of 5. Our family was in the "radical" movement of the early 1990s - homeschooling. My parents desired to live lives of radical obedience and they instilled that desire in me. I grew up reading missionary biographies, serving in various ministries, striving for purity of heart and life, and my dreams in life all revolved around doing great deeds to advance the glory and gospel of Christ. When time came to go to college, I was off to Boyce at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I loved the Lord passionately and desired to serve him radically. If I had read Radical back then, I probably would have loved it. I heard David Platt speak in chapel, the day he quoted Romans 1-8 from memory- Wow. I joined (in my opinion) the most incarnational, nitty-gritty, biblically-functioning church in Louisville. I participated in inner-city Muslim refugee evangelism. I was there for worship on Sunday mornings, care group Sunday evenings, prayer meeting on Wednesdays, ministry planning meetings in between. I volunteered for VBS with the inner-city kids, joined the nursery ministry, and gave almost all my savings when we started an adoption fund. Oh, did I mention I was working two jobs to pay for my room, board, and the two classes I could afford? Or that I was staying up till 2 am every night to get my homework done and then getting up at 6 for a full day of work? And then there was the nursing home I went to once a week to witness to the residents. But I discovered that you can always do one more thing (I thought). There is always one more sacrifice and can (and supposedly should) make for Jesus - Who died for you, after all! Like a spiritual anorexic, I tried to spend less and less and less at the grocery store...with the result that within a few months I weighed less and less and less. I never rested, read a book for pleasure, watched a movie, or got together with friends anymore. I couldn't understand why I didn't have the joy and excitement about Jesus that I used to have. Sometimes I kind of wished He hadn't died for me so that I could just have one normal day - read a book, take a nap, go climb a tree or something. And then, one day, rather suddenly - I quit. I just snapped. And I went home. And I discovered what the deepest possible depression feels like. Because I had failed to persevere. I hadn't endured to the end. I hadn't given all, and I just knew I must be elected to damnation. It's been a little over a year now, and thanks to my wonderful parents and some biblical-counseling-forbidden anti-depressants (and NO thanks to Pastor Platt, whom I'm sure means very well), I'm no longer considering whether it would be better to die now and go immediately to hell or wait out the remainder of my life in anticipation of going to hell later (yes, that is seriously how I was thinking), but I also haven't fully recovered the joy of my salvation. I struggle with bitterness that preachers could actually have the gall to use Jesus' love as a guilt tactic to make me work myself into the ground. I fight feelings that God loathes me and for a year now have barely prayed because I get anxiety attacks whenever I try to go before the throne of grace. So yes, your concerns are well-grounded. I know I am not just an oddball. I know the desire to get people to live out their faith is well-intentioned, but the disease is better than the cure. There are major, major problems here.

Desrae

January 21, 2011 at 03:03 AM

I agree that Christ wants total devotion and sacrifice. I am motivated to do better. However, I think the book misses what the American dream truly is. History tells us that the American dream is not about greed it is about freedom: Freedom of Religion, freedom from despotism, freedom from class restrictions, equality of men, freedom from unfair taxation, freedom to give my money to the poor if I want to, freedom to worship Christ in a radical way if I want to. It is as the Declaration of independence says an acknowledgement that all men are created equal (men can't put themselves above others because they are born into an elite family) and that we are endowed by our creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Mr. Platt acknowledges that many countries are not free to worship God as they choose. They need the American Dream and I agree we can be more generous in helping them get closer to that goal. I agree that some have misinterpreted the American Dream and think it means they deserve a bigger house, so maybe the book title should be “Taking back the American Dream with Faith.”
The American dream as stated byHistorian James Truslow Adams coined the phrase "American Dream" in his 1931 book Epic of America:
The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, also too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.[1]
And later he wrote:

The American Dream, that has lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily. It has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as a man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class.
Martin Luther King Jr. in his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" (1963) rooted the civil rights movement in the black quest for the American dream:[5]

"We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. . . . when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence."
This is the American Dream I believe in and is consistent with living the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here are some other great quotes:
We believe that what matters most is not narrow appeals masquerading as values, but the shared values that show the true face of America; not narrow values that divide us, but the shared values that unite us: family, faith, hard work, opportunity and responsibility for all, so that every child, every adult, every parent, every worker in America has an equal shot at living up to their God given potential. That is the American dream and the American value.
- Senator John Kerry
There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream.
Freedom and the power to choose should not be the privilege of wealth. They are the birthright of every American.

- George Herbert Walker Bush
Where liberty dwells, there is my country.
- Benjamin Franklin


America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way around. Human rights invented America.
- Jimmy Carter

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…my 2011 book list… « Be The Gospel

January 18, 2011 at 10:01 AM

[...] – David Platt (The only person so far who I heard didn’t like it was Kevin DeYoung.  Thats a pretty good [...]

Radical

January 17, 2011 at 05:09 PM

[...] to say. Kevin DeYoung also has some very helpful thoughts and interaction with David Platt here: Getting to the Root of Radical: a Review and Response Joel S., V7PC (PCA) MAR Student, Reformed Theological Seminary Website: Joelws.com My Reading [...]

[…] Kevin Deyoung – “. . . Not everything here is helpful.” […]

Hard Sayings and Love Songs « Out of the Mire

January 13, 2011 at 11:21 AM

[...] Now, Platt does make some important points, and I won’t throw it all away.  Adams’ definition of the American dream is good from one perspective, but if we as a nation are only interested in pursuing our own individual rise to success and prosperity through the ranks at the expense of others, then we have a huge problem.  The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we are our brother’s keeper.  The wealthy have a responsibility to look after the poor and vulnerable.  We should not look away from those that are suffering.  You may think that you can do nothing, but you can.  That is one of Platt’s points, and it’s a good one.  He vilifies the rich and relies too heavily on a few biblical accounts which I think he misinterprets.  He is far too black and white in his exegesis and misses the Jewish cultural context from which he draws his biblical accounts.  He is, however, heartbroken and full of compassion for the extraordinary amount of human suffering which he has seen, and he is calling for American Christians at large to make some fundamental changes so that the very wealthy American church can make an impact.  For this alone, I commend him and share his heart.  If you want to read a very detailed review of David Platt’s book which I found very helpful in my emotional state, you can find it here. [...]

Sheri Kok

January 11, 2013 at 04:56 AM

Does it count if I share the gospel with a wealthy American (that I met while running my successful business in Southern California) who has never heard the gospel... or would you think better of me if I gave up my successful business and moved to the other side of the world to witness to a poor Asian person who had never heard the gospel? That second scenario would really showcase my devotion to Christ...people would be impressed. Hey, I would be impressed with myself! No one would ever even hear about my interaction with the wealthy American. Like it or not, intentional or not, Platt's book gives higher marks if you go to a foreign country and concentrate on helping poor people. If our American churches are so filled with deluded pew occupants, why not start there or with the neighbor next door, or the guy you hired to paint your house (or do you feel guilty for owning a house while people are starving?) Someday it will be the right time for me to pass this business to someone else and perhaps go abroad to do something that is formally a mission- perhaps not. In the meantime, I think I will continue to run my business with integrity, honoring God and serving my customers well so that I can provide for myself and my family and also have something to share with those in need-weather close by or far away. And I will thank God for french fries and my house and give Him the glory for all things while living a quiet, peaceable life. I will wrestle with the temptation to over- indulge myself, to oevereat, to lie, to cheat, to steal in subtle ways to be lazy and self-centered. I will cry to God for my unsaved son. I will pray for my husband's health. I will sing in the church choir and bring a plate of muffins to my neighbor who broke her foot. I am an ordinary Christian. To God be the glory.

JACOB

January 10, 2011 at 02:25 PM

I really liked the book and the comments. Thanks everyone.

BH

February 9, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Amen, Cynthia!

cynthia

February 9, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Hi Heather, My heart broke after reading your experience. I was starting to feel guilty as I was reading David Platts book. I am sure he wrote it from a passionate heart based on his life experiences, but they are his experiences, not mine and not yours. God gently reminded me through His Spirit that He has me right where I am supposed to be at this time in history in a place that he has blessed with prosperity and freedom. He does not want us to walk around feeling guilty (Romans 8:1,2). I believe that one of the things the church has neglected as a whole is the fact that when Jesus was leaving and would no longer be the earthly example to those around Him he promised that He was going to send a helper (John 16:5-13)and it is that Helper, Counselor that will do the work of convicting and changing hearts. The truth is, the church has grieved the HS on so may levels. There is either an over use of the HS (ie.spiritual gifts) or only an acknowledgment of the HS as part of the trinity. What the church so often does is create an atmosphere of needs. They set up programs, a lot of them and then tell people they need to serve. Part of the problem with that is we have become focused on ourselves and programs take up peoples time. So now some people are reacting to years of that and go to the extreme... get out there and change the world!
When Mary poured the costly perfume on the feet of Jesus, Judas rebuked her and basically Jesus said leave her alone, the poor will always be among us. It's not that we have costly things and need to sell it all to give to the poor...if we did that we would all be the poor! But the example is that our focus needs to be on Jesus and then to be led by God's spirit in all things.
All this to say that God loves us so very much, He loves you Heather and never intended for His way to be burdensome. So take this time to rest and to trust Him enough to know that He desires a relationship with you so that He can show you more of who He is and not what religion has made Him to be. God is not a task master that says if you don't do ABC&D then I will not be happy with you and bless you. Take this challenge...start reading His word just to get to know Him. Understand that apart from Him we can do nothing but with God all things are possible. It is the Holy Spirit that will lead you into all truth (John 16:13)and it is God's Holy Spirit that will lead you in all areas of your life if
you just listen. Don't allow the enemy to speak lies to you but just as Jesus did, speak the truth of what God's word says back to him. I wonder how many Christians have done good things outside of the power of God. If we just accept where we are now and allow the Spirit to lead us, there will be fruit and there will be joy and there will be rest. My prayers are with you and I really mean it.

cynthia

February 9, 2011 at 01:05 PM

Woah, Book, The walkin Bible, Pastors do not need to come up with a plan, nor do we. We need to be led by God's Spirit in everything. He is the One who plans our way. We need to abide. You may be in the wrong kind of church if there are all kinds of expectations heaped on you. The pastors are to teach and equip and hopefully that is Spirit led. If we all were really led by God's Spirit then no one would get burnt out and needs would be met and the gospel would go out to all those who need and desire God.

BH

February 4, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Thank YOU, Bill. I think that these conversations are so good because they make me stop, evaluate what I believe, and cause me to go directly to the texts, and then, of course, to God. And, you know, God's word never returns empty (Is. 55:11). It's purposeful. It's been a privilege to "talk" with you.

bill stroup

February 4, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Thanks again BH. BTW, you have a good webpage I found by clicking on your logo.

BH

February 4, 2011 at 11:38 AM

I think I know what you are saying. It doesn't really matter if the guy believed that Christ was the Messiah or not really. I know people who, in fact, believe that Christ is the Messiah, but they don't have a relationship with him. That isn't the point of the text. I agree with you that this text is not a "proof text" that all wealthy people must give all their belongings away to the poor and embrace poverty as well. What is your definition of "wealthy" or "rich"? Compared to many parts of the planet, most Westerners would be considered wealthy. And, one cannot discount an attitude of vilification towards the "haves" in this country. Historically, this is often the case in most countries. And, asceticism is not a new spiritual idea. Again, this text isn't really about wealth. I know wealthy people who are very responsible; their wealth is not a stumbling block for them or their relationship with God. They are hindered by other issues. So, the idea in this passage is to lay down what hinders you. What was keeping this rich young ruler from accompanying Jesus? His wealth. For some, it might be their position in society. For others, it might be a career. Does this mean we quit our jobs? I don't think so. It means that we sit down humbly with Jesus, our friend, the one who loves us the best, and find out what need we are trying to meet, and allow him to meet that need in us. The process of sanctification is just that--a process. It takes a lifetime, but if we truly believe that he is the Messiah--that he came to restore us to full relationship with God the Father as well as bring about the Kingdom of God in the world and in our lives--then our humanity in all its fullness will be returned to us, too, just as Christ was fully human. And, that is why we can lay aside our crutches and idols. The rich young ruler didn't really know that or believe it, and he forgot one thing--Prov. 19:17 "If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD--and he will repay you!"

bill stroup

February 4, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Thank you, BH, for you comments. I guess that I am not convinced that the rich guy was a "believer". There were plenty of Israelites who followed Jesus who were not believers - John 2:23   Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. The rich guy in Mark 10 was a good, Jewish commandment keeper .... but he wasn't like the Apostle Paul who was "slayed" by the Law when he realized what true righteousness was (Rom 8).

Now, if you think that the rich man was a believer (albeit a confused believer) in the Lord and was asking for clarification on eternal life ..... then you are confronted with a problem. If you are a believer, then are you living in obedience and have you sold all that you have to follow the Lord?

If the rich man is an good, Jewish unbeliever then Jesus's command to sell all of your stuff is directed specifically to him ..... to show him that he has done a lot, but "a lot" isn't enough to inherit eternal life. If you follow on down in the passage, the disciples clearly understood that the conversation Jesus had with the rich guy was concerning salvation. "Who can be saved?" .

So, here is what I am getting at. Mark 10 is not a proof text for believers to sell all their stuff especially in light of Paul's words to Timothy about rich people in the church - 1Tim. 6:17   As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,

BH

February 4, 2011 at 09:11 AM

The rich young ruler was not an "unbeliever" as far as this account goes. He was a Jew. He called Jesus "Teacher" or Rabbi. The young man came to Jesus to say that he had been a faithful Jew his entire life keeping the Mosaic laws. of which there are over 600. It may even be possible that this young man knew that Jesus was the Messiah. According to Mark 10: 17 AMP: "And as he was setting out on His journey, a man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, Teacher (Rabbi) [You are essentially and perfectly morally] good, what must I do to inherit eternal life [that is to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah's kingdom]?" In Jewish tradition, only God is to be called 'good' so this young man was essentially calling Jesus 'God'. It may very well be that this man was, in fact, a believer. He admits to being a completely faithful Jew since boyhood, and Jesus does not deny this. The text says that he looked at him and loved him. The young man wanted to know what guarantee he had for eternal life. He wanted another thing to do, another law to fulfill. I am Jewish on my father's side--the temptation to legalism in Judaism is fierce. V. 21 notes that Jesus saw a lack. He told the man to sell all he had and give the money to the poor. He would have treasure in heaven, and THEN accompany Jesus. There was an invitation to relationship while leaving legalism behind, but the young man had to give up the one thing that would hinder an authentic relationship with the living Messiah. This passage is not about money. It isn't even about poverty although is points out the difficulty for those who possess wealth. It is much harder for those who are wealthy to learn reliance of God because it is so easy for them to be self-reliant. And, once you've had a taste of such dramatic comfort and ease, who would want to give it up? Essentially, this passage is about understanding that you can be completely faithful in keeping every aspect of the Mosaic law, and it doesn't count toward a vibrant relationship with Jesus. Legalism does not equal relationship, and if there is something in your life that is hindering your ability to walk with God and draw authentic life from him, then it must go. If you can't let it go, if you are afraid because you do, in fact, draw life from it, then rely on the truth in the verse 1 John 4:18: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.", and ask God to deepen your experience of His love for you so that your fear will be eradicated in that process of being more deeply loved. The things in life which hinder you will eventually fall away, and you will be able to leave them behind and accompany Jesus on the road. The Christian life is about transformation, and fear and legalism never transform.

bill stroup

February 4, 2011 at 07:58 AM

Maybe I overlooked a post or two, but I was looking for someone to comment on the use of Mark 10 (rich man) in Radical. The rich man is an unbeliever asking how to be saved, no? Jesus confronts him about his "idols". He goes straight to the point of how his heart is wrapped around his riches. The man turns and walks away. How is this a command for believers to follow? Am I missing something?

John Leonardson

February 27, 2012 at 10:24 AM

I read the book and enjoyed much of it, but the challenge left me hanging. What is discipleship? It's not just doing things, but moving in closer to Jesus and becoming more like Him in every way. I would have loved to have seen the core of discipleship set forth. Remember, the US is a foreign mission field to other countries and we have millions of people who have never heard the gospel of the Kingdom.

Craig

February 23, 2012 at 05:09 PM

Congratulations to David and Kevin for discussing this topic in a generous, godly manner.

Joseph Luna

February 21, 2011 at 06:15 PM

One of the most tragic and "blasphemous" understanding that we have of God the Father is found in almost every preacher, teacher and pastor who has gone through our biblical schools. David Platt is not exception to the tragedy of not knowing the true love of the Father towards His creation (Jn 3:16). The cross is by no means a declaration of God's wrath against sinners, but rather a worldwide declaration of man's wrath against God. To believe otherwise is to attempt to dissect the Trinity and state that the Father was against the Son when Jesus presented Himself as the Lamb of God that was about to take the sins of the world.

God has never been against us but for us which reveals that the Triune God planned the cross before the foundation of the world in order to reveal His unfathomable love, and bring men around to inherit His most "secret" attribute and become just like Him.

David states on page 35 (iPad) that the cup Jesus was about to drink was the "cup of wrath" of God's holy hatred against sin and sinners stored up since the beginning of creation. Nothing could be further from the truth. God's holy wrath has always been against the devil but not against His children. To prove this please see John 12:31 & 16:11 where Jesus reveals who is about to be judged. However, to explain this a little further, the judgemt of men takes place because of their union to the devil and not because God hates sinners. If that was the case, we would have to admit that Jesus is greater than the Father....

1 John 4:8, 19 that describes who God is at the heart of the matter, so when we distort this view (because we don't know what "love" is, and we are forever confusing it with human love), we come up "famous" sermons like "Sinners in the hands of an angry God", while it should be the complete reverse: "God (Jesus) in the hands of angry sinners."

Enough said, but I love the theme of the book that exposes false Christianity in America. David has a good heart and he is at the right place at the right time. The church (including me) needs to wake up and repent from the false gospel we have been taught to believe.

John 11:31 and 16:11 tells us exactly what God was after: the devil! Jesus came to save us (Jn 3:17) and to judge the devil and the world that submitted to his will.

Karuizawa

February 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Faulty exegesis leads to faulty interpretation. Faulty interpretation leads to faulty application. Faulty application leads to such things as cults, burnout, sin.....

The rich young ruler who in his mind had done enough for SALVATION was exposed by the Lord. He could not become a disciple (believer) unless he quit trusting in his riches and placed his trust in the Lord. This is not a "pattern" for believers to follow in order to become a disciple- sell all you have and follow. In this context to become a believer is to become a disciple.

Rich believers (as Paul wrote to Timothy) are to be generous to the poor - 1
Tim 6:17ff. Why didn't Paul tell the rich believers to sell all they had and become "radical"? You will agree that Paul and Jesus (Mark 10:21) cannot contradict one another, no?

Since, as Kevin DeYoung stated, the rich ruler passage is one of the main passages that "Radical" relies upon ..... shouldn't it be exegeted correctly before it is interpreted and applied?

Morris Brooks

February 20, 2012 at 04:30 PM

Yes, we are to love our neighbor, and engage in good deeds (See Titus chpts 2-3), however, we are not told exactly what that looks like. What it may look like for Chan or Platt may not be what it looks like for you and me. In Romans 14:22-23 we are told that "the faith we have, have as our own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves....and whatever is not from faith is sin." The issue in this chapter and in the first of chapter 15 is the exercise of our faith in light of our liberty in Christ. Not every Christian will see the excercise of their faith in exactly the same way, nor will they have the same convictions. This is normal and acceptable to God. We see a parrallel principle in I Corinthians 12 where not all have the same gifting, ministry, or effects; not all are eyes, feet, etc, but the Spirit has distributed according to His will. Personal convictions are much the same. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desire of your heart. Why? Because He puts the desire in your heart...His desires become your desires.

So, if Francis Chan feels guilt about what he has versus what others don't then he must do what he is convicted about doing. But, that doesn't make it right or mandatory for me. My conviction may be in another area, and that is okay. If both Francis and I do what we are convicted about, then God will receive the glory and His work will be done, and His work is multi-faceted and uses the talents, gifts, opportunities, and convictions He has given each one of us.

It is time for some to stop the guilt-whip, guilt-trip they are laying on the body; and instead encourage them to grow and to ask the Lord to give them the opportunity and matching conviction.

Rick Weiss

February 20, 2012 at 04:06 PM

Sir
While your point of view has merit and in context is applied to Socety 2000 years ago, Times have changed. The point I received from David Platts book while we are involvd in a group study in prison is the analogy of it letting go of your Idols or in things that own you. There is no doubt as Francis Chan pointed out at the Moody Bible College during Founders week that how can you say you love your neighbor when he suffers while you live in luxury.
And how can you say you love God while your neighbor goes without.

Rick Weiss

February 20, 2012 at 03:54 PM

Sir
While your point

Joni Addington

February 17, 2011 at 01:31 PM

It was interesting to me that Kevin felt only "young" Christians would read this book and be mobilized to "radical Christianity." I am a 56 year old woman who has been in the institutional church for 42 years and in leadership for about 30 of those years. Two years ago my husband and I left the institutional church to worship in a more organic fashion. I found David's book very good and far less radical than others that have moved me to action - including Pagan Christianity. I applaud David for responding to the Holy Spirit in a way that puts him in a precarious position with many pastors. I think he is moving in the right direction and hopefully will go further. I look forward to seeing what the Lord has planned for him. Perhaps making the same move as Chan? We can only hope!

Mary Love Seay

February 12, 2012 at 05:40 PM

I agree with both of you. Some points:
Can we please drop "crazy" in reference to authentic Christianity? I know it sounds cool, but it is not true.
Too many congregations are indeed worshipping their buildings. I have seen too much of it.

[...] considering and weighing these words with caution. In this spirit, I recommend you also read Kevin DeYoung’s review and Platt’s response. DeYoung is calling for a more gospel-centric message, and is cautioning against “get [...]

stevie d

December 7, 2010 at 03:57 AM

I think "radical" is just one of many books that are being penned that is flowing out from the heart of God to many Christ followers that understands that we (Church in America)are NOT following the"Jesus" that people read about in the Bible which is, rightly so, causing much confusion.
I sense in Kevin's review, that it might remind him a little bit much of what the "emergers" are saying and I feel he believes he has to stand up to, justify, protect those that are digging their heals in. Just my 2 cents worth.

Paul

August 27, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Amen my brother! Bless you and your passion for the Gospel

[...] and constructive criticism, I should note that Kevin DeYoung has an excellent review of the book here,  and it includes a response from Platt. I would highly recommend reading their exchange, [...]

Paul

August 26, 2011 at 11:08 AM

I think we're just to have to agree to disagree in love... In Christ prayer in John 17 Jesus speaks more about Unity in the Body than anything else. Be careful that We (and I say we because I am preaching to myself too) we give at least equal care for Unity as we do the Truth. I am in agreement that many mainline churches are doing ridiculously sinful things... but no where in scripture does it say "they will know we are Christians by how right we are..." Can we still love those who are in sin? Can't we patiently implore them to return to orthodoxy?

Rick Weiss

August 26, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Paul
yes i agree :) we disagree
As a semi Calvinist and I hold strongly to "" Work out your own Salvation in fear and trembling"" But the lenses that my Theology is view through is the words of Jesus in the synoptic Gospels. Love God, Love Neighbor, And Go out into the world.

Though my Experiences in the Mission field during these last 13 years put a whole different meaning on the word Belief.
I am in the Mission field with over 100 men who belong to different denominations, ( Pretty much all denominations) We rely on the Spirit for guidance and power during these trips and have seen AMAZING things done for the Glory of God by Holy Spirit.
Churches I have belonged in the past were dead things, the church I belong to now is alive yet men do not go on mission which baffles me. Opposes the words of Christ.

So as I worship and witness to Muslims, Wiccan's, Satanist, Buddhist, and Non Believers, we see Holy Spirit Active in his workings.

The main point is this, these men from all around Michigan whom belong to many denominations ARE ALIVE in Christ and serve him daily. And the people who attend church? They mostly give a few hours to God, Not there best but only the leftovers.
Prayers are needed.
Peace....Out

paul

August 26, 2011 at 03:40 PM

:-) I shouldn't type from the i-pad...tons of typos in that

Rick Weiss

August 25, 2011 at 11:50 PM

Paul
Hi
I was a Lutheran for 57 years,
Ordaining Gay Clergy, and promoting a social agenda over that of the Christ is Apostate, and the other Main Line Denominations are also gladly jumping in to the abyss.
Yes there are "Believing " members of those denominations though its much like belonging to the Nazi Party during World War II. If you belong to a corrupt organization you are giving credence to the whole.
Jesus warns of the Yeast contaminating the whole loaf and it holds true today, Scripture calls for us to flee from sin and yet can a person say they are truly a follower of the Christ if they still belong to an Apostate Denomination?
Paul, Revelation 3:16 and Mathew 7:21-23 Ezekiel 33: 7-9

God Bless
Rick

paul

August 25, 2011 at 05:58 PM

Rick, just be careful not to make sweeping judgments about entire denominations...I know plenty in all of the above churches who are incredibly passionate about the Gospel and are living for Christ in their communities...

Peter

August 24, 2011 at 11:18 AM

As my spouse and I are reading through this book I haven't been able to properly express my oppositions to some of Platts statements. I am Platts age and agree that our nation sleeps in the light. We are well fed spiritually dead and need to WAKE UP! There seems to be an element of scripture manipulation to overstate a point in Platts book and response to the DeYoungs review! The new testament is clear on the dangers of taking the word of God out of context. Is the glory of God only found over seas? Why are you still here preaching in a mega-church, Platt?

Thank you DeYoung for saying what I couldn't. Thank you for reminding me that I can be radical without being delusional.

It would be a blow to Christianity for Platt to fail at this point so I pray that he will keep mentors with the truth of God's wisdom

Rick Weiss

August 24, 2011 at 01:07 PM

Peter
Hi
Are the righteous In the Christ mostly In other countries ?
Maybe. While America is not turning from Christ as Canada is and Europe did. We as American religion have become Apostate. The Episcople, Luthran, Methodist, and Presbyterians throwing the Doctrine of Christ under the bus of social doctrine.

The Asian and middle eastern followers I'n Christ hang onto the Word like the drowning
to a lifering. While the American Churched seem to follow Paul and not the Christ.

We need Watchmen like Chan and Platt For it seems we In America have become Christians Atheists.

Rick Weiss

August 15, 2010 at 07:53 AM

Diane

Wow, fantastic. What you speak of with the Mega Church can be also true of a small town church's.
I know a few Christ Followers who have started home church's to get back to Church 101 worship.

I wonder if adding a 1st century Agape Feast to your worship would feed those who might not be getting good food at home. (Christian Potluck)

We sometimes forget that older people ( anyone who's kids have moved on) may not be getting a well balanced diet and what can be better than sharing a meal on the Lords Day.

God Bless Diane, seems you have found a church home because after all We the Laity are the church eh?

Jerry P.

August 15, 2010 at 01:45 AM

Deyoung brings up good points.... My concern is that the churches who use this book as a study, which have not been previously taught the scriptures, will apply this book in a variety of ways that are not " the gospel ". A pastors first concerns is his congregation and the articulation of the scriptures. How many churches do we have where the mere surface reading of Roman and Hebrews is more articulate than the sermons we hear. I have grown tired of the topical pragmatic sermons I have heard over the last several years that have ignored the central theme of scriptures and the overall theology of the Bible. I would at least expect a sermon that is more articulate than Roman/Hebrews to unpack what the scriptures are saying to God's people. Now when a church has it's theology, doctrine, and it Christ centered worship in line; then I believe a church can properly digest David Platt's book and apply it properly. The church in America needs to represent Christ properly in it doctrinal message and worship and then use it's resources to replicate that in other parts of the world. This is done with welled trained ministers and elders who are dedicated to church planting and is backed by the resources of the church. Yes are resources should be conserved more for church planting in all parts of the world. We must remember the Gospel is spread through the ordinary and normal work of God's people in churches; articulating the "whole counsel" of God's Word and feeding God's people in Baptism and the Lord's table. The issue I have with the book is that it does not address the issues of what the church "is" and "how" the church is to "be" in its own 4 walls!

paul

August 14, 2011 at 04:56 PM

As is seen here, people who need to read "Radical" because they are caught up in the americanization of christianity (which i think Platt...for the most part...accurately portrays) truly benefit from Platt's convictions and directives...His call to be Disciples and not just "hangers on" is right on...

however, those who already have a propensity towards being "holier than thou", judgmental and sectarian... walk away from reading "Radical" and use it's message as a verbal bazooka on any and everyone, letting them know that they are the "real" Christians and everyone else is a fake-wannabee...

Dan

April 6, 2013 at 12:22 PM

In defense of "Radical" David Platt writes from the perspective of life for most peoples of the world throughout world history; people whom we Americans would say, "Have nothing". With few exceptions, open up any garage door of an American household to see what Radical is talking about. The vast majority of Americans live, in this only time of world history, as the affluent and kingly. Praise the Lord for this. the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, not money in and of itself. However, proof that something terrible has gone wrong with America is the direction she is heading today. In the last 100 years we have taken our eyes off of Jesus, the message of Salvation, and the implications of sin and are now more concerned about what we read any day in the news. America has lost it's way. But then those whom God will say, "well done, thy good and faithful servant", will and have always been in the minority. As a missionary in Brazil there is not a day that goes by that i don't ask the Lord for wisdom to live humbly as i serve those who are well below my social level. Millions in Brazil who live near poverty level are following the same lead as America today; a never ending spending money that they don't have.

[...] Getting to the Root of Radical: A Review and Response. [...]

andrew

April 21, 2011 at 04:24 PM

interesting and thought-provoking review by DeYoung (whom I love). Platt's response is better, to say the least. Platt doesn't say anything in his book the Piper hasn't been preaching for more than thirty years. DON'T WASTE YOUR LIFE. just watch this segment from Piper's Passion Conference message over a decade ago: http://youtu.be/dQhIxvaqteo. this is a message that the Church in the West continually needs to hear and it needs to be proclaimed in the same kind of visceral and passionate and loud and in-your-face style that Jesus proclaimed it because it will take that much force and so much more to begin to cause that gigantic pendulum of the deceit of western prosperity, leisure, comfort, etc. to begin to swing the other direction toward the vision of a gigantic, massive population of Church people "Heaven-bent" on a Kingdom vision; actually acting like they are on a mission and like they believe it is life and death. some of us have bought the very lie Piper and Platt both rail against, and we are deluding ourselves if we think for a moment that it pleases our Lord.

Radical « A Thousand Daily Deaths

April 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM

[...] years since I read that book, but it runs along a similar line to Radical). It’s well… radical. Kevin DeYoung has some helpful comments, some that I agree with, others I don’t so much. A lot of the negative reviews come from people [...]

Books: Radical « Perennial Student

April 17, 2011 at 03:33 PM

[...] I found more helpful was this review of Radical by Kevin DeYoung, pastor of a Reformed (RCA) church in East Lansing, Michigan. He praises Platt’s book as [...]