Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Deirdre

New Member
Thank You, Lord, for this beautiful book.

This is one book which should be in the houses of every devout American Christians. I know many would read this and many may not, and that is the major problem that we are facing. We are not ready to address our issues.

The book also contains five specific suggestions, and I am sure that most of the readers might fulfill one or maximum two or three, but nobody would do all the five. This list would also include me. That said, this book has awakened me spiritually and brought me up from the moral cesspit that I had fallen into.
 

Kitty

New Member
I have read a few other books of David Platt and have been highly impressed with his hold over the theological matters. When I heard that Radical is up for grabs in my library, I made a dash for it. Feeling excited about having a copy, I eagerly started reading it, but by the time I reached the middle pages, I started getting bored. It will be an understatement if I say that I am deeply disappointed with this book.

I want to start the review with some positives that I found in this book. The book does challenge me, and I enjoyed some sections of the book. The author offers criticism of American Christianity, which I found to be valid. As Platt said, we practice our religion with an undue emphasis on comfort and prosperity courtesy the famed American Dream. Some of his words indeed echoed what I always felt about the way we practiced our religion.

However, as I went ahead with the book, I felt let down by the privilege and paternalism, which Platt seemed to have based his assertions on. Here are some of the key criticisms of Radical:


I felt that Platt has a myopic view of American Christians. His definition of an average American Christian is limited to people whom he interacts with in his megachurch – well-educated, wealthy, employed, and either married or getting ready to be married. While interacting with these people, Platt is ignoring the diversity that thrives within American Christianity. He also conveniently forgets those American Christians who are struggling with economic disparities.
While Platt accepts that he was not previously concerned with the poverty that was prevailing in the world, he tries to justify this by explaining that being rich is not a crime and it should not be considered wrong if a person is rich. According to Platt, trying to fulfill the material needs of a person should not be our main priority. Well, you are wrong Platt. It should be our top priority. If we can even reduce the material needs of the poor by half, the world would be a much better place to live, and I think even Jesus would love that.
It seems Platt has overestimated the power of conducting mission trips to highly impoverished areas. Though the missionaries do great work and I respect them for that, I will say it becomes a lot easier to make people who are under-educated and less privileged agree with your beliefs. This is easier because we tend to lure them with desperately-needed services and supplies.
I also hate placing too much emphasis on evangelism. My family nor I believe that God would hate all those who have not heard Good News or are born in different faiths.

To sum up-, I am happy with the way the book challenged my thinking, but I was deeply disappointed with the kind of privileged and patronizing style of Platt’s book.
 

Knight

New Member
I agree with David Platt that a majority of American Christians are driven by consumerism, and it is high time that we trace back our path to Jesus. The only gripe I have with David Platt is that he seems to show that life is black and white. He emphasizes a lot on giving and nothing else. However, modern life is not that easy. There are grey areas also in a person’s life, and one has to understand that before trying to force them to give. A nuanced viewpoint that focuses on how giving can create jobs for people and how it would help to keep the families intact would have been better.
 

Hypnosis

New Member
One has to give it to David Platt. He follows his passion with a zeal. But the way he serves it up in the book leaves a bad taste. He uses the language of obligation and responsibility instead of thankfulness and grace. He believes in the ethics of guilt, not ethics of loving Christ and doing service in his name. Platt might think that one can transform heart through guilt, but it is not so. One can only change people through love. Sorry to say, David Platt’s Radical does not figure power of the Holy Spirit and love for Christ. One can pass this book.
 

Happy Saint

New Member
Every few years, some pastor or another Christian author would come out with a book that would ask American Christians to be more committed to following Christ. This book should be considered as one of them. David Platt tries to market his book with a greater emphasis on guilt. You should give up this, give up that, etc. He also favors shunning materialism. However, this book is an average read with only a few interesting sections. My three stars are for the way the book challenged my thinking.
 

Pureed

New Member
Besides the Bible, this is one of the highly influential books of my life. My life was revolving around things that were not only materialistic but also ended up ruining my personal life. There were many ideas which I felt were true, but Platt through his book Radical went about destroying them one by one. After reading this book, I thought I was going in the wrong direction. Now I have decided to rededicate my life to Christ and follow his footsteps.
 

Block Beauty

New Member
This book has some good points, but they are few and far between. My first impression after reading this book was how a person who has traveled across the world with church leaders could get it so wrong. I felt Platt was theologically misinformed, and pandered to American guilt which requires that any American who is privileged has to give up all their possessions and join the path of Christ. According to Platt, evangelism is and should be the only purpose of our life. Oh, also add to that list mission trips. We are not following gospel life if we are not going on these trips, especially to impoverished countries.

I agree with the fact that American consumerism has gone out of control, but tarring everybody with the same brush is not proper. Yes, there could be black sheep among us who are not willing to give what they can give up but claiming that every American Christian is like that is entirely incorrect. Even though the intention was noble, I am not sure if I can recommend this book to others. All in all, a theologically misinformed and unbalanced book.
 

Crunchy Crunch

New Member
David Platt’s Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dreams is one of the best books that I have come across in recent times. Though it was published way back in 2011, I was able to lay my hands on this beautiful book only recently.

Platt has been able to present the Gospel in such a way that makes you cringe and ask yourself why and what took you so long to follow the path of Gospel. Reading the book made me uncomfortable, made me realize where I was going wrong in my life. Read this excellent book; you will become a changed person. A truly phenomenal and inspirational book.
 
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