May 17, 2011

Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

David Platt wants you to take back your faith from the American Dream. American Christians are living under influence of the American dream to have more and better things. Platt, however, wants to call us a different dream, a dream that is Radical. He's not afraid to be upfront about it either.

Platt begins with by questioning the reader's faith. He even says that he wants to show you how, despite your best intentions, have turned away from really following Jesus. Real discipleship (following Jesus) requires something of the disciple, and here in America, we're not giving what is required of us. We've lost sight of Jesus and follow after the American dream. But his question to the reader is whether or not Jesus is really worth it. Jesus calls us to come and die, to abandon our attachments to the things of this world, and turn our lives over to Christ. Platt argues to bring the reader back to that point.

At times this can be a hard book to read, and I think it is harder for those who lived longer in pursuit of the American dream. Platt describes some of his encounters with church leaders and Christians who have told him that they are glad that he has gone into the inner city and around the world so that they didn't have to. This seems extreme, but there are many of us who, although we won't say it, live like this. We want others to go around the world and into the tough places with the good news so that we don't have to. That's not, however, the call of Christian discipleship. Platt writes Radical to remind us that the dream of God is not two cars, three children, and a house with a picket fence, but instead the dream of God is for all people to hear his gospel of love and salvation. And this dream does not just happen, it happens because God's people answer the call of to go and preach the good news.

This is one of two books I have read by David Platt. He writes passionately and honestly. Both of these make his books interesting and convicting. His call is an heartfelt and honest call to get off our couch, turn off the TV, and go do something for God. Radical has changed my view of what a Christian does and how they live. There were times when I got frustrated and thought that he was just another person guilting me into being a missionary, but in his conclusion he makes attainable goals for any person. He doesn't ask you to move out of the country, but instead to give at least a week of your time outside your culture and to give part of your offering to spread the gospel. I would recommend this to anyone. It's an easy read and hopefully it will change the way you live your life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah's book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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