Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt is an important book for Christians in the West to read. Throughout Platt challenges his readers to shed a materialistic, individualistic worldview the he sees as pervasive in the church and to consider the desperate needs throughout the world – both physical and spiritual – and the demands of the gospel. It has certainly challenged me as a pastor and I’m sure it will challenge you as well.
Instead of offering my own review I will, instead, provide a couple of links to others more articulate than I.
First, I offer a review from Kevin DeYoung. The review is, on the whole, positive, but provides some helpful critiques. Since Kevin invited Platt’s to respond to his critiques this link gives you Platt’s response as well. In my mind the dangers, if there are any, come not from Platt’s theology, but from those who would misunderstand him.
Second, I offer a link to an article asking whether “radical Christianity” forms a new kind of legalism in the church. This is an interesting article and the author makes a lot of good points. It is important that we don’t make “radical” living into form of legalism, though I would argue that such an interpretation was not Platt’s intention.
Third, I offer my response to the “new legalism” article wherein I propose we limit our charge of “legalism.”
In review: Platt’s critique of the Western church are, for the most part, spot on and his call to care for the poor and share the gospel is in line with the mission God has given the church. It’s not a perfect book, but it’s worth a read.