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A Radical Idea: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God Paperback – December 13, 2011
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About the Author
A life-long learner, David has earned two undergraduate and three advanced degrees. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (A.B.J.) from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Theology (Th.M) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as Dean of Chapel and Assistant Professor of Expository Preaching and Apologetics, Staff Evangelist at Edgewater Baptist Church in New Orleans, and eight years as the Senior Pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL.
David founded Radical (Radical.net), a ministry devoted to serving churches and disseminating disciple-making resources toward the end that the gospel might be made known in all nations.
David and his wife Heather have four children, Caleb, Joshua, Mara Ruth, and Isaiah.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
a hesitant course downward, gradually joining with other drops of water to become a steady stream. The stream gains speed and strength. Thousands of feet below and hundreds of miles later, what were once single drops have converged to become the mightiest river on earth: the Amazon. Flowing into the Atlantic Ocean at a rate of more than
seven million cubic feet per second, the Amazon is more powerful than the next ten largest rivers in the world combined.
In my book Radical, I explored how the biblical gospel affects individual Christian lives. Simply put, in a world of urgent spiritual and physical need, gospel-believing, Godexalting men and women do not have time to waste their lives pursuing a Christian spin on the American dream. Using the imagery above, I tried to picture what happens when
the truth of Christ penetrates our hearts, melts our assumptions, and propels us on a journey of abandonment to God. You and I are not intended to plunge down the mountain of radical obedience alone.
But you and I are not intended to plunge down the mountain of radical obedience alone. That’s one of the reasons I love this imagery of the Amazon. The force of a single drop of water descending the Andes is minuscule. Similarly, as long as individual Christians journey alone—no matter how “radical” they are—their effect will be minimal.
But as men and women who are surrendered to the person of Christ join together in churches that are committed to the purpose of Christ, then nothing can stop the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth. In A Radical Idea, I want to consider what happens—or can happen—when we apply the revolutionary claims and commands of Christ to our communities of faith. I want to contemplate the force of a people who come together to enjoy God’s grace in
the church while they extend God’s glory in the world. And I want to propose that a ovement of such people in such churches has the potential to permeate nations with the praise of God.
I am speaking to believers who are ready to lead, influence, or simply be a part of such a movement in their local church. You may be a follower of Christ who desires to live out a more biblical gospel, and you want to see your church do the same. You may be a pastor, staff person, or leader of some other description in the church, and you want
your local fellowship to count for the spread of God’s glory in the world. You may even be a Christian who is tempted to throw in the towel and say, “My church will never be radical.”
Whatever your circumstance, I invite you to engage God’s Word and God’s world with a fresh, honest, and open perspective so that together we might answer one question:
How can we in the church best unleash the people of God in the Spirit of God with the Word of God for the glory of God in the world?
As I pose this question, I do not claim to be an expert on how to answer it. I am merely one pastor in one church, and I have so much to learn. Yet I know that, as leaders and members of churches, we are called to spur one another toward Christ and his agenda in the world.
Throughout the history of humankind, God has chosen to call out not just individuals but a people for himself. He told the Israelites, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” Through Christ, God brought Jews and Gentiles together as “one body” in which “each member belongs to all the others.” Peter told the church, “You are a chosen people,…a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Indeed, God’s intention is that “through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be
made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.”1
If you and I want our lives to count for God’s purpose in the world, we need to begin with a commitment to God’s people in the church. God has called us to lock arms with one another in single-minded, death-defying obedience to one objective: the declaration of his gospel for the demonstration of his glory to all nations. This is God’s design for
his people, and it is worth giving our lives to see it accomplished. It is worth it for billions of people who do not yet know that Jesus is the grave-conquering, life-giving, all-satisfying King. And it is worth it for you and me, because we were made to enjoy the great pleasures of God in the context of total abandonment to his global purpose.
God has called us to lock arms with one another in single-minded, death-defying obedience to one objective: the declaration of his gospel for the demonstration of his glory to all nations.
Top Customer Reviews
As this booklet is sold in packets of 10, it's obviously intended to be shared. It seems to be geared either towards people who have read "Radical" but not "Radical Together", or towards people whose attention spans wouldn't be able to handle all 176 pages of "Radical Together". Like Platt's other books, it definitely is geared towards people who already attend church; non-Christians wouldn't get much out of this.
Especially since there is nothing new here, and the last 4 pages are advertisements for other items from the "Radical" franchise, I don't think the publishers are justified in charging more than 50 cents a piece for these (quick, do the math, $5 for the 10-pack).
At the same time, many extravagant churches are over the top in their Hollywood style approach. It's all about putting the right people on stage to wow the masses... "cool churches" for "cool people."
Frankly, I think we need all kinds of churches... even like the two I just described.
Platt's Radical Idea book is great in theory... but the reason I think it's so short is because it's not entirely practical. And, a church can have the lights, camera, action a
Preach AND be effective at "discipleship." in the same way, a very humble (in facilities and staff) church can also "work."
Read this book if you want to create a no-frills church or group. Platt will inspire you to be empowered as a believer... without waiting for the "professional Christian" to do the work for you. My only caution is this: DON't US THIS BOOK AS A WEAPON AGAINST PEOPLE WHO SERVE OR ATTEND A "GLAMOROUS" CHURCH.
Maybe, you're looking for a way to do more than attend some church... this book will give you the courage to try.
I purchased the complete series based on the excerpts from one book as they are linked from one to the next and there's even a workbook. Well come to find out I was reading them out of order and when I switched and began reading the first book first I had a whole different "something" about the writings of this author.
In my opinion, this book nor this authors writing is for just anyone, I would recommend reading a little from each book before settling in on this one. The context is graphic, harsh, and I would go as far as to say explicit.
This booklet by David Platt is a snapshot of his followup Radical Together to his widely successful first book Radical. This isn't meant to take anything away from the power and conviction in A Radical Idea, but simply to point out that this is not a book on the same scale as his other two. Instead, A Radical Idea seems to be put together for the purpose of easily distributing to larger groups of people, like your community group/Sunday school group or even to the entire Church body. The layout is incredibly simple (for instance there are not even any chapters) and is suitable for adult readers at any end of the spectrum.
What A Radical Idea lacks in quantity (of pages that is), it makes up for in quality. Platt is an excellent communicator and gets straight to the point of this work: the Church. Platt argues that, "The goal of the church is never for one person to be equipped and empowered to lead as many people as possible to Christ. The goal is always for all of God's people to be equipped and empowered to lead as many people as possible to Christ." (11) He says that, "I believe in the work of God's Spirit through God's Word in God's people. The last thing I want to do is rob Christians of the joy of making disciples by telling them that I or anyone or anything else can take care of that for them." (10) His point is that our Church (in the Western world) has become very much about the professionals. Just like we take our car to the car mechanic or we go to the doctor when we are sick or we take our children to the school to be taught by the professional teachers, we have this mentality that says we should take our children or neighbor or whoever to the Church to learn about God.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More people need to read this book and get radical!! It is scriptural and I like the way Platt gets the message out.Published 6 months ago by M Bender
I truly enjoyed this book. I am always looking for new knowledge and better ways to serve God. This was truly inspirational and informative. I highly recommend this bookPublished 16 months ago by lenny harding
I love how David just puts the concept of Christians witnessing and teaching God's Word and putting our tithes to the purpose of training each of us to carry out the Great... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Ann from NC
In this mind-blowing book, David Platt reveals a plan for the church that seems long forgotten. When contemplating how to structure the church we need to ask: "What would Jesus... Read morePublished 21 months ago by By Tom E. Snyder
What an amazing experience! Dr. Platt has done a stellar job of presenting the will of God in a new light. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jake Hartson
Good book! I understand David's points but I wouldn't be so quick to discount the work done in those large churches with gifted leaders and programs.Published 24 months ago by Cup Of Joe
You can not read this book with being movated. Truly a dynamic christian must step out of the normal and be radical in order to find the joy and peace that Christ has promised us.Published on May 14, 2014 by Amazon Customer