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The Radical Question and A Radical Idea Hardcover – October 2, 2012
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About the Author
DR. DAVID PLATT, President of the International Mission Board, is deeply devoted to Christ and His Word. David’s first love in ministry is making disciples, sharing, showing, and teaching God’s Word in everyday life. He has traveled extensively to serve alongside church leaders throughout the United States and around the world.
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 has written several books, Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me and most recently Counter Culture (to be released February 2015).
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.
THE RADICAL QUESTION
Imagine a scene that took place in Asia not long ago:
A room in an ordinary house, dimly lit, all the blinds on the windows closed. Twenty leaders from churches in the region sit quietly in a circle on the floor, their Bibles open. They speak in hushed tones or not at all. Some still
glisten with sweat; others’ clothes and shoes are noticeably dusty. They have been walking or riding bicycles since early morning when they left distant villages to get here.
Whenever a knock is heard or a suspicious sound drifts in, everyone freezes while a burly, tough-looking man gets up to check things out.
These men and women have gathered in secret, arriving intentionally at different times throughout the day so as not to draw attention. In this country it is illegal for Christians to come together like this. If caught, the people here could lose their land, their jobs, their families, even their lives…
I was in that dimly lit room that day, a visitor from America. I huddled next to an interpreter, who helped me understand their stories as they began to share.
The tough-looking man—our “head of security”—was the first to speak up. But as he spoke, his intimidating appearance quickly gave way to reveal a tender heart.
“Some of the people in my church have been pulled away by a cult,” he said. Tears welled up in his eyes. “We are hurting. I need God’s grace to lead my church through these attacks.”
The cult that had been preying on his church is known for kidnapping Christians, taking them to isolated locations, and torturing them, my interpreter explained. Many brothers and sisters in the area would never tell the good news again. At least not with words. Their tongues had been cut out.
The tough-looking man was the first to speak up.
A woman on the other side of the room spoke next. “Some of the members in my church were recently confronted by government officials,” she said. “They threatened their families, saying that if they did not stop gathering to study the Bible, they were going to lose everything they had.” She asked for prayer, then said, “I need to know how to lead my church to follow Christ even when it costs them everything.”
I looked around the room. Now everyone was in tears. They looked at one another, then several said at once, “We need to pray.”
Immediately they went to their knees, and with their faces on the floor, they began to cry out with muted intensity to God. Their praying was not marked by lofty language but by heartfelt praise and pleading.
“O God, thank you for loving us!”
“O God, we need you!”
“Jesus, we trust in you!”
“Jesus, you are worthy!”
One after another they prayed while others wept.
After about an hour the room grew silent, and the men and women rose from the floor.
All around the room, on the floor where each had prayed, I saw puddles of tears.
Top customer reviews
"The Radical Question" asks readers to consider what Jesus is worth to us. He challenges us to live differently, to pursue a true Christianity instead of simply a Christian spin on the American dream. As he talks about how underground house churches often risk everything, including their very lives, for the chance to gather together and worship Christ, he ponders "I could not help but think that somewhere along the way we in America have lost touch with what is essential, radical--even dangerous--about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable" (p. 8). Having read the original book, "Radical" about a year and a half ago, I found this section to be a great reminder and summary of the challenges and questions from the original.
"A Radical Idea" addresses the question of "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?" (p. 63). Platt looks at how the church can stand together, united to live for a radical purpose of living out a more biblical gospel. He questions our American desire to build big buildings and have top-notch programs instead of prioritizing getting the gospel to people who desperately need it and channeling greater amounts of funding toward things with a more far-reaching, eternal impact. He discusses the need to invest more in the people of the church, thereby creating disciples, instead of investing more in programs.
Overall, the message of both books is a great one. He has a great message that the American church desperately needs to hear and ultimately begin to live out on a much greater scale. This little book would be a great one for someone who hasn't yet read either "Radical" or "Radical Together". But it does seem a bit overkill to put out two short little summaries instead of encouraging people to read the longer volumes that are packed with far more substance. Content-wise, the book is fantastic. But for me personally, I'm going to stick with the original books and skip these little summaries.
(I've received this complimentary book from Waterbrook-Multnomah through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
In THE RADICAL QUESTION, Platt explores the disconnect between American Christianity and the calling to follow Jesus outlined in the pages of the New Testament. This booklet, a condensed version of his book RADICAL, is a call to evaluate the things that are most important to us. For most Christians in America the call seems to be to the American Dream while people around the world are starving and many dying without Christ. Platt asks the question, "Is Jesus worth it to you to sacrifice everything for what he wants?"
In THE RADICAL IDEA, Platt looks at the role of the church in Christian belief. We were never meant to follow Jesus in isolation, and Platt suggests that it isn't solely the role of church leadership to lead people to faith in Christ. Instead, church leaders are called to equip believers to do the work of ministry, spreading the gospel wherever they go.
Platt's teaching is challenging, And certainly radical. It gives you much to wrestle with, and ultimately it is a call to follow Jesus more wholeheartedly.
Review copy provided by Waterbrook Multnomah
David Platt has a way of bringing priorities into focus. His easy to read style of writing draws readers along. His personal stories are inspiring and convicting. I think Radical and Radical Together are life changing books.
This mini book- The Radical Question and A Radical Idea, is a pocket sized book that summarizes the main points of Platt's previous books. It would make a perfect gift or a perfect book for churches to hand out to volunteers.
There isn't an overabundance of content here. It is a summary. I think it would be great to inspire church members and to encourage them to seek out and read Platt's books in the whole.
I give this a 5 star rating and a G for content.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.