Book Review: Radical by David Platt

Radical, by David Platt, is one of the most talked about books in Christian circles right now. I have been asked by several people if I've read Radical. Somewhat overlapping Francis Chan's Crazy Love, Platt's popular book calls Americans to reevaluate their lives and see where they can be more committed to serving the poor and giving of their resources, time and money. These are all great concepts and ideals, and the book overall is definitely worth reading. However, a few "problems" with Radical have been widely raised, and I feel they are worth mentioning here.

First, Platt wants to peg the American Dream as the cause of the faith crisis in America. The American dream is "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and I personally don't think there is an inherent problem with that. Americans are known worldwide for being GENEROUS. Look at any crisis, anywhere in the world, and who is the first to respond with generous offers of aid? America.

Secondly, Platt's view of materialism bothers me. Of course I am aware that materialism is an issue, but it is NOT just a "rich people's" issue! Poor people can be taken in just as thoroughly with materialism as the upper class, and this (actually sin in general!) sin is not a rich people problem. It is a HUMAN problem, and it should be addressed as such.

In summary, I appreciated Platt's call to action for Christians to get off the fence and DO SOMETHING to further God's kingdom. I think that is a much needed call! However I don't think that overseas missions should be the thing so strongly pushed here, as work for God can be done anywhere, at any time, in any place. It's the heart attitude that counts, and if you are seeking to honor God through your labors, then He will honor that!


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