David Platt’s Radical Together is a followup to his book Radical and is intended to be a tome for the corporate church rather than for the individual Christian. Platt’s first book was an in-your-face approach intended to slap, sometimes not too gently, compromised Christians into a radical allegiance to the One they call Lord. Radical Together is also a rather blunt instrument intended to beat down the spirit of consumerism that has invaded the western church.
I read and reviewed Radical here, and I noted that –
While I was challenged by the book, I think that it also needs the balanced corrective of God’s deep and majestic love for His people. Platt comes across many times as simply… angry. The book seems to need a great dose of the joyand love of God.
Radical Together, at times, reads as a corrective to some of Platt’s first book’s extremes. He seems to have chewed long and hard about the motivation needed for believers and realized that only a humble awareness of God’s grace in light of our sin produces love. And love produces obedience.
Speaking about the possibilities of Radical being taken out of context, Platt says,
“I get frightened when I think about Radical in Ashley’s hands. Though in writing that book I tried to show the entirely underserved grace of God toward us in the gospel, I know Ashley is prone to think, ‘I need to do more for God. I need to sell this possession and make this pledge in order to be right before God.’ Guilt will motivate her obedience, and action will be her obligation.”
Exactly. Thanks, David. That was my concern when reading the first book. It had so many merits, but I felt that it was heavy on external motivations to radical living rather than internal appeals to loving obedience to a radical God. With that said, Radical Together, on the whole, is a great read and resource for churches and small groups.
Platt writes to church members, collectively, to urge them to savor God’s Word, appreciate God’s leaders, work for God’s glory, pray for the nations and to progressively enjoy the exaltation of God.
He confronts the tendency of churches to become immersed in activities planned for church members. In doing so, he reminds us that “church leaders are intended by God not to plan events but to equip people.” (See Ephesians 4:12.) He asks us why we see a dichotomy in local ministry and global missions. There shouldn’t be.
…biblically, our mission is not only about loving our city or invading our culture with the gospel. Our mission is also about leaving our cities to infiltrate every culture with the gospel. I am convinced that satan, in a sense, is just fine with missional churches in the West spending the overwhelming majority of our time, energy and money on tryng to reach people right around us.
Reading this book together, I think, would greatly benefit any group. It’s been said that theology is best done in community. It wards off the spirit of individualism which refuses to submit to another. It also provides needed corrective.
There is thus a need to engage theology not just by way of individual contemplations of truth but more importantly, in a faith community of collaborative theological learning. This is how theology is best done! (Source: Edmund Chan, How Theology Should Be Done)
I think this book was necessary for Platt’s total message to be understood. We cannot be radical without considering what it means to be radical together.
Note: I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for free as part of their Blogging for Books program.