David Platt‘s first book, Radical, became a New York Times Bestseller. This month, the followup, Radical Together, released to similar acclaim. In it, Platt takes the ideas that he presented for believers in Radical, and adapts them to explore the potential impact if entire churches were to latch onto the same principles.
Radical confronted the American Dream; Radical Together confronts the MegaChurch Dream.
The book as a whole is built around several very key and powerful thoughts
Churches can easily become distracted by doing good things that they miss out on God’s intended purposes. While these things are good in-and-of-themselves, they inhibit us from asking the question, “Is this the best use of time, money, and people? Is a new program, class, Bible Study, or Education Wing what the world needs most? Or is there another route we can take which enables us to best steward what God has given us that makes a greater global impact?”
We must be clear on the Gospel. One of the greatest critiques of Radical was the perception that Christians need to live incredibly sacrificial, generous lives to truly be Christians. I felt Platt did a good job clarifying that crucial point (salvation is by faith NOT by works), while still holding to a strong position that your works will testify to a changed heart.
The Word of God is sufficient. I felt that his critique of the modern church was a little harsh, though I’m learning that I agree with him on more counts than I’d like to admit. It’s the Word of God that changes hearts and lives and leads them to make disciples of the nations.
Nowhere in Scripture has God promised to bless my plans or anyone else’s in the church, no matter how innovative or creative they may be. Neither has God promised to bless us based solely on our motives. Sure, we are supposed to do everything for the glory of God, but that doesn’t mean everything we do for his glory is assured of his blessing.
There is only one thing God has promised to bless, and that is his plan. He has given us his plan in his Word, and if we want the blessing of God, then we don’t need to come up with something else. Instead, we need to align with the plan he has already promised to bless.
Every Believer is called to ministry. The plan that God has already promised to bless, according to Platt, is that ministry is not limited to the most gifted and educated, but is to be the work of every believer in response to God. He believes 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.”
These are not new ideas at all, but they are realities that we constantly need to be reminded of. If every believer needs to read Radical, then every pastor and church leader needs to read Radical Together. Without being overly dramatic (and pun-ny), the results would be… well, radical.
Please note my disclosure.