Apr 6, 2011

Book Review - Radical Together by David Platt

Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of GodI was extremely excited a few weeks ago to receive an invitation to review David Platt's new book Radical Together.  I was profoundly challenged by his first book Radical and the challenges it presented.  I recommended Radical to several people in my church who were deeply moved by it.  Four families were so moved by it that the men helped form our first mission team to an unreached people group in West Africa.

Platt's new book is taking the message of Radical to a new level.  He says that his purpose for writing this edition is "to consider what happens-or what can happen-when we apply the revolutionary claims and commands of Christ to our communities of faith."  This book may actually be more important than its predecessor.  One or two radical believers in a church are not much of a danger to the kingdom of darkness.  An entire church of believers that are centered around joining together to take the word of God and the glory of God to every person on the planet is a serious threat.  Platt's book inspires church leaders and radical Christians to do just that.

This book may be one of the most important books written and will hopefully shape the landscape of church culture.  In previous years, much of what was written on church leadership focused on how to develop and prepare your church for growth.  Success was measured by attendance figures and auditoriums.  It played right into the hands of a baby-boomer culture where "bigger is better" and marginal Christians wanted a church with all the bells and whistles.  Platt is tapping into the heart of the next generation.  No longer is the measure of success for a church going to be its seating capacity, but its sending capacity.  While Platt pastors a mega-church, he appears genuine that he is more concerned with his members being obedient to the Great Commission in his local context and globally to unreached people groups than he is that they enjoy the perks of a large auditorium and the latest high-tech audio/visual gadgetry.

Radical Together is deeply theological while at the same time very readable.  Platt is a master of biblical exposition and drawing its implications into understandable principles.  He also shows his mastery of language by creating dozens of memorable statements that sound much like what he shares in his sermons.  The reader is drawn into a biblical gospel that measured more by self-denial than self-fulfillment.  He is inspired to become a devoted student of God's word and a disciple-maker in his culture.  Platt also makes no bones that building a biblical church is hard work that requires us to be radically faithful to God's commands in Scripture.  This book will shape the ecclesiology of hundreds of thousands of average church members for the better in the months and years to come.  I hope and pray that every member of my church will pick up and read Radical Together this year and begin a dialogue of what we are going to do to make disciples wherever we are and wherever God calls us to go.

This book was provided for review free of charge by Waterbrook Multinomah Publishers.