Posted in Christianity

Review of “Radical” by David Platt

David Platt has a passion for the Gospel. In his book, “Radical”, we are confronted with the absolute holiness of God, the Sovereignty of God, the depravity of man, the vileness of sin, the necessity of repentance and the fact that the Gospel, properly believed, will change your life. After reading this book, one is left with a proper, and humbling, view of himself before God Almighty. If the book stopped here, I could unhesitatingly recommend it.

Unfortunately David doesn’t stop here.  He also leaves us pondering our desire to take the Word to the world: the world, it seems, is out there and not here in the Gospel-impoverished United States. We cannot simply have a heart for the United States, we are told; to be right with God, we must have a heart for the world, also. That is, we must also serve there if we desire to serve here.

David deals soundly with the lust for money and things; unfortunately for weaker or younger Christians, perhaps just a little too soundly. Statistics of those who die daily from hunger and disease are intermixed with stories of those who are dying without the Gospel; this sets the stage for many to come away confused and questioning how to live out their faith (Is it teaching the Gospel? Or does it by necessity require that we also alleviate hunger and illness?). Though his challenge to us stops short of imploring us to sell all and GO, we are left wondering if anything less is enough? Yet the Gospel isn’t confronting and eradicating poverty (the groundwork for social change takes place, however, when the Gospel is properly preached), the Gospel is confronting mankind’s sin with God’s perfect holiness which led to the death of Jesus on the cross. David, who earlier in the book, did such a magnificent job of confronting sin, now lets it take a back seat to the call to meet mankind’s physical needs.

“Radical” is egalitarian in nature and men and women are both referred to as “leaders” in the church. The story is told of a young single woman  going to a foreign field to do what God has called man alone to do: preach the Word. One wonders to what happened to the radical call to women to be godly wives, mothers and homemakers?

In the end, “Radical” doesn’t quite call us to be radical enough. Living the radical life is simply living as Christ has called us to live and nothing more than a whole Gospel makes a whole (and radical) Christian. While those who are mature in their faith can receive some nourishment from “Radical”, those younger or weaker in their faith or in their knowledge of Scripture just might be led astray. Because of its shortcomings I recommend it only hesitatingly and then only to mature Christians.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to give a positive review.



3 thoughts on “Review of “Radical” by David Platt

  1. WOW!!!! Anna, I thought I was the ONLY person who had some criticisms of David Platt’s book, “Radical”. Everyone else seems to soak it it in as if it were the Bible itself and if you disagree with some of what he says, you are wrongly judging a brother. 😦 This saddens me.

    I, too, agree with the points you mention that David Platt points out in his book. Absolutely, wholeheartedly agree! However, I’ve also said the same thing as you, if he stopped there, it would be great, but he doesn’t.

    You did a great job of reviewing this book, Anna! I agree with the issues you bring up! What bothers me is that some theological sound Christian leaders endorse the book without hesitation. Makes becoming a Berean all the more pressing. Search the scriptures, always, to see if what they say is true. That goes for every Christian. Keep being a good Berean, Anna!! 🙂

  2. Thank you Anna for your faithful sharing and review of this book. Our church is currently making all small groups study this and the pastor is preaching from the series. I think your review covers the reservations that I have had about the book. I not only read a book but I seek out other opinions from Christians. I love your blog! Thank you for sharing your insights.

    1. I visited your blog and was encouraged by what I found there. Thank you for coming by and for commenting. Sadly, it often seems as if few in the church think for themselves. Rather, we seem to have a herd mentality and, as my mother used to say, we are preacher followers rather than followers of Christ. It’s real easy to jump on the latest bandwagon but is that what honors God? No. Rather it’s faithfully following His lead rather than the lead of men. God bless you. Anna

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