Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review - Radical Together

I received an advanced reading copy of a new book to be released next month (April 19th) -- "Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God" by David Platt, published by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Radical Together is in some ways a sequel to Platt's best-selling book, "Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream." Radical was an extremely challenging book, asking Christians to turn their backs on lukewarm consumeristic faith and embrace a more radical form of discipleship as Jesus expected from His followers (see my earlier review). Radical Together looks at this challenge to live as Jesus calls us to from a different perspective -- it's about an understanding of the church that embraces true disciples, how churches can help Christ followers live a more radical life. That doesn't mean it's just for pastors; Platt's audience is any Christian who desires to make a Kingdom impact. Whereas Radical looks at radical followers of Christ, Radical Together looks at radical communities of faith.

The Introduction lists the six main ideas around which the book is organized:

1. One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church.
2. The gospel that saves us from work saves us to work.
3. The Word does the work.
4. Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people.
5. We are living—and longing—for the end of the world.
6. We are selfless followers of a self-centered God.

Overall I enjoyed reading Radical Together (actually, more than the original Radical). It strongly challenges the church and asks a number of thought provoking questions ("What if the Bible is intended not only to dictate our theology but also to determine our methodology?") Chapter 4, The Genius of Wrong, was particularly interesting. It takes the premise that building the right church depends on using all the wrong people. Rather than use an attractional 'invite your friends' approach to evangelism, Brook Hills trains their people to share the gospel. "The reality is that the church will never make disciples according to God's full design until every person in the church sees this command as central for each of us, because his full design is that we all make disciples." No believer is to be on the sidelines of the Kingdom.

A discussion guide will be found in the end of the book (though not present in my pre-release copy). That's a great addition, as I can think of no better way to take in 'Radical Together' than by discussing it within a small group. A quote from the conclusion sums up the purpose of the book nicely: "How can we in the church best unleash the people of God in the Spirit of God with the Word of God for the glory of God in the world?"

You can find an excerpt and introduction at the WaterBrook Multnomah website, or you can download chapter one as a PDF. Radical Together will be released on April 19, 2011, on sale at Amazon, Christian Book Distributers and other retailers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as part of their Blogging For Books Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".

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