Book of the Month: Radical Together

Mark Beuving —  May 31, 2012 — 2 Comments
This entry is part 3 of 22 in the seriesBook of the Month

David Platt is best known for his book Radical. If you’ve read it, you know it’s incredibly hard-hitting, convicting, challenging, and inspiring. Even if you don’t like everything he says or the way he says it, I can’t imagine anyone reading that book without becoming more committed to Christ.

But I actually like his second book better. Radical Together takes the challenge to live a life that is completely submitted to God’s will (this is the idea in Radical) and places it within its proper context: the church.

As important as it is that each of us lives a life of radical obedience, it is actually impossible for us to live the kind of life that God calls us to live apart from the church. Platt explains:

“As long as individual Christians journey alone—no matter how ‘radical’ they are—their effect will be minimal. But as men and women who are surrendered to the person of Christ join together in churches that are committed to the purpose of Christ, then nothing can stop the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth.”

Christians living in the western world have grown accustomed to individualism. “My faith is a private matter. It’s just me and God and nothing else matters. I don’t need religion, I have a personal relationship with God.” There are shades of truth in each of these statements, but there are lies mixed in as well. I would say that our individualized approach to faith reflects more of the American myth of the self-made man pulling himself up by his own bootstraps than it reflects the biblical approach to spirituality.

Like it or not, God has saved us into a body. He died to join us with other Christians so that we can pursue his mission together. Read Ephesians 2:11-22.

In any case, this is the emphasis of Radical Together. We simply cannot fulfill our God-given mission as individuals. The church is God’s plan for transforming the world, and God has no plan B.

Radical Together will certainly be challenging, and you probably won’t like everything you read. But if you want to get serious about joining with the other Christians that God has placed around you in order to fulfill God’s purposes in your area and around the world, I would highly recommend reading it. You should be able to work through the book pretty quickly (it’s very short), but it will give you a lot to chew on.

 

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Mark Beuving

Mark Beuving

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Mark Beuving currently serves as Associate Pastor at Creekside Church in Rocklin, CA. Prior to going back into pastoral ministry, Mark spent ten years on staff at Eternity Bible College as a Campus Pastor, Dean of Students, and then Associate Professor. Mark now teaches online adjunct for Eternity. He is passionate about building up the body of Christ, training future leaders for the Church, and writing. Though he is interested in many areas of theology and philosophy, Mark is most fascinated with practical theology and exploring the many ways in which the Bible can speak to and transform our world. He is the author of "Resonate: Enjoying God's Gift of Music" and the co-author with Francis Chan of "Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples." Mark lives in Rocklin with his wife and two daughters.
  • Mark,

    Thanks for posting this, however, I hope you will consider an alternate viewpoint about this book. After reading Platt’s books, it has become clear to me that while some of what he says is true about following Christ, much of what he says is coming from a very faulty filter and from an entirely wrong foundation altogether. I’d like to dialogue more about this sometime. I wrote an article about this that I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read. Here is the title and link:

    Missional Confusion & The Amway Gospel…an assessment of a movement – http://goo.gl/Ow2yW

    • Mark Beuving

      Hi Jamal. Thanks for stopping by.

      Help me out a bit here. I looked around the blog for a bit, but I was having trouble pinpointing exactly what your concerns with Platt were. Can you give me a concise explanation of Platt’s commitment to “institutional church”? Do you mean because he’s a pastor and not a lay pastor, or because they meet in a building on Sundays? I’m just trying to get a grasp on what your concern is. I’m also curious about your take on repentance. You say it’s a one step process (change your mind) not a two step process (turn from sin and turn to God). I’m not sure that’s a helpful distinction. Anyway, help me get to the bottom of your concern.