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.