Book Review: Radical Together by David Platt

Unleashing the people of God for the purpose of God, how could I resist reading a book with that title? I couldn’t, and you shouldn’t resist either. Radical Together by David Platt is a follow up to his book Radical.

While Radical for me focused more  on individual impact, Radical Together focused on the power of people working together.

Though I loved reading Radical, I left with a tinge of guilt over what I was not doing. When I finished reading Radical Together, I was left empowered by God’s grace for what I am and could be doing.

Radical was a great imperative to act, Radical Together featured more stories of the impact Radical had made and even more the impact we can make to act.

In writing Radical Together, David Platt seeks to answer this question: 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?

6 ideas / 6 chapters frame his response:

1. One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church. Similar to Jim Collins idea in Good to Great, and the mantra, “The enemy of the best is the good.” To get to the best often calls for sacrifices, while the call of the good is often one of comfort. I love his quote, “We must be willing to sacrifice good things in the church in order to experience the great things of God.” Determining that answer is in conversation with God, and sensing

2. The gospel that saves us from work saves us to work. Part of the greater grace component of the book comes out in this chapter. If we are not motivated by the cross, then we need to check our motivation. Grace motivation flows through cross transformation. What David does with his understanding of the book of James int he Bible, made this a key benefit of the book to me.

3. The Word does the work. I’d add the Holy Spirit working through the Word does the work, but that’s David’s point as well. There is power in the Word of God, life transforming power. David’s church and others inspired by the Radical movement are living lives empowered by the Word of God and by doing so are changing the world by God’s Spirit and grace.

4. Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people. Amazing what God’s grace can do and through whom He chooses to work.

5. We are living — and longing — for the end of the world. With all the hype about the end of the world from time to time, David hits on the passage that counts — the gospel must be preached to all nations (literally, “all ethnics” / “all people groups”) and then the end will come. David gives more then lip service, but stories of life sacrifice.

6. We are selfless followers of a self-centered God. I don’t like the wording of how this is phrased, perhaps because I see self-centered as not a great virtue. What was missing for me, was an emphasis on the community of the trinity, how Father points to Son, Son points to Spirit, Spirit points to Son who points to Father. I appreciated the focus shift from a faith that asks, “What’s in it for me?” to “What’s in it for God?”

Radical Together is a good follow up to Radical. It also provides a small group study, that would enhance the experience of the book to discuss some of the implications for one’s life and especially one’s life with other believers. I give it 4 stars.

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

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1 Comment

Filed under Leadership Book Reviews

One response to “Book Review: Radical Together by David Platt

  1. You’re 2nd point about saved from work to work reminded me of something said at our community service in the park last summer. The speaker pointed out that grace costs nothing coming but a great deal going out, that we do nothing to earn/receive it, but live sacrificially to give it away. Good review. Thanks.

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