Wednesday, January 12

Rethinking the American Dream

Radical By David Platt

The American Dream. Largely the American Dream seems to be associated with achieving some level of success in the United States. AT one point in history, this would’ve meant having a family and reliable job with which to sustain your family. Lately it transformed into a form of entitlement and consumerism. Large screen TV’s, new cars, and cable have worked their way into this dream. It is about improving the comfort of our lifestyle.

But is this what Scripture calls us to do to? What if God has other plans in mind for us – plans that involve us leaving the comfort our homes to do? This is what prompted David Platt to write Radical. He confronts, head on, the American Dream.

Platt starts with a story of Christians in China – Christians who are forced to hold secret meetings lest they be imprisoned. Yet, despite the constant threat of violence and punishment if caught they have a desire to not only engage Scripture more but to bring others to Christ. He then transitions into a story of a church in American spending millions of dollars on building on addition to the church – an addition that added ‘extra’ stuff not remotely relevant to worship.

Or consider this section from the book from when David read through a newspaper:

“On the left one headline read, ‘First Baptist Church Celebrates $23 Million Building.’ A lengthy article followed, celebrating the church’s expensive new sanctuary. The exquisite marble, intricate design, and beautiful glass… On the right was a much smaller article. The headline for it read, ‘Baptist Relieft Helps Sudanese Refugees.’…the last senence said that Baptists had sent money to help relieve the suffering of the Sudanese. I was excited until I got to the amount…the article said, “Baptist have raised $5,000 to send to refugees…”

Though they seem to be two different churches, Platt cannot understand how millions are spent on a building and only a few thousand to aid those who were truly suffering.

Platt deals with many issues concerning evangelizing. His conclusion is that Christians must go into the world per the Great Commission. He tells many stories from his journey’s overseas. He also presents his thoughts on tough issues, such as whether a loving God would send those who never heard the Gospel to hell.

I thought the book started a bit slowly, but within chapters I was hooked. It is an eye opening read. It shows the necessity of evangelizing and urges Americans to get up off their American Dream and doing something useful for the world. We are more than Americans. We are members of a global community. Radical calls us to start acting like it.

Here's the book's promo video

4.5/5 Stars

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Read Chapter 1 online at Multnomah's website.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group 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

If you think you're interested in this book, order it at Amazon.

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