Was I going to believe Jesus?
Was I going to obey Jesus?
These questions are posed by author David Platt in the first few pages of his bestselling book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. I’m really excited to be reading this book. I’ve seen it referenced several times and it was on my short list of books to read. The ink was hardly dry on my blog professing my desire to do more reading, especially meaningful reading, when the pastor at one of the churches I attend (FBC Tulsa) announced that the next Wednesday night book study would be on Radical.
Honestly, I have a hard time committing to Wednesday night church. And Sunday night church. We are currently in the middle of Financial Peace University on Sunday nights–usually right after the Sunday afternoon nap and right before the last mass celebrated in the Diocese of Tulsa. I don’t typically need to drive the boys to youth group on Wednesday nights, but even when we did that on a regular basis, Rob and I took the opportunity to have a mid-week date night at the bookstore. However, I keep saying that I want to do meaningful things with my time. And I want to study important texts. And the bookstore is closing. So here I am, committed to the next two months of Wednesday nights to discuss a beautiful orange book that is changing lives.
I wasn’t really familiar with the book. I just thought it was a book about living a life dedicated to the Lord. Perhaps in a radical way? I’m soooooo observant. When Rob asked me what the book was about, I replied,”I’m not really sure. But I think it’s one of those books that you read and then you move to Haiti.”
I didn’t participate much in the discussion tonight, since I purchased the book about an hour and a half before the study started and wasn’t able to read the first chapter. I do think I’ll enjoy both the book and the discussion that it inspires. As I waited in the parking lot for the boys to get finished, I quickly read the first two chapters. My plan is to read the book in its entirety this weekend, then re-read the assigned chapter before each Wednesday night session.
Are you interested in this book? Here are a few things I underlined from the first two chapters…
I am convinced that we as Christ followers in American churches have embraced values and ideas that are not only unbiblical but that actually contradict the gospel we claim to believe.
Do we really believe he is worth abandoning everything for?
The gospel does not prompt you to mere reflection; the gospel requires a response.
Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator…until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, “No.”
We have taken the infinitely glorious Son of God, who endured the infinitely terrible wrath of God and who now reigns as the infinitely worthy Lord of all, and we have reduced him to a poor, puny Savior who is just begging for us to accept him.
Accept him? Do we really think Jesus needs our acceptance? Don’t we need him?
Oh yeah. This one’s gonna be a doozie.
Have you read Radical? Did it change how you live your life? (are you reading this from Haiti?)
Do you want to join me in this discussion? Real life at FBC Tulsa or via the comments.
Jump on in, the water is anything but lukewarm.