how to unleash the church [to be radical together]
I remember feeling almost completely helpless… or maybe hopeless is a better word. I’m on my first mission trip, and looking around at the extreme poverty that floods parts of Africa is a little overwhelming. I’m there to fight poverty, but coming face-to-face with this widespread epidemic makes me question how one person (like me) could ever make a dent in the problem.
And sometimes many of us pour ourselves into witnessing to lost friends and family, but wonder if we’re alone in our efforts to help these people find salvation.
Our reality is that there are many aspects of our faith that seem too much to bear on our own.
But the truth is that we are created to live (and serve) in community. None of us was ever intended to take the Message of the Gospel completely on our shoulders and fix everything around us alone.
David Platt’s first book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream has certainly stirred the pot. After reading it many feel challenged to break away from a comfortable Christianity, and go out to bring positive change to the world. But it’s Platt’s latest book that really has me thinking. Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God takes the message of Radical a step further and explores how uniting in our mission can unleash the real power of the Gospel and the Church.
In Radical Together, Platt takes us on a journey of self-discovery. Rather than trying to offer a formula and expert perspective on how to bring about change in your church, he asks us the same questions he’s asking himself. Throughout the book he explores the life and teaching of Jesus, and then asks the tough questions about how we need to change to bring the transformation we hope to see… together.
Platt admits that he doesn’t have all the answers. But he does have a strong understanding of the teachings of the Bible. He holds a few advanced degrees, including a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), a Master of Theology (Th.M.) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). So it’s only through years of study of the Scriptures and modern culture that he formulates the questions that not only challenge us, but also himself.
In the book’s introduction Platt uses the image of the Amazon River. As it’s fed by single drops of melted ice water atop the Andes Mountains. Each drop by itself is insignificant, but together they create the mightiest river on earth. Platt states, “Flowing into the Atlantic Ocean at a rate of more than seven million cubic feet per second, the Amazon is more powerful than the next ten largest rivers in the world combined.”
Who wants to be a drop of water with me?
Note: This review was written for the Patheos Book Club on Radical Together.