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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings, 11 Feb 2012
This review is from: Radical Together (Paperback)
Radical Together by David Platt is an attempt to consider what happens when the commands of Christ are applied to communities of faith. It follows Platt's first book, Radical, and is organised around six ideas, each of which fills a chapter.

The six ideas central to Platt's writing are as follows:

1. One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church
2. The gospel that saves us from the work saves us to the work
3. The Word does the work
4. Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people
5. We are living - and longing - for the end of the world
6. We are selfless followers of a self-centred God

There is much to praise in this book, much good and godly thinking. Each chapter could be read on its own, perhaps as a starting point for more devotional reflections on the subject.

Without having ever heard of this author before, I began to suspect that he might be part of the so-called neo-Reformed camp. (Google searches suggest that I might be right about that.) In essence, this judgment of mine was based both on his particular approach to theology and also the exhortative style of his writing. It was that exhortative style which I found difficult to handle. To be fair to Platt, he does seek to set out a balanced position between law and grace but, passionate as I am for Christ and robust though my confidence is in my own experience of grace, I still felt condemned by some of the writing and a bit of a failure as a believer!

I would not want to suggest that this is Platt's intention - indeed, I am confident, based on specific and clear statements in this book, that this would be furthest from Platt's mind. But perhaps it is inevitable when there is a burden to write a book with 'radical' in the title that one might err slightly on the side of works-based faith rather than grace.

My best advice to you is that you read this book and make up your own mind. My only hesitation in recommending it would be for those who have a tendency towards guilt for not being radical enough for Christ. You'll need to be sure of grace before you venture into this book!

But there seems no doubt that Platt loves Jesus, loves the gospel and has given serious thought to how that might work out in the life of his church. For that reason alone, his book deserves a fair reading.

I received a free copy of this e-book from Waterbrook Multnomah in return for an unbiased review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A vision of the church, 10 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Radical Together (Paperback)
Imagine two churches. The first is seeker-sensitve.

Newcomers are welcomed at the door and provided with a latte and croissants. They settle down in a large auditorium, astounded by the hundreds if not thousands of others who have joined them. Their children are taken care of and entertained in an adjoining room. They listen to a professional band play amazing music accompanied by sensational graphics on HD screens around the auditorium. There are no obvious Christian symbols on display, no cross or crucifix, no stained glass windows, no Bibles. It could be any theatre in any town. The pastor then stands up and gives an excellent and inspiring talk again accompanied with amazing projected graphics on the screens.

The second church is also seeker-sensitive.

But for this church it's a different seeker. This seeker is the one one who seeks worshippers (Jn 4:23). There is very little entertainment, but what takes place is worship and praise to the God who is the creator of all things, the music may not be note perfect, but there is honesty, integrity and sincerity in the singing. This church is attempting to show people the love, justice, holiness, grace and character of God - no gimmicks.

In which place is God most glorified? How can we be radical together and not succumb to the American dream? That is the question that David Platt asks in this book. Platt's previous book Radical was a bestseller. This book takes shows the next step - it provides ideas and examples of how we can be radical together.

It is a challenging if not uncomfortable read. It will challenge you to consider how the radical impact of the gospel affects church life. Platt is refreshingly iconoclastic. Here he wants to consider what could happen if 'we apply the revolutionary claims and commands of Christ to our communities of faith'.

He has six key ideas:

1. The good things of church can become the enemy of the best - programmes, as good as they are, may not be the best thing for a church.

2. The gospel saves us from work so that we can work. We don't earn God's acceptance.

3. The Word does the work - the Bible is our guide and motivation. Living according to God's word will mean making big changes.

4. Building the right church depends on using the wrong people - God is interested in people. Dedication to church programs is not the same as 'devotion to kingdom purposes'. The issue is not performance in church, it is not professionalism but as he puts it 'Performance has nothing to do with it. People have everything to do with it'.

5. We are living and longing for the end of the world - by this he means that we need to take the gospel to the ends of the earth (Mt 24:14 )

6. We are selfless followers of a self-centred God. All this is done not because God needs us - God is self-sufficient, he needs no ones help - but he wants to involve us because he loves us.

These he claims are radical claims. By following these we can be radical together. I was particularly pleased to see the emphasis on the self-sufficiency of God; otherwise the book can become yet another programme to follow, something more for us to do. But at essence what Platt is calling for is for each of us, for the churches, to seek what God call us to do and to do it - and that my be very different from what his church at Brook Hills, Alabama, or our prevailing culture call us to do.

He provides some concrete examples which his congregation in have followed. These include reducing church budgets so that more money can go to mission, lifestyles rearranged, downsizing, a large adoption programme in the church and reallocating resources.

One needn't agree with all that Platt is advocating, but it makes for an interesting read. It will challenge each one of us and each congregation to think what can we do to make sure that we are being sensitive to the right seeker. It is a message that the rugged individualism of evangelicalism needs to hear.

Resources to support he book are available here

Disclosure: WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group sent me this book for free for this review - the views expressed are my own.
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Radical Together
Radical Together by Platt David (Paperback - 19 July 2011)
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