Radical: A Book Review and Confession

I recently finished reading:

422211: Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American DreamBy David Platt

And I have a confession.
When I started reading this book with my Sunday School class I had no idea the impact it would have on my thought processes. Had I known, I might have avoided the class altogether. The book. The whole shebang.

Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream

I loved and disliked much of this book at the same time.
The dislike came from parts of me resistant and fearful of change.
The love came from the Lord as He used this as a tool to continue His transforming work in my life.

For this particular book, I thought I would instead share the IMPACT of reading it:

  • I went on my first STM (Short Term Missions) trip. No, it wasn’t out of the country, however, it has inspired me to want to continue going. To want to someday travel outside of the comforts of my country.  I met amazing and wonderful people. I saw  more of God’s love, grace, and Glory. While my anxiety tried to attack at the thought of stepping out of my comfort zone, the Lord was faithful to calm my nerves through the prayers of many friends. The experience was beautiful. The best part was we shared it as a family, my husband and son both going as well.
  • We have found ourselves more open and listening to the Lord’s calling to “give”. Not only with money, yet with our possessions and our time. This too has been an incredible experience when He provides opportunities for us to give.
  • We find ourselves fixated less on material possessions. Sure, we still sometimes dream of house expansions and new cars. Before those were our “goals”. With each passing day they become less of the goal as we talk more about relationships with people. It’s pretty cool.
  • I am now taking on the Radical one year challenge. I’m not going to share the entire challenge in this post, however, I will share the one thing that has most affected me this past week. I am praying for the Entire World with the help of Operation World(For those who would like to follow along with me in this journey, you can do so either on the Facebook page or via Twitter.) As I spend a little time each day looking over the statistics of a country and watching a short video, I find myself wanting to pray for that country. Sometimes I have prayed in tears because my heart is so moved for the people I’m praying for. I know this isn’t me, it’s Christ working through me. It totally changes my perspective some days. It makes me so thankful and grateful for everything I have, including the ‘inconveniences’  I may stumble across in life. I have no idea how the Lord plans on continuing to use this to mold me and transform me, I’m just thankful and honestly surprised at how He’s already using it so quickly.

I will also say in regards to this book, I think it is most helpful to read with someone or in a group. Parts of the book are hard. There were pages I read while sobbing. Not tears in the eyes. Full on sobs.
I believe reading this book with a group helped me not beat myself up emotionally. My group encouraged me and helped me remember each week about keeping my focus on Him, because I cannot do these things without Him. He will provide me with whatever I need to accomplish these things.

If I had to choose one thing I took away from this book (there are so many), it would be calling on the Holy Spirit for help in my prayer life. Having a deeper understanding that in my own power I really can’t do everything. This is why Faith is not a to-do list. This is why Faith has works and produces fruit, because by Faith He works through us, all for His Glory.

It’s all for His Glory. Everything. 

I found the website for Radical extremely helpful as well. Our group leader took time each week to play us video clips of Platt’s sermons that went along with the reading. I found myself (and still do) going and listening to full sermons because I found the teaching extremely valuable.

With that comes a word of caution.
David Platt is a gifted writer and Pastor. He is convicting both by the pen and as a speaker, however, his words are all inspired and given by God. I think it’s important to point out we do not follow Platt, we follow Christ.

My other word of caution is if you start reading this book and find yourself extremely discouraged, you need to press on past the first few chapters. In the back of the book Platt provides the Scripture location for all the references he makes so you can look up the versus for yourself and pray over anything you may struggle with. Honestly, I think you will probably struggle with something on some level. Also, if you are the type of person who is constantly doing more for the Lord and always feeling like it’s never enough, like you must do more to please Him, I would encourage you to study God’s Grace extensively as you read this book. My fear is you could really miss out on some of the valuable points Platt is making without knowing God’s Grace in your life.

God works through our struggles. As we submit to His Authority and live for His Glory, He takes us through our struggles and we have victory in Christ to do His Will. The small tastes of freedom I’ve had thus far in facing some of my struggles gives me hope for more.

I highly recommend this book. New Believers. Believers of 70 years. I think there is something for everyone in here. At the very least, I do not believe you will read this book and feel nothing during or afterwards. I believe it will somehow spark something, and my prayer is that the spark will light a renewed flame in your Faith to follow Christ.

I’m going to end this review with the video I watched
that made my heart pound.
That made me almost afraid to open the book to begin with.
I took the challenge to see what Platt had to say.
I’m glad I did.
I am honestly glad I did.

In Love & Faith,
RaZella

 

422211: Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American DreamBy David Platt
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