Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Review: Radical by David Platt

In this life on this world all of us will live our lives for something. Many choose to live for money, many choose pleasure, many choose comfort, and many other things. However, David Platt in this book presents something that triumphs over absolutely everything this world has to offer. Platt presents a powerful charge for American Christians to give everything for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When the reality of Christ living, dying, and rising for us changes our hearts, and takes root in our hearts, the result is obedience under the lordship of Jesus Christ. That’s exactly what David Platt has in mind for writing this book. He presents two questions that he has faced and offers to exhort believers in Christ to give a weighty response to. The first question he asked himself, “Was I going to believe Jesus?” The second question was, “Am I going to obey Jesus?” At first you might think that those two questions are not very radical, however, when you read the commands of Jesus in the New Testament you realize that radical Christianity is simply obeying Jesus.

How do we as Christians, who are saturated in this world with the promises of the American dream, do this?

Platt starts to answer this question by giving us a taste of what the gospel is. He makes known many of the problems of the typical American “man centered” gospel. And he presents the biblical, historical, God-centered gospel. The reason why Platt does this is because it is not till we see ourselves as infinite sinners against an infinite God, not until then, will we see Christ as an incredibly awesome Savior. And it is never till we see Christ as infinitely worthy will we offer up our bodies as living sacrifices to serve him.

Platt goes on in another chapter to give some more motivation. Consider, he says, that we we’re made to enjoy God’s grace and extend his glory. This is the twofold purpose behind every stage of biblical history, God pouring out his grace on his people for his own glory.

In one of the most important chapters of this book, Platt goes through a jet tour of the gospel in the book of Romans. He makes a strong case that unbelievers must trust in Christ to be saved, and in order to trust in Christ believers must present the gospel to unbelievers.

Overall this is a great book, but a challenging book. Many after reading this book will look at their own lives and feel very convicted. I want to offer some encouragement to Christians who may feel guilty about their lack of obedience to Jesus.

If you’re reading this book, it’s a very good possibility that you are in a healthy state. Anybody who reads this book, I feel, is somebody who is already starting on the narrow path. And what must we do if we want to continue to grow in our walk with Christ? Jesus tells us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Secondly, look to the gospel for motivation. One weakness of this book could be that Platt does not emphasize enough the reality that the gospel produces our obedience. It is not us obeying apart from the gospel. No the gospel of Christ, his obedience for us, his sin atoning, guilt removing sacrifice for sinners, and rising again from the dead for us, proving that God the Father was pleased with what Christ did, is what we need to motivate us to live for his glory in this world.

After reading this book, the words of C.T. Studd, we’re ringing in my ear, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

(This book is available on Amazon). 


  1. This book changed some things in me. Truly. I dont recommend books lightly...but this one I recommend!

  2. Thanks for the comment Mr. Clinchard. I enjoyed it as well and will recommend it to others.