One of the first Christian books I read that made a profound impact on my life was The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. The foundational premise of the book was that our spirituality was often so anemic that anyone who really walked with God appeared “abnormal.” Nee called readers to return to the radical normalcy of biblical faith.
I thought about that as I read Radical by David Platt. Platt serves as senior Pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to leading this megachurch, Platt ministered to the French Quarter of New Orleans. He also has done extensive work on the foreign mission field.
Out of those experiences, Platt writes to expose the chasm between what is and what should be. He contrasts the demands of Christ in Scripture with our westernized culture, and like Nee, calls for readers to return to the radical normalcy of biblical faith. Platt addresses our comfortable faith and suggests that we rethink the implications of Jesus’ words concerning the American Dream and global evangelism. Readers who take the words of Jesus seriously will find their worlds turned upside down. The Radical claim of the gospel is that we “can find satisfaction and real service to God only in abandonment to Jesus.”
To help responsive readers apprehend the radical life, the author provides a helpful one year experiment that calls for five commitments. Those commitments are:
1. To pray for the entire world.
2. To read through the entire Bible.
3. To sacrifice my money for a specific purpose.
4. To spend time in another context.
5. To commit my life to a multiplying community.
These five commitments will help reshape your worldview as well as your priorities. If the metrics of the American Dream have high-jacked your faith, Radical can serve as a compass to help you find your way back to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s difficult and even dangerous. But our calling is not to success. It’s to faithfulness.