Christian Book Review Sample Essay

Platt, David. Radical: Taking back your faith from the American dream. Multnomah, 2010.

Biography of the Author

David Joseph Platt is an American author as well as pastor. As of now, he serves as a pastor-teacher at McLean Bible Church. He previously served at the Church of Brook Hills, located in Birmingham, Alabama. During that period, he was recognized as the youngest pastor with a megachurch in the US. Platt has found a resource ministry called Radical.net that primarily promotes the books he has authored, his sermons, podcasts, and provide a resource for believers who have been persecuted. He is also credited for the Secret Church that is an imitation of the underground church Bible study Christian Book Review Sample Essay.

Summary of Content

In the first chapter of his book, Platt gives an inspiring encounter about Asians who are ready to risk everything they have for the sake of God. Despite knowing the threats, they face for spreading the Gospel of God, they still go-ahead to extend it and meet in groups where they discuss the word of God. To explain his points, Platt uses the answers Jesus always gave those who wanted to follow him. To one-person, Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (13) This example shows that a person who follows Christ should be ready to move on and look at Jesus as the ultimate price Christian Book Review Sample Essay.

 

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Plat further discusses the significance of reading the word of God and how believers’ hunger for God’s word. It is through reading the word of God that believers get to know who they are and also get a more profound revelation about God. Platt notes that “Our understanding of who God is and who we are drastically affecting our understanding of who Christ is and why we need him.”(34) Platt uses several examples of how Christians in some parts of Asia and other regions have a hunger for the word of God such that they develop secret churches as a way to quench their thirst for God.

In the third chapter of his book, Platt explores the importance of relying on the power of God at all times. He uses several accounts not only of the Bible, but also the stories of other people he has met along the way. Platt suggests that God uses the inability of people to exalt Himself and show them that they require His help at all times.

In chapter 4, Platt talks about why God created people. According to Platt, God did not have any unfulfilled need that made Him create humans. Nevertheless, God created humans so that they may “enjoy his grace and extend his glory.” (59) All over the Bible, God extends His grace to “his people for the sake of his glory among all peoples.”(59) God’s grace can be seen when He tells Abraham that He will make him the father of all nations and bless him abundantly. The scripture continues to say that God will bless everyone on earth through Abraham. God blessed Abraham so that His glory may be extended to the rest of the people. Platt talks about how people have been created in God’s image, and receive God’s grace so that they can extend His glory to the rest of the people Christian Book Review Sample Essay. Through the extension of God’s glory, all nations of the earth will bow down in His name, singing songs of worship and praise. In this fourth section, Platt’s main aim is to let people know that the reason why God created man was so that man could experience God’s grace and extend His glory so that the rest of the people may be saved through God’s salvation.

In the next chapter, Platt begins with an inspiring story about Bullen, who told him that he would make an impact in the world despite everything he had encountered. As Platt talks about the steps that Bullen identified to help him make an impact, he relates it to Jesus and how he has “commanded each of us to make disciples, and this is the means by which we will impact the world.”(77) Christians are called so that they may spread the word of God to the rest of the people and make them a believer. Emulating the journey of Jesus on earth, Christians can identify that he made disciples, and through these disciples, Jesus made a lasting impact on the planet. This is the same thing any believer should do because one does not “need to have inordinate skill or unusual abilities to make disciples.” (79)

In chapter six, Platt explores the blind spots in believers and how they overlook them. Platt goes ahead to give an account of how he had a blind spot that he only knew of when God uncovered it for him Christian Book Review Sample Essay. According to Platt, “Good intentions, regular worship, and even study of the Bible does not prevent blindness in us.” (93) Instead, it is the true worship of God and especially trusting Him that will help believers be satisfied and have a change of heart that will help them address the blind spot they have become successful at ignoring.

Platt explores the need to have Christ in people’s lives as the only alternative. The only way to get to heaven and having eternal life is to get saved and spreading the word of God. According to Platt, “If people will go to heaven simply based on their native religious preferences, then there is no urgency for any of us to go to them.” (122) Notwithstanding, this is not the way to heaven because people have to know about Christ and accept Christ in their lives. To explain why there is no plan B and why Christians should consider it urgent to follow God’s command and forsake the American dream, Platt explores the Book of Romans and provides seven profound truths that back up his argument.

Platt goes on to explain more about the risk as well as the reward of living a radical life. Although following Jesus “involves risking the safety, security, and satisfaction,” Platt quotes Jesus saying’ “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (137) Christians should strive to follow Jesus because there is a greater reward, one that not even the world can grant them Christian Book Review Sample Essay. Serving God is not in vain, because God holds a greater reward for His people.

In the last chapter of his book, Platt goes ahead to challenge believers to put into practice what they read from the great Gospel of Christ. Having explored many aspects and how they affect the life of an American Christian, Platt provides a one-year experiment for people to try. In the one-year experiment, Platt provides five components that he dares his audience to experiment with. The reason for proposing an investigation is because claims like the ones made in his book “remain theories until they are tested.” (155)

Significant Contributions

The radical abandonment aspect speaks about how to obey God and follow Him at all times without any attachment to worldly possessions. According to Platt (), Jesus always made it clear to those that wanted to follow him that they had to leave everything they had behind. For example, in Luke 9, Jesus told the three men that tried to follow him that they had to be ready to give away everything and leave everyone they loved, including their families. The preaching of Jesus was unique as compared to the preachers of today who fail to speak radially and tell their followers the plain truth because they fear losing their congregations. Jesus was always straightforward and told everyone who wanted to be his follower what was ahead of them. The ministry of Jesus was not concerned with having a massive multitude, like the ministries today, but instead having faithful followers of Christ. They were ready to lose anything to gain eternal life. This section was particularly interesting because it helps an individual understand what they are supposed to do when preaching the word of God Christian Book Review Sample Essay. The truth should be told to everyone and preachers should not sugarcoat anything to retain congregants. This aspect compliments the ideas of the author about believers standing with their Biblical faith and moving away from the American dream, which contradicts their faith in God.

Discovering the truth, as well as the beauty of the Gospel, was an exciting aspect. The word of God reflects who He is and what He can do for His people. By reading through the scriptures, a believer can reveal who God is and what they can do to reconcile with their maker. It is through reading the word of God that people start getting hungry and thirsty for more, and all they can do is satisfy their hunger and thirst by reading more of the Bible. According to Platt (136), the real revelation of God has led people in Asian countries and other parts of the world to risk their lives as they seek to know more about God. The truth advanced by the scriptures creates a new world for believers, and all they can think of is how to worship God in truth and spirit. Nonetheless, this can only be done through radical obedience to God’s word. This aspect was inspiring because it encourages preachers and believers at large to follow Christ and read the Bible frequently to have a better revelation of God and, at the same time, get to understand who they are and how to work closely with God. This section complements the author’s idea about the Americans understanding who they are, which can help them regain their faith in the American dream Christian Book Review Sample Essay.

The aspect of God-exalting our inability was enlightening. According to Platt, God will intentionally place His people in scenarios that show then they need God. It is during this process that God exhibits His ability to provide for His people in mysterious ways. Several examples have been recorded in the scripture, such as the example of Joshua outside Jericho. Jericho was considered a strong city, and it had big walls surrounding it, and Joshua wondered how he could conquer Jericho. Joshua was placed in a scenario where he needed God. At the end of seven days, after following God’s instructions about walking around the walls blowing trumpets, the wall of Jericho fell. This was a miracle that not even Joshua could have thought about. This section was enjoyable because it was encouraging. God will always be there for His people despite them being in positions where they have no idea about what to do other than seek God. This section complements the purpose of the author alongside his main ideas by explaining how God works and why believers should strive to seek God every time Christian Book Review Sample Essay.

Suggestive Criticisms

In the first chapter, Platt talk about Luke 9 where Jesus told one person who wanted to follow him that “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has not a place to lay his head.”(13) While giving his interpretation of his verse, Platt says that Jesus intended to tell the man that wanted to follow him that he would be homeless. Platt also says that Believers of Christ do not guarantee that their basic needs will be met, such as having shelter. Whereas it is easy to interpret this in layman terms, it is inappropriate to allude that following Christ can result in a person being homeless. John 10: 10 says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” The drive of the thief, who is the devil, is to tiptoe everything so that at the end of it all, a person does not have any satisfying life. In contrast, God intends that Christians have an enjoyable life, and part of this life is living a useful life here on earth. Jesus came so that believers may have experience in abundance, and this entails having material possessions. Following Jesus is not all in vain, because those who radically follow and obey God’s teachings have a good life—as humans, having basic needs is part of a good life. God intends to have a balanced experience, which means being materially prosperous, spiritually rich, and emotionally rich Christian Book Review Sample Essay. Following Jesus is not all in vain, because God knows whatever His followers need each day, which is why He says that people should not fearof what they will eat tomorrow or drink or wear because He provides for the birds in the air and His Believers are far much more important than the birds.

Another aspect I disliked about the book is the interpretation of some verses such as when Jesus says’ “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”(137) Platt interprets this by saying that by following Jesus, people risk. In contrast, this is not true because following Jesus only requires detachment from worldly possessions because attachment to them makes a person a slave, which is also the worship of idols. Those who leave everything to follow Jesus find life because Jesus is life, and he came to earth so that believers may have experience. People need to understand that following Jesus is not the loss of any privilege or freedom. Instead, the gateway to everything that a person desires, including the material possessions, because all wealth comes from God. Following Jesus has all the benefits that a person could ever dream of, which all come quickly Christian Book Review Sample Essay. The only thing that believers encounter is some challenges as they cross over from one level to another. Platt should consider changing this aspect by providing an in-depth interpretation that reveals the meaning of the verses Christian Book Review Sample Essay.

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