Books: "Radical" by David Platt

“[Jesus] has created each of us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, and I propose that anything less than radical devotion to this purpose is unbiblical Christianity.”
–David Platt, Radical

Today, I add a new segment to the blog where I’ll be recommending books that I believe will be helpful in your pursuit for simplicity and beyond. These are books that I’ve personally read and have been greatly impacted by. And so I’m not just going to be recommending random books out there. My hope is that these books will aid in the development of your thinking and help you expand your horizons. These posts will not necessarily be book reviews. Instead, I’ll briefly show how these books relate to the ideas on simplicity that are found in this blog.

First up is David Platt’s book, Radical. Although written in 2010, it came to my attention only last year. In fact, it was easily the best book I read in 2015. Sometime last year, I had been wrestling with the ideas of discipleship, simplicity, and escaping the American Dream. I thought about writing a book on those topics one day. Then I read Radical and realized that David Platt already wrote everything that I wanted to. And he does so exceptionally well. Well, I guess there goes my book idea.

The tagline of the book helps frame its purpose: “Taking back your faith from the American Dream.” I’ve already written a couple of posts on the American Dream here and here. In the book, Platt proposes that discipleship requires “radical abandonment” –in particular, radical abandonment of the American Dream—in order to wholeheartedly follow Christ as a disciple and truly take up the Great Commission. The majority of the book is spent unpacking what that means and what that look like especially in a society that values wealth, luxury, and the accumulation of material possessions. What I really liked about the book was Platt’s unrelenting exhortations on using time, money, and possessions wisely for God’s kingdom. He really doesn’t mince words. He made me really think about using my God-given resources better so that I can have more time and money to do the things that God has called me to do.

In many ways, Radical served as a catalyst for a lot of the transformation that I’ve personally undergone in the past year. And that’s why I highly recommend the book especially as you progress towards simplicity and decide to surrender more of your life to God and to the mission that He has entrusted you with.