It’s been a few days since I turned the last page of Platt’s Radical and I’m still unable to identify the source of my discomfort. The book is wildly successful by any measure. It racks up sales and plaudits in equal measure and yet, I find myself in disagreement with the majority opinion as to the quality of this volume.
The message, convoluted and scattered as it is, is sound. The sub-titled idea of separating Christian faith from the materialism of American life threads its way throughout the chapters. The cost of following Jesus (cf. Luke 9:57-62) has largely been lost in the program-laden and comfortable church of today and Platt attempts to steer the reader’s thinking to the spiritual benefits of sacrifice in the service of His Lordship.
Living sacrificially, in terms of our time, treasure and talents, is encouraged by Pastor Platt through equal parts illustration and Scriptural authority. The Spirit will nudge you as you contrast your church home and life with those in the majority world who may, the very next day, give of their life in order to remain faithful to the Lord. You will begin to see many areas of your life in which material blessings have become a millstone around your neck that impedes the full expression of your faith.
The discomfort in reading the book for me came in terms of the author himself. The chapters are filled with Platt’s globe-trotting, suspense-filled-secret church meetings and philosophical musings while sitting in the Sudanese desert. Does all of this travel come for free? Did the fistful of degrees earned in his short life come without tuition, books and board? The reader cannot help but contrast the author and the message he wants to deliver and find them incongruent.
Multnomah graciously provided this copy for review.