I know it’s been my norm so far to do multiple book reviews at once, but with the holiday and the brevity of this book, I wanted to review this before it was far removed from my reading schedule. So, here ya go!
Radical Together by David Platt – In a (seemingly) quick time, David Platt has released a 1-2 punch of books that attempt to give the American Church a gut check. Together is a follow up to Platt’s “Radical”, which I already reviewed (HERE), and does a decent job of carrying on where the last book left off. He broadens “Together” to the context of his massive church in Birmingham, Alabama – Brook Hills – and spends a decent amount of time talking about the impact the idea behind “Radical” has had on them. Speaking on things such as local community impact as well as global impact, Platt takes this opportunity to really demonstrate how they have put the idea into action. I really enjoyed hearing the stories about adoption, foster care, and helping to plant churches globally. At times, though, I did seem to lose how it all applied to the church under 100. Not in the sense that we had nothing to glean from these 2 books, but more in the sense that everything he talks about was the result of great numbers. For instance, he tells of how 160 families stepped up to take care of the children services problem in their county. That’s somewhere around 9% of his congregation. So if I apply that to a congregation of 50 or so, then you’re looking at 4-5 people or 2 families. Or when he talked about budget cutting within the church to raise an extra $1.5 million. I understand that it’s more a demonstration of the people of God working together to demonstrate the powerful affect God has on their lives and how that plays itself out in their context; I’m just saying it’s easy to get lost in these grandiose numbers and think “Wow, if I were at a church that large..” or “If we had a budge that big, I could do big things…” I’m sure Platt would be the first to tell you that you don’t have to be in that big of a setting to make an impact for God, I just think that’s easily said from a pastor in the bigger setting. Anyway, just my side point to an otherwise good read.
That aside, if you read “Radical” you need to read “Radical Together.” Even with the head scratching of having a mega-church pastor saying the mega-church isn’t a Christ model but continuing on in that fashion, there is a ton of great points made in this book. I have and continue to plan on recommending both books to every Christian I know and hope it leads to more analyzing of how we live, our motives for that, and how in-line with the Bible that truly is. Taking what the fleshly comforts that we’ve been too acceptable of, the question has to be asked is, “Is this the best use of the resources Christ has given me?” The answer is obviously Christ must increase and we must decrease, and I think David Platt has demonstrated a powerful way that he has been able to be a part of that happening in today’s American Church. His willingness to open up what’s going on in his church and sharing it with others is truly appreciated!