Thoughts on Living Radically (Part One)

I recently finished reading David Platt’s book Radical:Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream.  I reviewed in on my book review blog. But, I thought I might “think out loud” here a bit as I process this book.

This book really impacted me.  I actually read the first chapter of it quite a while back and thought then this could be a life-changing book.  I finally got a copy to review from Blogging for Books.

Platt looks at American Christian culture and compares it to living a life of radical obedience to Christ.  He calls the reader to consider whether or not we actually do live radically, why we should, and how we can.  This is extremely convicting.  I am one of those people who attend a wealthy megachurch and seek comfort and safety in Christian programming.

Platt doesn’t criticize large churches.  He is, in fact, the pastor of one.  Instead he challenges us to be a part of a thriving, growing church body and to consider how we are living in radical obedience to Christ.

He closes the book with five challenges to live radically in the next year- a radical experiment.  These are the things I have been processing and pondering.  I plan on thinking through and elaborating more on these things as the new year progresses.  I hope to share my journey and growth here.

1.  Pray for the entire world.
2.  Read the entire Word.
3.  Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose.
4.  Spend your time in another context.
5.  Commit your life to a multiplying community.

So, here’s what I’m thinking so far:

1.  Pray for the entire world.- Platt recommends Operation World, a website with books to purchase as well as lots of free resources.  I’m not sure how I’m going to incorporate this yet, but I’m thinking of using it with the kids in conjunction with our Bible.  I also signed up to review a devotional from Beth Moore about Christians in persecuted nations, so I think I can tie that in.

2.  Read the entire Word.- I already do this regularly.  I am committing to the Bible in 90 Days reading again with Mom’s Toolbox in January.

3.  Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose.- Okay, this one has me a little stumped.  Finances are tight right now, and I am looking for a part time job after the first of the year.  So, I’m not sure how to incorporate any giving above our tithe.  One thought is to get together as a family and decide something we do that we could give up to use that money for a cause.  I’m thinking about sponsoring a child through Compassion.

4.  Spend your time in another context.  Platt is specifically talking about an international missions trip here.  I don’t know that I can pull that off with four children to homeschool.  But, I have been considering how the kids and I can get involved in ministry in another context.  Now that the youngest are a little older, I think we could be involved in the Children’s Attention Home or possibly a local homeless shelter?  I’ll let you know how that pans out.

5.  Commit your life to a multiplying community.- We are part of a growing, thriving church.  Is our church guilty of spending more time and money for our own comfort and entertainment than on reaching the world?  Perhaps.  Sometimes.  (But that’s a whole nother conversation for another day.)  We do have godly leaders and lay people in our church who are seeking how to serve God faithfully.  So, I can continue to be involved in my local church with tithe and service and prayer.  And perhaps I will find ways to help others get out of our comfortable places and look for ways to radically obey.

As the new year begins, I hope to revisit these thoughts and see how God is working in my life through the year!

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