Monday, September 19, 2011

"Radical lite"

It has been over a year since David Platt’s book “Radical” made its way into the global conversation and presumably many people have completed their “one year experiment.” I wonder how that worked out for them.

I did not read the book until recently and not because I had any problems with the ideas. On the contrary, what I have heard from Platt and what I know of his heart made me sure that we would be on the same page. We are, but the book still left me feeling a little let down. If anything I feel like it did not go far enough. That is not to say that the ideas are incomplete; and not that the message was lacking. The problem is the whole way the message delivery occurred and the context into which it was delivered.

The problem at the core of the Western (particularly the American) Church today is that it has become largely just another religion. The radical corrective call that Platt and others are issuing these days is in some ways very similar to Luther’s critique of the Catholic Church during the reformation.

“Wait a minute,” some may protest. “The evangelical church today is not an empty religion full of corruption and false teaching the way the Catholic Church was back then.”

It may be a matter of degrees, for sure, but there is a huge portion of the church today that is corrupt and teaching a false version of the message of the Gospel. The radical change needed is for church to stop being a religious service offered to consumers who need a portion of their lives improved. That is not what the Gospel has ever been about. Instead, we need to return to the message of a faith that consumes and dominates our entire lives; a message of sacrifice and surrender. It should not be a religion with rules and traditions, but an entire way of life that radically changes individuals in unique, individual ways.

That is where the book came up short. The message was there, but in the end it turned into another “self-improvement,” how-to, manual with a step by step guide to being “radical-lite.” I don’t fault Platt for that; it is a byproduct of the system he is attempting to reform from within. Unfortunately, that may be the wrong way to achieve a radical change.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed! Although I have heard him speak on the matter personally and his intent when writing the book wasn't for mass production rather just for his church audience for which the book was a part of his aproach along with sermons and his real bread and butter their "secret Church" where the real meat and potatoes chalenge happens.


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