Review: Radical Together

Radical Together by David Platt is an attempt to consider what happens when the commands of Christ are applied to communities of faith.  It follows Platt’s first book, Radical, and is organised around six ideas, each of which fills a chapter.

The six ideas central to Platt’s writing are as follows:

  1. One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church
  2. The gospel that saves us from the work saves us to the work
  3. The Word does the work
  4. Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people
  5. We are living – and longing – for the end of the world
  6. We are selfless followers of a self-centred God

There is much to praise in this book, much good and godly thinking.  Each chapter could be read on its own, perhaps as a starting point for more devotional reflections on the subject.

Without having ever heard of this author before, I began to suspect that he might be part of the so-called neo-Reformed camp.  (Google searches suggest that I might be right about that.)  In essence, this judgment of mine was based both on his particular approach to theology and also the exhortative style of his writing.  It was that exhortative style which I found difficult to handle.  To be fair to Platt, he does seek to set out a balanced position between law and grace but, passionate as I am for Christ and robust though my confidence is in my own experience of grace, I still felt condemned by some of the writing and a bit of a failure as a believer!

I would not want to suggest that this is Platt’s intention – indeed, I am confident, based on specific and clear statements in this book, that this would be furthest from Platt’s mind.  But perhaps it is inevitable when there is a burden to write a book with ‘radical’ in the title that one might err slightly on the side of works-based faith rather than grace.

My best advice to you is that you read this book and make up your own mind.  My only hesitation in recommending it would be for those who have a tendency towards guilt for not being radical enough for Christ.  You’ll need to be sure of grace before you venture into this book!

But there seems no doubt that Platt loves Jesus, loves the gospel and has given serious thought to how that might work out in the life of his church.  For that reason alone, his book deserves a fair reading.

I received a free copy of this e-book from Waterbrook Multnomah in return for an unbiased review.


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