Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Radical

While we've been down here in Mississippi these past couple of months we've gotten to connect with our Bellwether Church family in many ways, but I think our favorite part has been visiting all the different small groups they have. We've not been able to attend any one of the evening groups more than once or twice, sadly, but I (Scott) have been able to meet with the men's group each week. Aside from the fact that they meet early in the morning each Tuesday, this has been a phenomenal part of our time here. I've been challenged through our time and, hopefully, have been able to spur on some of the other guys as well.


In this group we've been studying David Platt's Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream (God timed our visit so I could jump in at the beginning of this study and I'm only missing the last chapter next week). I, yes even me the missionary, was challenged by this book and had to struggle through some of the chapters, wrestling with what Platt was saying and what I see in life and in Scripture.

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American DreamThe basic premise of the book is that we've taken Christianity and, mostly unknowingly, softened it to conform to what would be called the "American Dream." When he looks at the Bible, Platt sees a lot of conflict between what Jesus is saying and what he sees the church doing today. He believes that we've shaped Jesus into what we'd like him to be, rather than allowing Him to shape us into what He wants us to be. He begins the book by asking a simple, but extremely probing question, "Is the Jesus you know someone worth losing everything for?" If not, why not? That's what the early disciples believed. That's what Christian's in the rest of the world live.

Platt builds on this idea throughout the book, challenging various aspects of our American Christian culture, until he challenges people to take up his radical experiment for a year. This radical experiment covers 5 facets of our lives where we need to be radical. Here they are: Over the next year to....

  • Pray for the whole world
  • Read the whole Bible
  • Commit our lives to a multiplying community (Church, small group, something)
  • Sacrifice our money for a specific purpose
  • Give our time in another context
What would your life look like if you made a commitment along these lines? What kind of impact could you make in the world? It doesn't necessarily mean packing up and coming to Uganda with us, but the result would be no less transforming. I'd challenge you to pick up a copy of this book and read it (if you've got a kindle or a kindle app on your phone or computer you can get it for just a couple dollars). Be open to the challenge and see where God might want to move you outside your American comfort zone.

You can also check out some more info by visiting www.radicalthebook.com or www.radicalexperiment.org.

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