Readers are asking the question, “Why is your review of David Platt’s Radical negative?”
Tis a funny thing about the books I read. Simply put, if they’re about the Gospel, they had better flesh it out regarding the points the book makes.
It comes down to how I read Paul. Yes, that Paul.
Paul establishes the precedent of letter / book writing. See for instance:
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle–not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead–
Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 Timothy 2:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,
Notice Paul always references the Gospel and much of the first chapters of his letters / books expound and explain the Gospel–the Gospel being Jesus Himself, His birth, life, death, and resurrection.
Paul does not just explain the Gospel, he tells us how it is applied into our lives and how it should look as we live our lives. I will go so far as to say that Paul does not merely explain the Gospel and then provides commands for us to do, but he uses the Gospel as motivation for our doing.
David Platt’s book is good. Really good. Don’t get me wrong. It is well written. He hits the nail on the head regarding American Christianity. He explains the Gospel very well. But the breakdown for me is he does not put flesh on the skeleton he creates. In other words, he does not flesh out the Gospel enough before he provides the commands for us to surrender everything for and to Jesus.
Another way to put it, Platt focuses on the command in the context of the Gospel, but he does not use the Gospel explicitly as motivation for the doing of the command. I am left with a law that I must do which makes me look inside myself to do the command, rather than helping me focus on the Gospel, make me motivated to do something and then provide the means by which I can start doing.
Yes, this is a technical review of a very good book. But when it comes to the Gospel and the fruit it produces in our lives, we must, must–must– be motivated by the Gospel. Otherwise, we exchange one religion for another.
The Gospel places us within line of the Father’s heart. With the Gospel as our motivation, we act wholly different than the Prodigal Sons <--- notice the 's' from Luke 15. You can read more about my take on Luke 15 here.
This is the point of the Gospel. And I believe Platt misses the point.
Or it may just be me.