Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Connecting the Dots: Radical Read-Along Chapter 4

I'm linking up today with Marla's Radical Read-Along.  Won't you join us?
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

God is using this book in our lives! 

Allow me a little digression before I go into how He is doing that.  David Platt reminds of Dave Ramsey.  Do you know him?  He is the Christian financial guru whose ministry is to help people get out of debt- for good.  His advice is simple: live like no one else (i.e., below your means, paying off all debt) so that you can live like no one else (i.e., completely debt free, free to give generously).  One of his tag lines goes something like this: we give you the same advice as God and grandma- but we just keep our teeth in!  This is how I see the message of Radical.  It’s not presenting any new information- the Bible has made all Platt’s points clear already.  He’s just keeping his teeth in- exhorting us to respond to this radical gospel without allowing it to be watered down by our culture.

Platt asserts, from Scripture, that while God is certainly a loving and gracious God, we must be careful because to “disconnect God’s blessing from God’s global purpose is to spiral downward into an unbiblical, self-saturated Christianity that misses the point of God’s grace.”  (p. 71)  We are blessed to be a blessing not to be afforded to opportunity to live out the American dream.  Platt goes on to remind us, “Jesus Himself has not merely called us to go to all the nations; He has created us and commanded us to go to all nations.  We have taken this command and reduced it to a calling- something only a few people receive.”  Ouch!

So, let me return to my initial statement.  God is using this book in our lives!  I accept Platt’s invitation, which is really from Jesus Himself, to allow my heart to be gripped “by the biblical prospect that God has designed a radically global purpose for” my life.  (p. 83) 

Lord, please help us to connect the dots between Your blessings and Your purpose for those blessings in our life.  Help us to be open to how You want use us to impact the world.  Bring us from a place of complacency about the state of the poor and spiritually lost in the world to one of compassion and willingness to follow You wherever You lead us.    As we seek to bring our lives into a more radical obedience to Your Word, speak clearly to us and direct our steps.  In Jesus’name, amen.

To start from the beginning of my Radical Read-Along posts, click here.


Marla Taviano said...

I've heard that line of Dave Ramsey's (live like no one else so you can live like no one else) a hundred times, and I don't think I like it. He makes it sound so radical, but really I think it's just Delayed American Dream.

I'd like to change it to "live like no one else so you can GIVE like no one else."

I don't believe in retirement. :)

Shelli said...

Amen! As I read the book, I kept thinking over and over again, "This isn't radical; it's biblical! This is how we should always be as Christians." We may act radically different compared to the world, but we should not appear radical compared to our Christian peers. Sadly, that is the case. I was shocked to see how American Christianity has taken us so far from biblical Christianity - how far my pursuit of the American dream took me from biblical Christianity. I am so grateful for God using David Platt to steer me back on course.

alittlebitograce said...

all i really have to say is amen! and me too!

Rachelle said...

Good tag line, Marla!
I appreciate the fact that Platt is using our cultural understanding to show us God's Word. It is hard and gut-wrenching and good.
Amen, help us Lord to impact the world, and not just our little world.

Natalie said...

Thanks for commenting :)

I have read Dave Ramsey's book and listened to him quite a bit and while he is no David Platt, he does talk quite a bit about one of the goals of getting out of debt is to be able to help others who are struggling.

SomeGirl said...

Amen to your prayer, sister!


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