Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Practically Universalistic: Radical Read-Along Chapter 7

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

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

Chapter 7 started with a bang for me.  Platt's assertion about how the American ideal of the equality and intrinsic worth of all people has been subtly but powerfully hijacked into the idea that all ideas are equal and valid (p. 141) was an eye opener for me.  American Christians have allowed the enemy a foothold here, I now see.  He took a truth from God's Word about the intrinsic value of all people and twisted it to include validating all their faiths and belief systems as well.  I'm resisting the urge to quote paragraphs here since most of you reading this post have read the chapter already but the end result of buying into this concept is often "to rest quietly in what you believe and resist the urge to share your beliefs with someone else."  Now, I do believe that people have the right to be free from governmental control over their belief systems and/or religion and the exercise thereof.  But allowing for freedom does not mean, we as individual American Christians, should hide the Truth.

While I am thankful that I have escaped the trap of universalism and the corresponding belief that "all religions are fundamentally the same" (p. 142), I do have admit that I mostly live a universalistic life.  Intellectually, I reject the idea that all religions are valid and all roads lead to God, but practically speaking does my life look much different that my counterparts who believe just that?  *sigh*

Chapter 7 also ended with a bang for me.  "We are the plan of God.  There is no plan B."  (p. 156)  For 4.5 billion (yes, billion!) people who are lost, there is no plan B.  "God has clearly decided to use the church - and only the church- as the means by which his gospel will go to the ends of the earth" (p. 157).  *sigh*

Is it just me or do you ever think, why did I ever start reading this book in the first place?  Because I am feeling all kinds of uncomfortable in my American Christianity right about now.  And I am pretty sure that it is going to take a radical outpouring of God's Spirit on me to bring me into radical obedience with His Word.  Good thing that is what He is in the business of doing!  


Shannon said...

You inspired me to buy the book. It arrived just the other day and I'm only a couple of pages into it, but it promises to be truly inspiring!

alittlebitograce said...

i'm not sure if uncomfortable is the right word. more like overwhelmed. i am definitely in need of that outpouring of God's spirit you mentioned!

Mom2Four said...

It is overwhelming, but don't let it overwhelm you. I was first exposed to Platt's ideas back in January. It is now November and I am just now really beginning to figure out how to do things differently. It has been a slow progression of figuring out what is available and what we can do as a family. I want to teach these ideas to my kids now, rather than later.
You'll get there, just don't give up.

Brooke said...

i'm a money person. and a numbers person. and the prospect of this book is uncomfortable.

but hell is miserable.

why don't we realize uncomfortable for a short time is much better than miserable for eternity for those lost around us?

preaching to myself, more than anyone. tough chapter.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

this chapter was difficult...praying for all of us as God shapes our hearts like His

Lori @ The Davidson Den said...

Oh, yes, I'm there. "Uncomfortable" isn't even the word for it at this point. More like "panicky." I'm ever so slightly SCARED of the changes in store for me now!! Love your honesty!

faithlikemustard said...

This was one of the many books this summer that challenged me so much that it made my head hurt. It's been months since I finished this book and others, but instead of letting it overwhelm me to the point of doing nothing, I'm taking babysteps and working on changing my American way of thinking.

P.S. I think the whole "there is no plan B"-thing was the most convicting blurb in the whole book!

Douglas Dahl said...

Sounds like a great book. I will have the check it out. I was raised with a universalist approach to religion...but have been amazed at how much America has checked Truth at the door in the name of equality when certainly all people are of equal value to God but all idea's are not.


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