Friday, April 30, 2010

My First "Official" Book Review!

I love to read.  I used to read a lot of fiction and devour everything an author had if I liked the style.  These days, my time is taken up reading non fiction in the form of research and discovery.  For my health, and that of my family; and for learning new skills.  I recently visited the publisher's web site of a book I had just finished-to see what else that author had written.  While there I learned of their "blogging for books" program and decided to apply.  The first request for a review arrived by email recently, with a preview of the first chapter of the book.  I dilligently read, taking special note for a review.

The first few pages really made me stop and think.  I was tempted to quit reading and forgo the review based on just a few pages, but I kept at it and saw a bit of a change.  Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream by David Platt IS radical if it can shake me up with just a few pages.  It was the topic of conversation at the dinner table, in which my husband noted that it really had affected me.

The author asks two questions.  Do I believe Jesus? and Will I obey Jesus?  The simple answer of yes came to my mind before examing the Scriptures Mr Platt has used to define radical faith.  At that point I had to decide if I was willing to accept Mr Platt's interpretation of those Scriptures-was his definition really what is said?  That's for the Holy Spirit to decide, so I'm listening and waiting to see what He has to say.

Jesus's disciples gave up everything to follow Him.  Family, home, career, comfort, stability, everything they held dear was set aside to follow Jesus.  Am I willing to do the same?  Are you?  One passage mentioned the rich young ruler who asked Jesus what he must do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus's reply was to "go and sell everything and give to the poor, then you will have treasure in Heaven.  Then come, follow Me."  The man was not willing to do so.  Had he been willing, do you think Jesus still would have required it of him?  I immediately thought of Abraham and Isaac upon reading this.  Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, but was not required to once the act of obedience was shown.  Would this have applied to the rich young ruler?  Does it apply to us today?  If we're willing, yet are not led to, is that obedience?  What characteristics are used to measure willingness?  If God called me to serve as a missionary somewhere in Asia, I'd go, but perhaps not joyfully.  I think about what they eat there and it's not on my list of enjoyable foods to eat.  But knowing that God called me, I'd know I'd be taken care of, so I'd do it.  But as far as I can tell, He hasn't called me there, so I'm staying put!

Having only had access to read the first chapter, I'd say this is one book I'd like to explore, just to see where the author takes  us.  He mentioned something that I do firmly believe is amiss in America.  Two headlines in a major church related publication, one large touting the $23 million raised to build a huge, ornate church.  The other, smaller, noting the $5000 raised to help Sudanese refugees.  Yes, there is something wrong with that picture!  Beyond writing this post, what am I personally willing to do about it?

You can request a free copy of The Radical Question by clicking here.  You can also download and read the first chapter here.  If you do, please come back and share your thoughts.