Review of Chapter Three – “Radical” by David PlattNovember 10, 2011
Summary of the Chapter: In this chapter, Platt calls into question the validity of the American Dream. Whereas our country promises that any person can achieve whatever they want with enough hard work and determination, the Kingdom of God is not built on that principle at all. The Kingdom of God focuses on what each Christian lacks and then promises that the Spirit of God has the power and resources to take any situation, no matter how impossible, and turn it into a victory for God.
Strong Points in this Chapter: Whereas chapter two was the weakest in the book, this chapter may be one of the strongest. Using examples like George Mueller and the Israelites marching around the walls of Jericho, Platt emphasizes the critical biblical understanding that God’s Kingdom is built by His power and not by man’s efforts. He tells about coming to his current church with an expectation that their size, money and huge human resources would guarantee a successful missionary enterprise. But he found that it is often the weakest, smallest and frailest individuals who are sold out to God and rely completely on his power that see the work of God go forward. It is his contention that we often ignore the Power of God and rely on our own abilities and talents instead. This chapter gives a compelling case for seeking the presence, power and purity of the indwelling Spirit of God.
Weaker Points of the Chapter: There were only two minor points of contention I have with this chapter. In chapter two, he points out the danger of measuring success by how many people respond to Christ. But in chapter three, he champions the early church and points out how many people respond to Christ after demonstrations of God’s power. I’m not sure he completely agrees with his point in chapter two. In addition, I notice he likes to focus on God’s power to do miracles and not so much on the gifts of the Spirit which are for the strengthening of the church (such as prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues and word of knowledge). This is not surprising when one notes his Southern Baptist background. At least, he believes that God heals today.
It Got Me Thinking: I wonder if those of us who are more missional and believe that the power of God is more important than man’s best efforts still look forward to our efforts producing results.