A Review of Radical Together by David Platt

Radical Together by David Platt is a continuation of Platt’s previous book Radical.  Radical focused on personal transformation while Radical Together seems to focus on corporate change of a local congregation.  Overall, I think this is a good read and I can recommend it to everyone without reservation.  The church needs to refocused from time to time and this book will help to do that.

The book is well written and effectively communicates Platt’s vision for his church and for all Christian churches to be radically shifted to a foreign missions focus.  I agree with Platt in that foreign missions are important but I don’t know if I would go as far as he suggests.  Certainly, when God calls his people to a task they should whole-heartedly obey but I am not sure that every Christian is called to be this “radical”.  Platt does say that this transformation should not be at the expense of other functions and ministries of the church locally but in my opinion the tone of his book does not seem to back up this statement.  It may be that I am reading it incorrectly.

Radical Together will serve the purpose of bringing foreign missions back into the focus and thoughts of a local congregation that has not had a proper emphasis on them.  The emotions it creates could easily cause people to jump in too quickly though.  Much prayer and counseling should be done before any radical decisions are made.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogging for Books review program. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Trick Sinners Prayer

This was too good so I had to share it with you.  It was posted over at Tominthebox News Network.  Sadly, too many of our churches might resemble this.

Love The Sinner Hate The Sin…..A Meaningless Distinction?

A.W. Pink says in Chapter 11 of his book The Sovereignty of God

It has been customary to say God loves the sinner though He hates his sin. But that is a meaningless distinction. What is there in a sinner but sin?

I had to read this twice or three times. It hit me in the face and I am still a bit dazed by it. This phrase is used so often today that it is just accepted. In fact, until I read this quote I had never heard it questioned.

As with most quotes the context is vital. Pink had been discussing whether or not God loves everybody and how that position, as held by many groups, is a universalist position. He says that it is a modern invention that would have been foreign to early Christians. He attributes D.L. Moody to being the primary person who popularized this concept (loving the sinner while hating the sin).

In the interest of full disclosure…I have used this phrase and I have taught this concept. All of a sudden I am wondering if I have done someone damage in misleading them in this way. What kind of damage could I have done? Pink says it this way

To tell the Christ-rejecter that God loves him is to cauterize his conscience as well as to afford him a sense of security in his sins. The fact is, the love of God is a truth for the saints only, and to present it to the enemies of God is to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.

Wow, now this is powerful. Notice how Pink qualifies his comment. He aims it at “Christ-rejecters” not at all sinners. We know that the Bible says that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). The difference here is between those elected by God for salvation – He chose them before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:30-10) and thus has loved them eternally. “Christ-rejecters” would be the non-elect.  As a result of this teaching, it would seem that we would need to stop using this phrase and concept.

So what now?  Should we continue to use and teach this concept?  Is it Biblical?  What is your understanding?  I think I am going to have to think about this some more to see if I can get a better grasp on it.