Radical, Chapters 8-9, by David Platt
I have finished the last 2 chapters. All I can say is that his teaching is so different from what we are used to hearing from most pulpits. His appeals more as a message of truth. Theirs is a message of comfort.
Why doesn't the world hate us? That is what Jesus said, isn't it? That if the world hated Him, we should expect it to hate us. And while we might take some comfort in that America as a nation is hated, and say that is the answer, I think that we are more hated because of our arrogance and hoarding of the earth's resources than it is that we are a Christian nation. Although one of the sad things about this is that sometimes our arrogance and gluttony is seen as a result of our being a Christian nation.
Dr. Platt states that the world likes it when we pursue what they pursue, when we look like them instead of Jesus. That is harsh. Does the church in America look more like America than Jesus? Let me get my mirror...
The American church has lots of fancy buildings, programs, presentations, etc. Mirror says that Americans pursue large homes, big screen TV's, and entertainment. Jesus had no place to rest his head.
The American church is budget driven, thinks nothing of spending money it does not have yet, and is concerned with growth, both financially and numerically. Americans may not be budget driven, but we do think nothing of spending money we don't have, and at least have the desire to see our incomes and bank accounts grow. Jesus had no budget that we are aware of, totally trusting in God to provide for his needs. He didn't go into debt that we know of (although having the ability to find coins is fish to pay taxes probably helped in that area). And He was not afraid to say things that would cause people to walk away.
The American church speaks of comfort and convenince. Our call to commitment is one from a God who loves us and calls us to go to church, give of our excess, and be good people. Amercians love comfort, from our blue jeans to our couches. Our towns are full of convenience stores. Our trash cnas are a great example of our excess, as each week we give away ridiculous amounts of goods to that large truck that collects them, and of course, Amercians overall think of themselves as good people. Jesus spoke and lived a life of suffering, including his sacrificial death on the cross. The only excess that Jesus gave was the excess of Himself and His love for us. And when the rich young ruler called Him good, Jesus responded by saying the God alone is good.
Which all leads me to one conclusion. I gotta get a new mirrior.