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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Radical: Chapter One

What am I doing posting on a Tuesday?  Didn’t I decide to cut back blogging to three days a week?

Good question.

Here’s the answer.  Today’s post is devoted to an online book club I’ve joined with almost 200 other readers.

The book?  Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.

Does the title scare you?  It scares me.  A lot.

I really don’t know why I got into this book club right now.  It’s not like I need more to do.  It’s not like I don’t have enough to read.  And what’s wrong with the American dream anyway?

Let’s just say the first chapter lived up to the title.

In Chapter One, author David Platt challenges our spiritual presuppositions that “bigger is better.”  He points out, for example, that Jesus probably would have failed Marketing 101.  Case in point:  Jesus only had 120 followers at the end of his ministry.  And when new recruits inquired about joining him, he didn’t say, “come along for a fun ride” or “give me a trial run and you won’t be disappointed.” 

Instead, he said things like, “sell all your possessions” and “leave your homes.”  Some would say that he actually tried to talk people out of following him.

Obviously, the Christian church has grown leaps and bounds since those first 120 recruits.  But maybe, just maybe, those of us who claim to follow Jesus need to ask ourselves, who are we really following?

As Pratt asks, have we invented “[a] nice, middle-class, American Jesus?” (p.13)

Pratt goes so far as to say that maybe we’re not worshipping Jesus at all:

“We are molding Jesus into our image.  He is beginning to look a lot like us because, after all, that is who we are most comfortable with.  And the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshipping the Jesus of the Bible.  Instead we may be worshipping ourselves.”  (Ibid.)


Want to join me next week for Chapter Two?


Jennie said...

Sounds like an awesome read! Please do share Chapter 2 with us next week. I do take issue with some of the tenets of the American Dream...not for what it was to start with, but for what it has become. It's sobering to consider that we've done that to Jesus. It's quite a compelling point!

Susan DiMickele said...

Ok Jennie, you're on! And I'm on to chapter 2. Which is interesting -- but I'll save that for next week!

Heidiopia said...

Well, snap! Now I want to read this along with you! And, like you, I have plenty to read :)... I think you've got me!

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

Ouch is right...this book leaves me feeling beat up but wanting and needing more....on to chapter 2 =)

Catalina Booth said...

Just came across your blog via Radical Read A Long. You are a God send. I'm a work outside the home mom. My husband and I were discussing the lack of teaching in the church for families with two working parents. I'm headed to small group to discuss a sermon on homemaking with a group of women who are all stay at home moms. Dreading it because I can't get much from a sermon that focused on the wife being at home and managing the home. That is not the reality in my life. So I have ordered your book and can't wait to read about your experiences.

Laura said...

Where's the book club, Susan? Is it online? I read about this book in Christianity Today and was really intrigued by it.

I love you, Susan, because you used "ibid."

Signed, Your English teacher/mom blogger friend.

Marla Taviano said...

Thanks for sharing this, Susan! And I love that Catalina ordered your book. I pray that it will be an encouragement to her! (I'll be reading my copy soon!)