Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Furious about Radical

(I need to keep this short as I suffered an injury to my hand which makes it really hard to type. I originally wasn't going to post this week, but a couple quotes from the book jumped out at me which will help me kill two birds with one stone- or two subjects with one blog post.)

David Platt is no stranger to making waves. From stirring up trouble at the Southern Baptist Convention by calling into question the merits of the Sinners' Prayer, to the critical reaction to his first book Radical. He didn't shy away then, and he's not shying away now with his newest book, Follow Me. Since reading Radical, I have had several conversations covering the same ground as some of his critics- in general the question boils down to "how radical is radical enough?" Doctrinally, this question could be taken further asking if Platt is advocating sanctification by works. His call to "radical discipleship" makes people uncomfortable, as it should. In the most recent issue of Christianity Today, Matthew Lee Anderson brings these questions to the fore. Over at The High Calling, they have been having a weekly discussion on the book, and based on the comments alone many are squirming in their seats as they read Follow Me. Other blogs hitting on this point include Dan Edelen at Cerulean Sanctum and Skye Jethani at Out of Ur from a couple of years ago.

Wait, I thought this post was supposed to be about Brennan Manning's book The Furious Longing of God?

Well, it is. As he closes the chapter titled 'fire' Manning states, "It is natural to feel fear and insecurity when confronted with the radical demands of the Christian commitment. But enveloped in the lived truth of God's furious love, insecurity is swallowed up in the solidity of agape, and anguish and fear give way to hope and desire. The Christian becomes aware that God's appeal for unlimited generosity from His people has been preceded from His side by a limitless love, a love so intent upon a response that He has empowered us to respond through the gift of His own Spirit." (pg 119, emphasis added)

In his closing questions Manning quotes Henri Nouwen driving the point further, "When the imitation of Christ does not mean to live a life like Christ, but to live your life as authentically as Christ lived his, then there are many ways and forms in which a man can be a Christian." (pg 121)

And on that point, I believe Platt and his critics would agree.

This post continues discussion on Brennan Manning's book, The Furious Longing of God. Please check out Jason Sasyzsen's and Sarah Salter's blogs for more discussion.


HisFireFly said...

no one ever as radical as He
world changer
lover of each of us

Fatha Frank said...

You're right, Karin. But that radical world changer and redeemer lives inside each of us. "And you will do greater things than me..." Jesus promised. I don't think we always believe this however.

Anonymous said...

I like how you underscored that the fear gives way to hope and DESIRE. Nothing in me desires the ways of God, His purity, His selflessness, etc., but the word of God as expressed in relationship with Him does something to my desires. The pastor where I grew up would say that God changes our "want to's." In that grace and surrender, we do live differently--not because we are working harder but because grace is working in us. Thanks Frank.