Before 2010, the vast majority of the Christian world had no idea who David Platt was. Then he wrote something called “Radical”, a manuscript that was originally intended to be used among the members of the church he pastors. Yet, something with such mild expectations, turned into book that lodged itself on New York Times Best Seller list and launched Platt into being widely sought after as a speaker and preacher.
Platt had seen how spoiled the American church had become, so “Radical” aimed at taking the Christian faith back from the American Dream. This year Platt wrote another book called “Follow Me”, which calls out the passive and consumer-like faith that exists in the church today.
“Follow Me” aims at correcting this passive, pew bound religion by looking at the faith the disciples lived out as seen in the Gospels and in the book of Acts. Sadly, even the most casual Christian can see a massive disconnect between the active faith of the disciples and what we see played out in the church as a whole today. We’ve let the call to walk the aisle and to pray a prayer become the summit of our faith. Whereas for the disciples Platt says:
“Disciples like Peter, Andrew, James, John and Ayan [a friend of Platt] show us that the call to follow Jesus is not simply an invitation to pray a prayer; it’s a summons to lose our lives.
The Sinner’s Prayer isn’t the pinnacle of our faith, it is the initial pronouncement of it. Jesus’s call to the disciples wasn’t to follow Him for a week or a month, it was a call to come and die. The Lord of our lives deserves more than just casual lip service. “He is worthy of more than church attendance and casual association; He is worthy of total abandonment and supreme adoration.” (p. 38)
In view of our lack of active, Platt takes Scripture and begins to affirm the true call of those who follow Christ. Submitting our lives to Christ should be such a life altering event that the very words that we say have now changed. As Platt says, “Following Jesus necessitates believing Jesus, and believing Jesus leads to proclaiming Jesus.” If our lives are changed for the better, why would we become silent about that remarkable change? As our mouths speak to the Lordship of Christ, so should our actions point to the work of Christ.
The burden to reflect God’s glory in action is even greater on those who are leaders in the church. The pulpit should not be the only means by which one’s faith is communicated.
“So God has given leaders to the church not only to communicate His Word, but also to convey what it looks like in practice so that Christians have a model for what it means to follow Christ. This is why the qualifications for church leaders in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are so clear: a church leader is intended to be an example worthy of imitation by other Christians.” (p. 169)
Our call in following after Christ is to trust in God, pursue our relationship with Him fiercely and to make disciples. Nothing passive in that call. We as believers have been given an amazing grace and with that grace comes a weighty call. As 1 Peter 2:9 summarizes this whole book,”But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”