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Books, Church, Culture, God, Life

I’d like to reclaim the Gospel from the “social gospel”

Radical by David Platt

Let me start off by saying that the book isn’t all bad. I think I’m going to focus on a few negative things I found out about the book because they are particularly glaring. In general I agree that many Christians in this country (and perhaps many others) don’t do enough. They are needlessly apathetic towards their faith. Sure they go to Church every week, maybe even pay their tithe, but outside of that 2 hours a week there isn’t much about them that would indicate they are Christians. Many of us need to be woken up to the fact that God didn’t just call pastors. But there are a few points that he, in my opinion, over-emphasized.

One example is the seemingly important weight he placed on foreign missions. My impression was that everyone needs to do this. The two main issues with that are as follows. First not everyone is called to that. If you are the sole caretaker of an elderly parent, are you to let them languish in an institution so that you can leave? I don’t think so, and here’s why, and it’s my second reason, there are plenty of mission fields in your own area.

I think the reason he, and others fall prey to the “foreign missions” paradigm is that they see the primary job of missionaries as social. You know, feed the hungry, build homes, get them clean drinking water (let me be clear, those are all good things). But the primary purpose of a missionary is to spread the gospel. If you see someone in trouble you should help, but if you feed, cloth, and provide shelter to someone and don’t tell them about what God has done to redeem them, what good does it do in the long run. And of course the opposite is true, if you just tell them about Jesus but don’t help, you aren’t doing the whole job.

That’s also tied to what I have issues with, when reading a lot of these types of books. The Gospel (what we’re supposed to share with the whole world) isn’t primarily social. It’s so much more than that. What profit is it if a man gains the whole world but loses his soul? That goes for the people were we set up mission trips to as well as ourselves.

I received this book from the publisher for free. The review is my own. The opinions are mine and aren’t colored by the fact that the book was provided free of cost.

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