Just received my copy of David Platt’s Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream from amazon.com in the mail today. Can’t wait to finish writing my own book (just two more weeks and two more chapters to go…) so I can read it, along with the 38 other books that I ordered but could not read while in my self-imposed writing cocoon.
I imagine I’ll like the book a lot, for two reasons. First, when I was flipping through it I saw a quote so compelling I had to use it in my book:
As Elisabeth Elliot points out, not even dying a martyr’s death is classified as extraordinary obedience when you are following a Savior who died on a cross. Suddenly a martyr’s death seems like normal obedience.
Got to love a megachurch pastor willing to talk like that.
Second, what actually made me order the book was David Brooks’ review of it in the New York Times. Are you reading all of David Brooks’ New York Times columns? Mandatory, friend. Mandatory.
Including this one. Brooks’ review is edifying reading in its own right.
Maybe the first decade of the 21st century will come to be known as the great age of headroom. During those years, new houses had great rooms with 20-foot ceilings and entire new art forms had to be invented to fill the acres of empty overhead wall space.
People bought bulbous vehicles like Hummers and Suburbans. The rule was, The Smaller the Woman, the Bigger the Car — so you would see a 90-pound lady in tennis whites driving a 4-ton truck with enough headroom to allow her to drive with her doubles partner perched atop her shoulders.
Brooks notes that after the economy “went poof”, values have radically changed:
Today, savings rates are climbing and smart advertisers emphasize small-town restraint and respectability. The Tea Party movement is militantly bourgeois. It uses Abbie Hoffman means to get back to Norman Rockwell ends.
Brooks sees Platt in this vein. He offers several quotes from Platt, including the one that sent me straight to amazon to order the book:
Platt calls on readers to cap their lifestyle. Live as if you made $50,000 a year, he suggests, and give everything else away. Take a year to surrender yourself. Move to Africa or some poverty-stricken part of the world. Evangelize.
I am in love.
My only request is that Platt would consider going with $38,500 rather than $50,000. Maybe when I read the book I’ll discover where the $50,000 comes from, but I suggested the $38,500 as the more appropriate number in one of my own personal favorite blog posts that I’ve done on this site. I encourage you to check it out and, emboldened by Platt, I encourage you to try it out. Or try his way.
Or split the difference and try living on $44,250.
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