Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Initial Thoughts on "Radical'

Well, I'm part way through chapter 3 of Radical and my fears are already being realized. I hate it!!

Listen to this:
We already have a fairly high view of our morality, so when we add a superstitious prayer, a subsequent dose of church attendance, and obedience to some of the Bible, we feel pretty sure that we will be all right in the end. (pg. 32)
Uhh, yeah, that pretty sums up my religious experience. So imagine my horror when Platt follows it up a few pages later with the verse in Matthew where Jesus says, "Not everyone who cries Lord Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven," (my own paraphrase) and says,
Jesus was not speaking here to irreligious people, atheists, or agnostics. He was not speaking to pagans or heretics. He was speaking to devoutly religious people who were deluded into thinking they were on the narrow road that leads to heaven when they were actually on the broad road that leads to hell. According to Jesus, one day not just a few but many will be shocked - eternally shocked - to find that they were not in the kingdom of God after all. (pg. 38)

Ahhhhh!!!!! My biggest fear! My stomach is twisted in knots again. I know everyone reading this will try to console me. You'll all say, "Sadie - God knows your heart. If you're really that worried, then you must be a genuine Christian." But I don't think Platt would agree. He writes later in the book that salvation has to be more than the desire to stay out of Hell, it has to be complete, radical abandonment to Christ. I'm hoping that later in the book he'll spell out what that looks like and how I'm supposed to achieve it. But then, as I write "achieve" the bells go off in my head: "works, works, works! Salvation by grace not works!" Ugh. Here I am again. Right where Crazy Love left me.

So there you have my initial, terrified thoughts. Stay tuned for more, hopefully less frantic, analysis of the book.

3 comments:

  1. Hey! I can't remember if I've written this to you before or just thought it in my head, so forgive me if this is a repeat. :)

    I will try to keep this succinct and just say that something my husband has really challenged me on since we've been married is how much time I spend reading books ABOUT the Bible vs. how much time I spend reading the actual Bible. I am not saying it's bad to read these books or to feel challenged, but if you really want your heart to be revealed to you, and if you really want to know the heart and mind of God, the best place by far is to look at His Word. God alone can judge our hearts and our motives, and the best way to be aligned with that in the end is to read what He has to say, not other people's takes on what He has to say! Again--not that that can't help us at times, but I think sometimes it's easier to just have others tell us what to do to be right with God than to seek it out for ourselves.

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  2. Hi Sadie! I'm a long-lost Xanga subscriber who stumbled across your blog this weekend and was happy to find you're still writing. I went to Cornerstone but I'm pretty sure we never met. Lucy is adorable and it's been fun to catch up on your blog!

    I just wanted to write and encourage you in response to this post. First, I think it's great that you're persevering in reading books like this even though they scare you. Second, I'm very similar to you in that I often struggle with assurance of my salvation. Third, I know and believe that God doesn't want His children, who are cleansed by Christ's blood and adopted into His family, to constantly doubt their salvation. Also, I've read that assurance is a gift and is often a mark of maturity, so that gives me hope that the more I grow as a Christian the more assurance the Lord will grant me.

    I also wanted to recommend another book that has been tremendously helpful for me. It's called Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick. It's all about the gospel and what it really means and how we as believers often consider it irrelevant... but the fact that Jesus died for us out of love means everything in every situation of life. It's completely full of Scripture and is such an amazingly convicting yet encouraging book.

    I also love this article: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/ask-pastor-john/can-i-focus-too-much-on-myself-for-assurance-of-salvation

    Whew, that was super long! I hope it's encouraging though and thanks for sharing about this book!

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  3. I love Laura's comment and think there's a lot of truth there.

    Books like that are so tough... it's good to be challenged, but they sometimes beat you down so much. But maybe that's an ok thing. I'm reading "Not a Fan" right now... it sounds pretty similar.

    Don't forget that Jesus is a gift from God and that he desires that we should all be saved.

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