By Bishop Noel Jones
Chapter 2 08/27- 09-03
Chapter 3 09/03- 09/10
Chapter 4 09/10- 09/17
Chapter 5 09/17- 09/24
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"The Battle For the Mind"
By Bishop Noel Jones
Chapter 1 08/20- 08-27
Chapter 2 08/27- 09-03
Chapter 3 09/03- 09/10
Chapter 4 09/10- 09/17
Chapter 5 09/17- 09/24
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by David Platt
Chapter 1 02/13- 01/20
Chapter 2 02/20- 01/27
Chapter 3 02/27- 03/05
Chapter 4 03/05- 03/12
Chapter 5 03/12 - 03/19
Chapter 6 03/19 - 03/26
Chapter 7 03/26 - 04/02
Chapter 8 04/02 - 04/09
Chapter 9 04/09 - 04/16
One of the things that jumps out to me most about the first chapter is the sharp contrast between some of the underground churches that he visited in Asia with the churches that the majority of us experience here in America. David Platt talked about being in churches in Asia were it was life-threatening to even to be a believer in Christ and how many of those believers were being lured away into becoming apart of a cult society. Another thing that stood out to me that he mentioned was how comfortable many of us American Christians have become in our way of expressing Christianity. It seems that we have tailored Christianity to cater to us, unlike our counterparts in places like Asia who experience persecution just for being a believer.
I agree Cliff. We have gotten comfortable, and what's even worse is that we don't even know it! It's like we are fitting Christ into this nice little comfortable bubble that works best for us and are unknowingly deceiving ourselves as if we are totally committed to God. When I began to read this I noticed all the little comfortable areas of my life.
Radical-- of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.
thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms:
From the beginning this book set you at odds with yourself. It calls for a true reform of the Christ that you have created in your own mind. He opens your eyes to a dying world that is not a part of our daily lives. He challenges us to move out of our comfort zones and more towards the Jesus that most of us don’t want to hear. It is true no one want to hear let the dead bury the dead. No one wants to hear sale all you have and give it to the poor. One truly needs a renewed mind to grasp this concept and still want to follow Jesus. I am excited about the journey this book is about to take us and after we finish it where the LORD will have me to go.
Tae, your're absolutley right, I was at odds with myself as I read it. And, it does take a renewed mind to be radical and follow Christ no matter the consequences. Our old "comfortable mind" would never go for it.
Let's put ourselves in the shoes of these eager followers of Jesus in the first century. What if I were the potential disciple being told to drop my nets? What if you were the man whom Jesus told to not even say good-bye to his family? What if we were told to hate our families and give up everything we had in order to follow Jesus? This is where we come face to face with a dangerous reality. WE DO have to give up everything to follow Jesus (p.12)"
Wow, I am really enjoying this book. The above passage is my favorite part of chapter one. As I read through the first part of it I found myself thinking things like wow, THEY were radical, glad that's not me, and glad that's not the way it has to be anymore-- until I got to that last sentence, and then I was speechless. The Lord began to confirm for me what David Platt wrote, that basically says, if you are MY child, then this IS REALITY for you! The Lord doesn't require anything less than he did his disciples back then; He requires our TOTAL commitment. If that means to reject your family and closest friends, then so be it; if that means being physically persecuted then so be it; if that means losing everything that you have then so be it! God should be everything to us. Sometimes we are totally committed to God until it begins to hurt us or feel uncomfortable then we slowly bow out of the race. But how can we truly come into our inheritance if we only "sometimes" honor our Father?
I really loved this chapter!
Joy(no email)02/25/2012 9:01amChapter 2
Chapter 2 held a lot of revelation for me. I like how in the first few pages of this chapter Platt sets the record straight on how most people view God. Many people only view God as a loving Father and thats it. If God were only a loving Father then there would be no reason to refrain from sin because our Father will always welcome back. However God, along with being a loving Father is also a judge, who hates sin and ”in some sense hates sinners, p29.”
It is also a good point that Platt makes when he says, we are scared to really look deep in what the Word says because then we may find that God is requiring a lot more from us than what we are currently giving him. He may require some things that we don't want to give up, so we tell ourselves that as long as we do this or that then I'll make it in. It amazes me to think that everything in all creation bows down in humble submission to God except us. Instead we say, not now Lord, I would rather do this, or just plain NO. This makes me so grateful for His grace. Even saying thank you sometimes seems inadequate when I reflect on how, as Platt put it, ”All God's holy wrath and hatred toward sin, stored up since the beginning of time was poured out on Jesus Christ. What an amazing God!
Wow; what can I say about chapter 2 mind blowing. The writer takes the invitation that the T.V. evangelists as well as many of the churches around the U.S. and picks it apart and calls it a catch phrase. He takes our idea of who Jesus and what the cross means and is and totally challenge us to see the big picture. He takes our relationship with God and causes us to reevaluate it. Have a hungry for the word to seek him with all your heart soul and mind. To desire Jesus more than our own life, to pursue him and his will for our life.
Wow, that blew my mind! Especially when he mentions that "No where in the bible can you find, reapeat after me or say this paryer." It makes you look and think deeper into what inviting people to Christ really means. We are actually inviting people to die! To die to themselves. Jesus never hesitated in telling people how much it cost to follow him. Thanks for bringing this out Tae, this was such an interesting point to me.
Chapter 2 of Radical is a great chapter for many reasons. It begins talking more about how thirsty the believers in other countries were to receive the word of God. Its always encouraging to read that kind of story because it allows us to become more appreciative of the comfortable situation that we are in as believers. As Joy mentioned, sometimes we try to understand God as all loving and all forgiving and He is, the problem comes in when we disregard that he he is also a righteous judge and a sin hater. Another thing that struck me very deep and was also mentioned is how we sometimes get caught up in different ways of trying to accept God into our lives. I have been apart of many services and events were the focal point was saying a prayer of acceptance of Jesus into our lives. I have said them myself, and this is a prerequisite for salvation so in no way is it wrong to to this. The problem comes in when the service ends and the "new believer" goes on to live a life that is not changed and does not reflect the life of Christ. If we take Jesus' words "follow Me", we say that he meant give your entire life to me, not only your words.
Awesome point Cliff! Couldn't have said that better!
The zeal and hunger that the believers in chapter 2 have for the Word of God is so refreshing and inspiring as well. To know that they not only were willing to risk their lives for their faith, but also would devote so much effort and attention to truly delving into Scripture is nothing short of a model. It is a model for us, who in America do not often experience even an iota of the resistance that the people in this village face in order to be a follower of Christ, yet find it difficult to "fit" time with God into our busy schedules. Here, we are the majority. Yet in still, it has been my experience that we lack the sort of thirst for God that those in the Secret Church exhibited. I was also moved by Platt's assertion that we have turned the all powerful Savior into a puny deity begging for our acceptance. The sales pitch, as he calls it, makes it seem as if He needs us, when on the contrary it is us who desperately need Him. While praying that Jesus be accepted into your heart, that you might experience salvation is in no way wrong, saying these words and not truly surrendering your life over to be led by Christ and not living a life that is marked by Christ completely negates the whole purpose of confessing the Jesus is your Lord and Savior, who God raised from the dead.
So true Ta'Chelle, here we are trying to "fit" reading the word and praying and meditating in our schedule, when our christian counter parts around the world are spending whole days in worship at the risk of their lives. So humbling!
Chapter 3 I find myself thinking, wow, this book can’t be this good and impactful all the way through! But I wasn’t disappointed in chapter 3. The first thing that stands out is the story of the recent Indonesian seminary graduate, Radan. It is amazing to hear how God fought his (and will fight our) battles. Even when God is fighting on our behalf, it is not necessarily for us but for Him to get the glory. The second thing that stood out is the Christian pursuit of the American Dream. It is so easy to allow this snake to slither its way into the grass of our hearts. It seems harmless to want to live a good, comfortable life. To be all that you can be and achieve all that you can achieve. I definitely had to reevaluate my thinking upon reading this chapter because it made me consider that nothing about living in comfort and easy gives glory to God. As a matter of fact James 1:2 teaches us to consider it Joy when we face trials. Romans says to rejoice in sufferings… So why do we feel we are off the hook? My final favorite point from chapter 3 is how Platt explains how God gives us everything that we need through the Holy Spirit.
I have to agree with you Joy. Reading about Raden and how though he more than likely had the training that would have allowed him to take down the medicine man, he rested confidently knowing that God would fight his battles for him. And he clearly did (and does)! I like how Chapter 3 brought to the forefront even more that the American Dream and American culture for that matter, is so inundated with the concept of independence and the thought process that anything you want is achievable through one's own ability and "go get em" attitude. This type of attitude though is not at all what God wants from us. He wants us to lean on Him and His might and His power rather than anything we think that we can do for ourselves.
I loved reading Platt's overview of Acts and the early church and how God was continually glorified through its growth. My favorite quote was, "A scene where the church radically trusts in God's great power to provide unlikely people with unlimited, unforeseen, uninhibited resources to make His name known as great." Like Platt, I want to be apart of that dream!
I agree Ta'Chelle,What a beautiful picture of the church that Platt paints with those words and Acts gives us the reality of it in that it actually did happen. Wow, I wnat to be a part of that as well!
Platt definitely grabbed my attention with the first story of this chapter from the deacon who said about the people around the world who David Platt went to spread the gospel to, " David, I think it's great you are going to those places. But if you ask me, I would just as soon God annihilate all those people and send them to hell." -Whoa... Platt goes on to explain how doing nothing we are sentencing people around the world who don't know Christ to the same thing. This chapter made me think about how I am contributing to spreading the gospel and how often do I get outside of my comfort zone (church, school, work, home) to go spread the gospel. How often do we serve people who are less fortunate than we are. There is a really good theme throughout this chapter that is "God blesses us, not for our glory, but for his glory so that we can bless others." Do we turn our blessings back over to God, or do we hoard them pile them up and use them for ourselves and our families? That is definitely something to think about (and act on if necessary).
My favorite quotes are:
(p.74) "In Romans 1:14-15, Paul talks about being a debtor to the nations. He literally says "I am in debt to the Jews and Gentiles." ---Paul is saying that he owes a debt to every lost person on the face of the planet. Because he is owned by Christ, he owes Christ to the world."
"I have blessed you for my glory. Not so you will have a comfortable life with a big house and a nice car. Not so you can spend lots of money on vacations, education, or clothing. Those aren't bad things, but I've blessed you so that the nations will know me and see my glory."
The quote in Roman 1:14-15 that Joy mentioned was one of the parts that stuck out to me also when Paul acknowledged that he was in debt to pretty much everyone on earth who isn't a believer. If we as Christians could somehow grasp that idea and actually have an attitude of owing non-believers the Gospel it could change the lives of so many people in this world.
Another concept that I thought was very important also for us as believers to understand in this chapter was the concept that God is at the center of His universe, not us. We sometimes take the stance that we are the center of God's affection and His world, and that His ultimate plan revolves completely around us. God does love us in an unmerited and undefined way, but ultimately His plan and glory is bound up in the exaltation of Himself, and He is worthy of that glory. I think Platt did a good job at explaining that concept in order to make us humble enough to know that everything is for the glory of God and not us.
We are not the center of biblical Christianity. Platt really levels with believers in this chapter by continuing to point out the inconsistencies that many of us as believers in Christ exhibit in comparison to what the Bible actually says. In many ways, it is as if we have selective reading. He mentions in this chapter that we often read the Great Commission and then attempt to negotiate its definite terms saying that it is for others to do, not us. Yet, we read of God's grace and His love and His natural inclination to want to give us the best of the best and quickly cling to these verses, accepting fully that this is talking about us.
A reoccurring theme in this book is the invitation to practice biblical Christianity, not an American-ized, self gratifying version of it. It is made clear that in order to practice this it takes humility, and dying to yourself frequently, and facing hardships, and being uncomfortable. This is where true spiritual growth happens though. This is how God intends to use us in order to make His name known.
Beginning At The End Of Ourselves Ch 3
The author begins to tell a story about a trip he took to Indonesia. Right away I notice some different things about their culture first to graduate you have to start a new church with a least baptized 30 new believers. Now that would be hard enough here in the states. Starting a church from nothing and adding 30 new believers to the body. But to do it in a Muslim country where they already have a god to convince them to convert knowing that they could die doing so is truly miraculous. Something that only the true and living God can do.
So to the sum of all these things; they have a attitude and culture at the work of Christ comes first even if it cost them their life. There are not following Christ for the two fish and five loaves of bread or any kind of blessing. (American Dream) They live in the mist of the enemy day in and day out only wanting to please GOD. How Awesome is that!!!!!!!!
So true ^
Wow, I forgot about that point, very well put.
I really like Platt's 3 points of disciple making: 1) Going, 2)Baptizing & 3) Teaching. I especially like the "teaching" part. One thing that I was taught in school was the best way to demonstrate that you have learned something is by teaching it to someone else. This is especially true for the gospel. Teaching makes us study more because we want to be able to direct people appropriately. It will more than likely hold us accountable because we don't want to come off as teaching one thing and doing another. And as Platt mentioned, teaching can be as simple as if someone does not know how to pray, inviting them to your prayer time. Teaching doesn't have to be planned or at a conference or in a classroom or at a formal bible study. It can be a simple one on one conversation about Christ with someone else. This is something that the Lord is calling me to do, to be more intentional about the opportunities that he has given me to teach and make disciples.
Okay, wow! So I have finished this book and feel so blessed because of it! There are so many things that David Platt opened my eyes to through his writing! I have definitely considered the ways in which my own life were reflecting my own version of the American Dream. These are things that I am determined to pray for. Because this book is so impactful filled with tons of great tools, I will just list highlights from chapters 6-9. I would recommend all Christians to read this book with an open mind and a heart of making disciples.
Chapter 6: Uncover the blind spots of your life. Areas that are not Christ like but that is hard for you to see. “Part of our sinful nature instinctively chooses to see what we want to see and to ignore what we want to ignore. I can live my Christian life and even lead the church while unknowingly overlooking evil.”
Chapter7: There are 7 Truths in this chapter and they are #1) All people have knowledge of God, #2) All People Reject God, #3) All people are guilty before God, #4)All People are condemned for rejecting God, #5) God has made a way of salvation for the lost, #6) People cannot come to God apart from Christ, #7) Christ commands the church to make the gospel known to all peoples.
The divine plan for taking the gospel to the world is this: God send his servants. -->His servants preach. -->People Hear. -->Hears believe. -->Believers call. --> Everyone who calls is saved. There is no plan B.
Chapter 8: “Jesus is saying to his disciples- I am sending you to dangerous places, where you will find yourself in the middle of evil, vicious people. And you will be there by design. Go to great danger, and let it be said of you what people would say of sheep wandering into the middle of wolves. ‘They are crazy! They have no idea what kind of danger they are getting into!’ ….This is what it means to be my disciple.”
Chapter 9: I really want to try to do the radical experiment: In one year complete the following-
1) Pray for the entire world
2) Read through the entire bible
3) Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose
4) Spend your time in another context
5) Commit your life to multiplying community