Author: David Platt
David Plat writes clearly and powerfully to remind us that American does not equal Christian in Radical. This book is not a protest of America; it is a call to authentic Christianity, a call for which I thank God. May God bless this book not with profits, but with “prophets” who proclaim the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ with all their living.
I remember exactly where I was sitting.
It was in a home where leaders of an American church had gathered – a church that had demonstrated great kindness to me in the past, praying for me and even sending me financial support (completely unsolicited). The pastor sat immediately to my right, and a couple of deacons were on the other side of the den. This was Saturday evening, and I have been invited to preach the following morning in their church.
As we sat around the den, they asked me questions about how my wife and I were doing. I shared with them about inner-city ministry in New Orleans, where we were living at the time. I told them about the ministry in housing projects ridden with poverty and gang violence. I told them about ministry among homeless men and women who struggled with various addictions.
Then I told them about ministry opportunities God had recently given me around the world. I told them about people’s receptivity to the gospel in places that are traditionally hostile to Christianity. I told them that, whether in the inner city or overseas, God was drawing people to himself in some of the toughest areas of the world.
Expecting them to share in my excitement, I paused to listen for their response. After an awkward silence, one of the deacons leaned forward in his chair, looked at men, and said, “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.”
It got worse.
The next morning we arrived at the church building, and the worship service began. The pastor rose to welcome everyone , and during his introductory remarks began talking about how thankful he was to be living in the United States. I am not sure what sparked the patriotic address that followed, but for the next few minutes he told the church that there was no chance that he would live anywhere else in the world. Amens were firing left and right from the crowd. Engulfed in nationalistic zeal, I was just waiting for Lee Greenwood to burst into song in the background.
Minutes later I got up to preach on going to all nations with the gospel. When I finished, I walked down to the front while the pastor got up to close the service. These were his words: “Brother David, we are so excited about that God is doing in New Orleans and in all nations, and we are excited that you are serving there. And, brother, we promise that we will continue to send you a check so we don’t have to go there ourselves.”