Awesome kick in the pants to why the Church exists

Scott Casto

4.5 Stars

July 11, 2013

This is one of those simple books that completely challenges your Americanized version of Christianity and holds a mirror for you to face the facts. Of course I expect that kind of thing while going through the lives of Hudson Taylor, C.T. Studd, George Muller, and John Hyde because they are men from a different time; simpler times with less busy-ness. But Platt’s book, written in 2010, doesn’t let you off the hook so easily. He doesn’t let you say “That was for them then, now is different.” No, he challenges you, American Christian, as someone so wrapped up in money, career, comfort, and 401(k) plans that your Christianity is impotent. Oh we like to say we’re not, but as Platt says, we are largely spiritually blind to our own levels of materialism and consumerism. He talks about how he visits countries where it’s illegal to study the Bible and how those in the underground church treasure the Bible so much more than Americans. How they don’t care about projectors and comfortable chairs; they just care about Jesus. He even spends some time talking about how a lot of us are Universalists in either thought or practice as we claim to be Christians but find no need to share the Gospel with anyone else.

One story that hit home was the pastor that threatened his congregation when they had a missionary from Japan visiting. This pastor told the church, “You’d better give to this missionary or God’s going to send your children to Japan.” Platt talked of the shock of this statement and even at it’s effectiveness in getting a lot of money for the missionary. Like people don’t want to take the Gospel anywhere, so they want to give money so they don’t have to. I wouldn’t say this book is perfect, but Platt’s take on the whole American Dream and the American Church was intriguing, refreshing, and surprisingly closer to views that have been hitting me lately than I would’ve expected. If you’re a Christian or a ministry lead, I don’t know how you can get by without at least reading this book. Get it today.