2014 "Christian Retailing's Best" award finalist!What did Jesus really mean when he said, "Follow Me"?In this new book, David Platt, author of the New York Timesbestselling book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, contends that multitudes of people around the world culturally think they are Christians yet biblically are not followers of Christ.Scores of men, women, and children have been told that becoming a follower of Jesus simply involves believing certain truths or saying certain words. As a result, churches today are filled with people who believe they are Christians . . . but aren't. We want to be disciples as long as doing so does not intrude on our lifestyles, our preferences, our comforts, and even our religion.Revealing a biblical picture of what it means to truly be a Christian, Follow Meexplores the gravity of what we must forsake in this world, as well as the indescribable joy and deep satisfaction to be found when we live for Christ.The call to follow Jesus is not simply an invitation to pray a prayer; it's a summons to lose your life--and to find new life in him. This book will show you what such life actually looks like.
What is great about this book is that there is no new stuff, no gimmicks, no trendy assumptions. It's just basic blocking and tackling of the Christian life.
His theological foundations are spot on, and the implications of those foundations lead to clear and basic application.
This is a good book to read in a group, and the personal plan can easily be used as a group plan, or a church staff plan.
My only issue with the book are the chapter lengths, but that's just personal preference.
I highly recommend this book.
"In a world where everything revolves around self- protect yourself, promote yourself, preserve yourself, entertain yourself, comfort yourself, take care of yourself- Jesus said "Slay yourself."
"With good intentions and sincere desires to reach as many people as possible for Jesus we have subtly and deceptively minimized the magnitude of what it means to follow him. We've replaced challenging words from Christ with trite phrases in the Church. We've taken the lifeblood out of Christianity and put Kool-aid in its place so that it tastes better to the crowds and the consequences are catastrophic. Multitudes of men and women at this moment think they are saved from their sins when they are not. Scores of people around the world culturally think that they are Christians when biblically they are not."
He reminds us of the verse in Matthew 7 vs 22-23
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS"
He deals with "carnal" Christians (those who think they are saved but continue in habitual sin/there is no visible change in their lives when they come to faith.)
"If our lives do not reflect the fruit of following Jesus, then we are foolish to think that we are actually followers of Jesus in the first place."
He covers the holiness of God, church fellowship (what it is Biblically,) knowing the will of God by being in close relationship with Him and there is an extended section on evangelism. The author reminds us that we are all called to be "disciples making disciples." This is a sobering reminder;
"We email, Facebook, tweet and text with people who are going to spend eternity in either heaven or hell. Our lives are too short to waste on mere temporal conversations when massive eternal realities hang in the balance. Just as you and I have no guarantee that we will live through the day, the people around us are not guaranteed tomorrow either. So let's be intentional about sewing the threads of the gospel into the fabric of our conversations every day, knowing that it will not always be easy, yet believing that eternity will always be worth it."
Those were the good aspects.....I wasn't keen on the Intro by Francis Chan where he suggests that all of our decisions should be based upon what is going to have the greatest impact for God's Kingdom. He is speaking in connection with evangelism after he decided to relocate as he was no longer "effective" in his previous location. But I would suggest that we should base our decisions on where God calls us as individuals to go regardless how effective/successful we are as the fruit may not be known until we get to heaven.
I also didn't relate to a section in the middle of the book about our emotional response to what Christ has done for us. The author seems to make this necessary for salvation and in addition to obedience but how do we know if we love God;
"If you love me you will obey my commands" John 14 vs 15
I like the heart of this author and sense his sincere desire to shake "comfortable Christians" out of complacency and apathy. We need more like him who will challenge the Western church. However, I believe he goes a step too far occasionally by almost encouraging recklessness; mature Christians will be able to discern how to practically apply some of his more radical statements but new believers may make unwise decisions as a consequence.
I recommend this book for Christian readers desiring to truly follow Jesus.