The American Dream

Yesterday, I talked a bit about the idolatry of the American Dream and how it can eat away at us Christians. One of our members reminded me of some great books that address these issues and I wanted to recommend some to you for further reading.
Radical by David Platt

Platt, formerly pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL and now President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, takes a look at the American Dream and compares it to the teaching of Scripture. From the blurb of the book:

It’s easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily…

BUT WHO DO YOU KNOW WHO LIVES LIKE THAT? DO YOU?

In Radical, David Platt challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple–then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a “successful” suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus.

Radical Together by David Platt

Platt continues his radical departure from the American Dream by moving it from an individual concept to a local church concept. How do we live radically together as the church of Jesus Christ? From the book blurb:In Radical, David Platt’s plea for Christians to take back their faith from the American Dream resonated with readers everywhere, and the book quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Now in Radical Together, the author broadens his call, challenging us to unite around a gospel-centered vision.

How, he asks, might such a vision reshape our priorities as the body of Christ? How might well-intentioned Christians actually prevent God’s people from accomplishing God’s purpose? And, how can we best unleash the people of God in the church to carry out the purpose of God in the world?

Writing to everyone who desires to make an impact for God’s glory—whether you are an involved member, a leader, or a pastor—Dr. Platt shares six foundational ideas that fuel radical obedience among Christians in the church. With compelling Bible teaching and inspiring stories from around the world, he will help you apply the revolutionary claims and commands of Christ to your community of faith in fresh, practical ways.

Follow Me by David Platt
Platt continues his series of challenging books by helping us consider what true discipleship looks like. From the book blurb:What did Jesus really mean when he said, “Follow Me”?

In this new book, David Platt, author of the New York Times bestselling 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 Me explores 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.

Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller
Tim Keller, Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, is an effective preacher and writer ministering to people especially without a connection to churches. In this book. Keller addresses all of the things that are often idols in our hearts in the West: money, sex and power. The book blurb reads:Harsh economic realities are casting new light on the pursuits of sex, money, and success for happiness: careers, fortunes, marriages, and retirement security have collapsed. Many feel lost, disenchanted, and resentful.

In this inspiring new book, Timothy Keller, one of the country’s most popular spiritual guides, reveals the unvarnished truth about faith, our hearts’ desires, and the pursuit of happiness-and where all of it can ultimately be found.

So, please consider doing some follow-up reading on this important issue that addresses all of us here in America.

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