Timothy Dalrymple on “Radical”

I just read a thought-provoking article by Timothy Dalrymple called The Dangers of “Radical” Faith (and What They Teach Us) that echoes some of the same concerns that I’ve voiced lately.  Before people crawl out of the woodwork and assume that I or Dalrymple are criticizing David Platt I assure you that neither of us are.  In fact, he concludes the article, by writing, “I strongly doubt that Platt would disagree with these points, so this is not a criticism so much as a development of the theme.  If we understand what radical discipleship should not mean, if we identify the pitfalls, then we are better prepared to find the right path forward.”

This will be the first in a series of posts that I believe would be worth following, but this little excerpt gives a pretty good summary of one of my minor criticisms,

Finally, a focus on being “radical” can lead us to bad solutions. Tell me this.  Which is more radical: living upon the streets in order to give your money to a homeless shelter, or investing your money in launching a business that can employ hundreds of people and supports their families?  Now, which is actually more helpful to more people?  Or to give another example, which is more radical: assembling an organization that helps people in poverty or assembling an organization that strengthens marriages, preventing divorce and all of the poverty that often follows from divorce?

The point is not to enter a discussion on policies.  The point is that the most helpful thing might not be the most radical thing, so – again – radicality cannot be the goal.  We must have warm hearts, but we must also have cool heads.  The excellence of our intentions should be matched by the excellence of our actions.

Please do not post a critical comment based on this excerpt.  I welcome comments but read the whole article first.


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