What does the church today live for? What do you live for? David Platt’s piercing new book, Follow Me, begins with these questions. In a world where Christians are often complacent and lukewarm, Platt’s book calls for a return to the biblical core of what it means to be a Christian: following Jesus. By examining the life of Jesus throughout the Bible, Platt arranges the Christian life around one main priority: making disciples for the glory of God.
It’s not a popular call these days — after all, evangelizing is uncomfortable, and I’m as guilty as anyone. Who wants to risk making someone upset for the sake of a prepackaged spiel? Platt pushes on this discomfort. If our faith in Christ is truly the most important part of our life, as we claim, and if we believe that those who don’t have this truth will be condemned, why is the church not mobilizing to spread this truth throughout the world? “Let us make disciples!” is the rallying cry of Follow Me.
First, Platt sets out to prove that a Christian’s first duty is making disciples; second, he looks at the process of making disciples in today’s world. Throughout the first half of the book, he throws aside the fluff of twenty-first century Christianity layer by layer, dismantling traditions and conventions that have obscured the main point of being a Christian. Singing songs and hearing a sermon on Sunday may be what Christianity visibly looks like today, but that’s not the burning center of our faith.
Jesus’ last words in Matthew 28:19 were to “go, and make disciples of all nations.” His apostles followed this commission: these made disciples, who then made disciples of their own, and on until today. The only reason Christians are around today is because of the Great Commission that Jesus left to his disciples. It follows that this commission is crucial, and the only reason Christianity has persisted until today.
Having established this, Platt holds up the radical Christ-focused church that he has described against today’s church, concluding that the church today does not bear the fruit of a church that is following this Commission. Follow Me is a plea to the Christian church to rediscover its mission. This is where the second message of the book kicks in: what should evangelism look like in today’s world?
I was encouraged by the repeated stories in the pages of Follow Me. Here are real people, like you and me, who are living the type of life Platt is advocating. These come from people in the church he pastors, missionaries from around the world, and even David Platt’s own life. Throughout, his emphasis is clear: this is what evangelizing looks like — this is what our mission looks like. These are compelling and convicting chapters, because they are grounded in the world. No hand-waving here, Platt backs up his assertions with the word of God and many examples from real life.
After closing the book, my thought was, “What next?” The book concludes with a chapter of questions designed to help practically arrange your life around discipleship. The questions are only as useful as you make them, but they set the tone of radical Christ-following that Platt encourages in the rest of the book. I found these questions especially appropriate at the beginning of a new year. With the weight of the entire book behind him, Platt closes with a final plea, “This is a call worth dying for. This is a King worth living for.”
I highly recommend Follow Me, and I especially recommend giving the book one or two concentrated reads. It’s easy to write a challenging and compelling book, but to compel people to change their lives and routines is another matter altogether. I believe that the message of Follow Me is desperately needed, and I pray that by the work of David Platt, others, and by you and me, Christ’s gospel might spread throughout this world. For Christ is, indeed, a King worth living for.
Published on 8 January, 2015. Last updated on