I’ve been reading the book Radical by David Platt over the last couple of months. It’s the type of book I have to take one chapter at a time. After reading a section I usually let it sit for a week or so, before picking the book up again. I don’t read many books this way, but this one has been uniquely challenging and convicting.
In chapter 8, titled “Living When Dying is Gain,” Platt talks about a radical devotion to the mission of God, including several stories of missionaries who have lived and died to advance the kingdom. He briefly mentions the story of Jim Elliot, one of my favorite missionary heroes. Whenever I hear or read a quote from Jim Elliot I just get destroyed. In context, Platt is talking about how Elliot was a gifted preacher, and many in the United States tried to convince him to stay and take a pastoral position, because it would be “safer” than attempting to evangelize a savage unreached tribe of natives in South America. Here is Platt’s excerpt:
Elliot wrote in his journal, “Surely those who know the great passionate heart of Jehovah must deny their own loves to share the expression of Him.” He continued, “Consider the call from the Throne above, “Go ye,” and round about, “Come over and help us,” and even the call from the damned souls below, “Send Lazarus to my brothers, that they come not to this place.” Impelled, then, by these voices, I dare not stay home while Quichuas perish. So what if the well-fed church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the Prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers. American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.”
I think I’m going to let that sit for another week or so.