by Joe Alain

Radical Christianity
Joe Alain
Matthew 4:18-22

Sermon Outline
1. The Call to Follow Jesus "Come follow me"
2. The Cost of Following Jesus "At once they left their nets"
3. The Concern of Following Jesus "I will make you fishers of men"

What actually does it mean to say that I am a "Christian"? What does it mean to say that we follow Jesus? Why is there seemingly a disconnect with what we read in Scripture as to what it means to follow Jesus and what we actually do? Have we glossed over or explained away the radical nature of following Jesus? David Platt recounts his growing awareness of the disconnect between our current practice and Scripture. "I could not help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with comfortable" (Radical, 7). Platt's analysis of how we have rationalized away the radical call of follow Jesus has resonated with many of us in the church who have expressed similar sentiments.

Instead of embracing the radical call to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, Platt states, we want to follow "A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live our Christian spin on the American dream" (13). Similarly, Francis Chan says, "The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don't swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. That's for 'radicals' who are 'unbalanced' and who go 'overboard.' Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering" (Crazy Love, 68).

Platt and Chan have given fresh voice to an age-old dilemma; that is, following Jesus is costly. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Pastor, Prophet, and Martyr) in his classic work, The Cost of Discipleship stated, "When we are called to follow Christ, we are summoned to an exclusive attachment to his person . . . Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ" (The Cost of Discip ...

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