Alabama megachurch Pastor David Platt's book, Radical, which contrasts the American Dream with the Gospel, has reached a milestone with 1 million copies in print.
"I hadn't seen such enthusiasm for a book in quite some time, and it's been a real pleasure to see that enthusiasm carry over to retailers and consumers," Steve Cobb, president and publisher of WaterBrook Multnomah, said in a statement, announcing there are now 1 million copies in print of Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala.
"Everyone on staff has worked hard on this title because they believe that the message can change lives, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to publish such a book," added Cobb.
Radical has remained for 81 weeks on the New York Times Best-Seller List (Paperback Advice & Misc.) and 20 months on the CBA Top 50 Best-Seller List, including 17 months in the top 10.
In the book, Platt argues that Christians have allowed their cultural preferences to manipulate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He cites several examples from the Bible to explain that Jesus asked his followers for nothing less than radical abandonment, telling them to leave their jobs, families and all they had. But in the American Dream culture, Christians think that Jesus couldn't possibly have meant that message for them.
"We are afraid of what it might mean for our lives," says the author. "So we rationalize these passages away. We are starting to redefine Christianity. We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and begin twisting him into a version of Jesus that we are more comfortable with."
Platt, who is known for being the youngest megachurch pastor, attributes the success of his debut book to God's grace.
"God is gracious, and His mercy extends far beyond what we could ever deserve or imagine," the statement quotes Platt as saying. "I am thankful for what He has chosen to do with Radical – for the lives of men and women who have decided that Jesus is more satisfying than every pursuit and pleasure in this world, and for the stories of how His glory is being passionately and sacrificially proclaimed to the ends of the earth."
After the release of the book in 2010, Platt told The Christian Post that the American Dream is not compatible with the Gospel.
"The American Dream begins with self. Exalts the self [and] says you are inherently good and you have in you what it takes to be successful," he told CP. "The Gospel's starting point is completely different. The Gospel begins with God and the reality that we were created to exalt His name."
The pastor says he uses all of the author royalties from the book to spread the Gospel "amidst a world of urgent spiritual and physical need." Platt believes in helping the poor in Jesus name. He sold his house and moved into a smaller one to be able to help more people, and many of his church members followed suit.
After the book's release, Platt began the "Radical Experiment," a one year journey in discipleship, with the thousands of members at his church. As a result, over 100 families began the process to become foster parents in hopes of making sure every child in Birmingham has a family; 40 households committed to move to an inner-city neighborhood in Birmingham in an effort to serve and love others; and the church evaluated their 2010 budget and freed up $500,000 dollars to sponsor 21 Compassion International projects in India, providing food, clean water and health care to women and children in one of the most impoverished nations in the world.