Just in case I haven't mentioned Radical by David Platt enough, I'm going to bring it up again. I'm not going to say this book revolutionized my grasp of Christianity, because obviously it was simply God using the book for His own purpose, but this book has a special place in my small, personal library (right next to Crazy Love by Francis Chan and Christless Christianity by Michael Horton). In it, Platt attacks the comfort of typical American Christianity. Here is a good quote I ran across as I was re-skimming the book tonight.
"Imagine walking in a field and stumbling upon a treasure that is more valuable than anything else you could work for or find in this life. It is more valuable than all you have now or will ever have in the future.
"You look around and notice that no one else realizes the treasure is here, so you cover it up quickly and walk away, pretending you haven't seen anything. You go into town and begin to sell off all your possessions to have enough money to buy that field. The world thinks your crazy. 'What are you thinking?' your friends and family asks you.
"You tell them, 'I'm buying that field over there.'
"They look at you in disbelief. 'That's a ridiculous investment,' they say. 'Why are you giving away everything you have?'
"You respond, 'I have a hunch,' and you smile to yourself as you walk away.
"You smile because you know. You know that in the end you are not really giving away anything at all. Instead you are gaining. Yes, you are abandoning everything you have, but you are also gaining more than you could have any other way. So with joy- with joy!- you sell it all, you abandon it all. Why? Because you have found something worth losing everything else for.
"This is the picture of Jesus in the gospel. He is something- someone- worth losing everything for. And if we walk away from the Jesus of the gospel, we walk away from eternal riches. The cost of nondiscipleship is profoundly greater for us than the cost of discipleship. For when we abandon the trinkets of this world and respond to the radical invitation of Jesus, we discover the infinite treasure of knowing and experiencing him."
-David Platt, Radical