"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard


Posted in Good Quotes, Questions For You, Theological by matt on Sunday, November 15, 2009


If you light yourself on fire, the world will come to watch you burn. ~John Wesley

Repeat after me: “It’s OK to be radical…it’s OK to be radical…it’s OK to be radical.”

Really, it is. But recently the word ‘radical’ has been tragically hijacked by the hijackers. When most people think of ‘radical’, beauty is the last thing they’re thinking of (especially in the area of religion). Instead they think of bombs, jihadists, crusades, wars, and on and on. But let’s be real, these things are radical, aren’t they? They’re radical in the negative way.

I believe that negative connotation needs to be redeemed. Good connotations are possible.

Followers of Jesus don’t have to hide from words just because they’ve got a bad rap on the nightly news. Every action of every person is continuously contributing to the meaning of words. Words are static. And that’s good news because it means that negative words can be redeemed! Godly actions can inject new meaning into godless words.

All that brings me to this: How is a follower of Jesus meant to be radical? If godly living begets godly word-meanings, how should we live if we’re going to change the meaning of the word ‘radical’ into something godly?

I’ve been encouraged to be ‘radical like Jesus’ in the past, and, in turn, I’ve encouraged others in the same way. But what does that encouragement entail? What kind of radical are we talking about?

This is a trending topic among many believing college students, but the enthusiasm usually (at least in my experience) results in lots of talk about problems that need to be changed with those people/institutions/beliefs rather than how they themselves are going to make a radical change. It’s much easier to deconstruct others than to change yourself, but that’s another post.  : )

If there’s anything I’m certain of, though, it’s that there’s nothing passive about being radical. If you’re intentionality isn’t making a few people nervous then I doubt you’re on the right track.

Everything I believe about radical living can be summed up with the cross of God: our need, God’s love, and the redemption of everything in existence is about the most beautiful kind of radical I can think of. And God invites us to join Him in the redemption of all things to Himself. He invites us to be radical with him.

So, whether you comment or no, please consider: how does the word ‘radical’ manifest itself in your day-to-day? Are there set ways for every Christ-follower to be radical? Or is it different from person to person? Or both? Can you think of any examples of people who showed you a good kind of radical?

I’d love to hear from you.

2 Responses

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  1. Dylan said, on Friday, May 13, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Being radical to me means working for the truth regardless of what the status quo has decided is their latest “truth”.

    I’m not religious, but as a former Christian, I respect your passion for your faith. I can only hope that by delving into the teachings of Jesus, you make it your mission to embrace those lessons that seek to unite instead of divide. Too many religious types get lost in the semantics of how to practice their faith in its “purest” form, instead of preaching the good word of loving one’s brothers and sisters, regardless of the particulars.

    • matt said, on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 2:17 am

      Thanks for the kind words, Dylan! It’s also my hope that I’d be one who loves regardless of the particulars (I like that wording!).

      Loving preemptively is instep with God’s love, and I need continual reminders (like this one) if I’m ever going to learn to do it well.

      Thanks again for commenting!

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