My friend Skye Jethani has written a pair of very thoughtful posts about the problems with being "Radical." In part 1, Jethani asks if the passion to be radical can replace a passion for Christ himself:
"We pastors have a tendency to over-correct the error of consumer faith and instead make evangelism or justice the center of our life rather than Christ. We essentially exchanging one error for another, albeit a more admirable one. As Tim Keller says, idols are 'good things turned into ultimate things.' When presented this way missional activism can lead to the kind of exhaustion expressed by the suburban mom, and it robs us and our people of the joy Christ intends for his children."
In part 2, he questions whether being "radical" compromises the understanding of calling. Is the businessman less called than the pastor?
"Here’s the problem--when we call people to radical Christian activism, we tend to define what qualifies as 'radical' very narrowly. Radical is moving overseas to rescue orphans. Radical is not being an attorney for the EPA. Radical is leaving your medical practice to vaccinate refugees in Sudan. Radical is not taking care of young children at home in the suburbs. Radical is planting a church in Detroit. Radical is not working on an assembly line.
What we communicate, either explicitly or implicitly, by this call to radical activism is that experiencing the fullness of the Christian life depends upon one’s circumstances and actions. Sure, the man working on an assembly line for 50 years can be a faithful Christian, but he’s not going to experience the same sense of fulfillment and significance as the one who does something extreme--who cashes in his 401k and relocates to Madagascar to rescue slaves."