(Book Review) Runaway Radical

Runaway RadicalReviewed by: Virginia Peterson, librarian

Church: Spencerport Bible Church, near Rochester, N.Y.


Title: Runaway Radical: A Young Man’s Reckless Journey to Save the World

Author: Amy Hollingsworth & Jonathan Hollingsworth (mother & son)

Publisher: Harper Collins Christian Publishing

Publication Date: February 24, 2015

Format: Print

Length: 240 Pages


Jonathan was a college-age Christian who wanted to change the world in the name of Jesus by helping the poor and underprivileged. The book recounts briefly his experiences on mission trips and in ministry before his big decision to spend a year in Africa. Influenced by writers who promised God would come through for those who gave their all to Him, Jonathan found out that the reality may be different. With his faith shaken, he came home early.

The book alternates between Jonathan’s and his mother’s recollections and writings, and explores the question of how radical discipleship can become a new form of legalism (one’s efforts determine the results and bring God’s favor). The book ends with the authors’ reflections on what grace really means in the Christian life.


Rating (1 to 5)

5 out of 5 stars

Suggested Audience

Teen to adult.

Christian Impact

The story is an illustration of how we need to evaluate all that we’re taught by Scripture, and of how easy it is to go too far in our zeal to do good. It’s very tempting to think that doing good works “earns” us God’s blessing. That can result in blaming ourselves or God for any failures or bad outcomes.

Virginia is a former homeschooling mother. Current activities include quilter, genealogist, and volunteer apologist for Reasons To Believe ministry. 

Interested in reviewing a book, movie, album, or other type of media for our website? We would love to hear from you! Find out more about how to submit media reviews.

About ECLA Web Team

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals. This account is managed by the ECLA Web Team.

One Response to “(Book Review) Runaway Radical”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: