Runaway Radical

Travel the world, change lives, save souls. (Note: Results not typical.)

A young idealist, Jonathan Hollingsworth, heeds the call to radical obedience, gives away all of his belongings and shaking off the fetters of a complacent life, travels halfway around the world. There he discovers, among the poor and fatherless of West Africa, that he has only surrendered to a new kind of captivity. There is no doubt that young people today are fully invested in social and human rights issues. They start their own nonprofits, they run their own charities, they raise money for worthy causes. Books on saving the world abound, topping the bestsellers’ lists, fueling the drive to prove not only commitment to the world but devotion to God.

Now there is a new crop of books starting to emerge, detailing the consequences of trying to save a world that is not ours to save. But none of these books tell the story that Runaway Radical tells. This is the first book to highlight the painful personal consequences of the new radicalism, documenting in heartbreaking detail what happens when a young person becomes entrapped instead of liberated by its call. His radical resolve now shaken, Jonathan returns home to rebuild his life and his faith. He recounts his journey with his mother Amy, and together they share an important and cautionary tale for all who lead and participate in compassion activism, in the art of doing good—both overseas and at home—amidst this new culture of radical Christian service.



“When idealism crashes, anger and disillusionment are usually first on the scene. But Amy and Jonathan Hollingsworth eschew the easy (i.e. cynical) way out in this remarkably candid and beautifully crafted book, instead giving readers hope and inspiration in addition to a more clear-eyed view of faith and the world.”

– Tom Krattenmaker, award-winning contributing religion columnist for USA Today,
author of The Evangelicals You Don’t Know

“Runaway Radical begins as the story of a young man who believes that he can please God by doing everything possible to live out the words and commands of Jesus.  In the end, it is a beautifully transparent and raw account of a runaway radical who unknowingly stumbles into the arms of the ultimate radical, Jesus.  I hope many will read this important book and encounter the grace-drenched liberation that is so desperately needed in today’s evangelical world.”

– Boz Tchividjian, Law Professor and Executive Director of G.R.A.C.E.,
Grandson of Billy Graham

“I devoured Runaway Radical—it’s raw and real, a painfully familiar testimony that could save the next wave of young ‘history-makers’ shiploads of unnecessary hurt (self-inflicted or otherwise). It’s not just that I loved it; this mother-and-son page-turner also serves the reader as an important mirror. In it, we see grace and truth simultaneously heal both denial and the profound pain when denial is stripped away.”

—Brad Jersak, Senior Editor of CWR Magazine,
professor at Westminster Theological Centre, author of A More Christlike God