Something Needs to Change book cover

About Something Needs to Change

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USA TODAY BESTSELLER • The author of Radical takes readers on a soul-searching journey through impoverished villages in the Himalayan mountains, daring them to make a difference in a world of urgent need, starting right where they live.

“Grippingly vulnerable and unforgettable. I could not put this book down.”—Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts

While leading a team on a week-long trek of the Himalayas, bestselling author and pastor David Platt was stunned by the human needs he encountered, an experience so dramatic that it “changed the trajectory of my life.” Meeting a man who’d lost his eye from a simple infection and seeing the faces of girls stolen from their families and trafficked in the cities, along with other unforgettable encounters, opened his eyes to the people behind the statistics and compelled him to wrestle with his assumptions about faith.

In Something Needs to Change, Platt invites readers to come along on both the adventure of the trek, as well as the adventure of seeking answers to tough questions like, “Where is God in the middle of suffering?” “What makes my religion any better than someone else’s religion?” and “What do I believe about eternal suffering?” Platt has crafted an irresistible message about what it means to give your life for the gospel–to finally stop talking about faith and truly start living it.

My Review

This book is dangerous.

It’s also nothing like I expected when I picked it up. (Then again, the underwhelming solid-blue ARC cover had nothing to do with it, I’m sure…and blue is my favorite color. I mean, come on, look at the awesome final cover above! Beautiful!) “Oh … this released a couple weeks back. Guess I should read it.” Heh. Famous last words.

Something Needs to Change is the clean and — if I may say it, nobler — version of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. I’ll confess I don’t understand the need to climb crazy-high mountains (or the language and some content included in Krakauer’s book) … and Platt’s work provided a motivation I could get behind.

Part journal, part memoir, part theological treatise (in the best way), Something Needs to Change chronicles a week-long Himalayan trek: the good, the bad, and the heartbreaking. Platt works through the absolute hardest questions of life on earth and invites the reader into that tough discussion. His own humanity is palpable; I felt comforted in his willingness to share his reactions to impossible circumstances, where there were no good answers. Just try to read this book and walk away unchanged; I for one found that frankly impossible.

The big question for me, then, is what now? When spiritual need cries out, closely followed by physical need, how do I respond? Facebook scrolling as I think about what to write next just doesn’t cut it anymore. I find myself convicted, heartbroken, encouraged, privileged to join God in meeting rampant physical need as I try to point others to the One who meets their eternal spiritual need.

Hands down the most humbling and convicting book I’ve read in some time.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Praise for Something Needs to Change

“Rugged. Authentic. Gritty. Real. Worshipful. There are no other books like this one. I always pick up David’s books with a sense of excitement and, quite honestly, apprehension—because I know that areas of compromise and complacency in my life are going to be exposed. But this book exceeded even my high expectations, for which I am grateful. And so will you be. As David writes, it’s time to run, not walk. Let’s go.”—J. D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention

“Extraordinary and challenging. I’ve just never read a book like this before. I am so moved. Bring your full heart to this story and watch how God opens your eyes, changes your mind, and broadens the dreams you have for your life.”—Annie F. Downs, best-selling author of 100 Days to Brave and Remember God

“If you dare to read this book, you might just have an unexpected encounter with Jesus that leaves you weeping on the floor, as David’s experience did. Something changes within us when the seemingly overwhelming needs of the world present themselves simply in the life of a single person. Ultimately, I pray your compassion will be transformed to action.”—Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado, president and CEO of Compassion International

About the Author


David Platt is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, including Radical. He is lead pastor at McLean Bible Church in metro Washington, D.C., the former president of the IMB (International Mission Board), and founder of Radical Inc., a global center for the unreached that serves churches in accomplishing the mission of Christ. Platt received his master of divinity (MDiv), master of theology (ThM), and doctor of philosophy (PhD) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He lives in Virginia with his wife and their children.