“And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39
Culture is the big issue for Christians today. Should we affirm culture? Should we seek to transform culture? Should we rekindle a monastic tradition and focus more on our micro cultures? Should we flat out reject the culture at large?
David Platt’s Counter Culture strikes right through these questions with a gospel reminder.
In the pages that follow, my goal is to bring the gospel to bear on many social issues in our culture, ranging from poverty, slavery, abortion, and sexual immorality to the degradation of marriage and the denial of civil rights. In the process, I want to demonstrate how a full-orbed understanding of the gospel indissolubly brings together both radical care for the poor and radical opposition to abortion, a radical stance against slavery and a radical defense of marriage, In the end, my purpose is to show how the gospel moves Christians to counter all of these issues in our culture with conviction, compassion, and courage.
I think Counter Culture is right in the sweet spot between gospel truth and living in light of it. The reason there is so much debate between Christians on the topic of culture is because we are lopsided. The more culturally affirming Christians often times compromise on the gospel for the sake of social well-being. While Christians who hold more tightly to the gospel often do so to the neglect of their communities and the culture at large. There’s a struggle between those who would “preach the gospel through their actions” and those who preach the gospel and don’t take very many actions. Counter Culture neither compromises the gospel nor negates it’s practical implications, rather, in the spirit of James’ Epistle, Platt shows us how true faith in the gospel will lead us to love and good works.
Counter Culture clearly lays out the gospel as defined by the Bible, then it shows how the gospel applies to 9 of the toughest topics facing our society today: Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Persecution, Abortion, Orphans, and Pornography.
David Platt is gifted writer. He understands the necessity of making these issues personal, evidenced by all the stories he shares from his own pastoral and missionary experience. He’s not just a cultural critic, Platt has real life experience and has been actively fighting the good fight and brining the gospel and resources to people in need.
Not every one of us can give equal attention to all of these issues… But what is necessary for all of us is to view each of these cultural issues through the lens of biblical truth, and to speak such truth with conviction whenever we have the chance to do so.
I have to admit, this book is tough. It’s not hard to understand, but it’s spiritually tough. If you know anything about David Platt, you know he goes right in and doesn’t pull his punches. I was convicted continuously throughout this book and I loved it. We need men and women like David Platt to remind us of the gospel and help us see it’s implications as we live in our culture today.
At the end of each chapter, Platt includes “First Steps to counter culture”, including prayers to pray, ways to participate with other believers in taking gospel driven action, and truths from Scripture to memorize and proclaim as we trust the Lord to make all things new. There’s also specific links to CounterCultureBook.com that deal with each specific chapter to help you get involved locally, nationally, and globally in the good fight.
I commend this book to believers and unbelievers alike. For the Christians out there, this book is challenging and extrememly helpful guidance for how to engage our culture. For non-Christians this books will help you understand where your Christian friends are coming from and possibly help move your conversations forward.
Pick up Counter Culture Here to support my book reviews.