Counter Culture Book Review

David Platt. Counter Culture: A Compassionate Call in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slaexceptionally, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and also Pornography. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2015. 288 pp. $19.99.

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Radepend does a book convict my heart to the point that my emotions overcirculation in tears. Racount carry out I discover a book that causes me to experience a variety of emovements extending from anger and frustration to sympathy and sorrow. Many type of publications convict me. Very few books break me. Counter Culture is one of those publications.

The best way to define Counter Culture is to say that it is a rarity. Counter Culture is a rare combicountry of cultural awareness, Christian conviction, and gospel hope as it addresses the the majority of pressing and controversial problems in Western society.

Author and president of the Internationwide Mission Board (IMB) David Platt has actually occurred a reputation for composing heart-wrenching and also very convicting publications. Radical was a shot at the heart of the Amerihave the right to Dream, and Follow Me was a dagger at the heart of nominal Christianity. In his 3rd significant occupational, Platt sheds light on the many serious concerns in America and the civilization while mirroring Christians just how to live and also act in a means that counters society while enhancing society. He does every one of this within a gospel-focused framework.

Platt takes a radical technique to social issues in Counter Culture. Instead of abandoning biblical conviction, like various other young evangelical leaders have done, he relies on biblical conviction to deal with social worries. Platt inspires Christians and leads younger evangelicals like me to weep in conviction not because he leaves biblical orthodoxy, however bereason he unapologetically presents Jesus as the Holy bible presents him. And while Christian leaders, evangelicals in certain, are accused (regularly rightly) of harping on particular cultural problems while ignoring others.

Platt leaves no room for such criticisms. In the introduction, he discusses the trend of younger evangelicals standing up versus poverty and international slaextremely. He writes, “What is problematic, but, is as soon as these exact same evangelicals remain silent in conversations around more culturally controversial problems choose abortion or so-dubbed same-sex marriage” (xiii-xiv). He proceeds by creating the main premise for the whole book, namely, that within each worry addressed is an underlying concern we all have actually with God. He writes,

“What is the main issue in our culture today is not poverty or sex trafficking or homosexuality or abortion? What if the primary problem is God? And what can occur if we made him our emphasis instead? In a human being marked by sex slaextremely and also sex-related imprinciples, the abandonment of kids and the murder of kids, racism and also persecution, the requirements of the bad and also the disregard of the widow, how would certainly we act if we fixed our gaze on the holiness, love, goodness, truth, justice, authority, and mercy of God revealed in the gospel?” (xiv-xv).

Counter Culture begins through the premise that a gospel-focused worldsee will certainly inevitably respond to the society in which Christians live. In truth, Platt claims the goal of the book in equivalent terms. “The goal of this book is not indevelopment around the gospel and social issues; it is application of the gospel to social issues” (20). What makes Counter Culture a rare gem is that quite than compromising the gospel for social problems or compromising relevance with self-righteous communication, Platt addresses social issues with a gospel attitude. In each chapter, he takes the reality of the gospel and uses it to the problem at hand. He basically asks, “How does a biblical worldcheck out answer the hard and controversial problem at hand?”

Another thing that provides Counter Culture a rarity is the amount of topics addressed in a compact book. Platt addresses almost eextremely pressing and controversial problem in the world today. However, the book is not overly long. This frequently sets up as a light and also insignificant attempt to combine lug brevity to complex worries. However, Platt is atypical in his method, as he deeply and profoundly probes each problem while making it easily accessible to a large audience.

What Platt shows in Counter Culture is that as soon as it involves worries choose racism, abortion, sex trafficking, and also same-sex marriage, the sole traditional for living and engaging is the gospel. Living a life that is a reflection of God’s glory in perchild of Christ is living counter to culture. Addressing social injustices and ethical controversies must be an individual commitment to the gospel. This book is not a contact to community social activism. It is a contact to gospel transdevelopment, which alters the method we not only check out each of these issues, yet the way we live in light of them. For example, Platt writes,

“No issue exactly how many type of red Xs we compose on our hands to end slavery, as long as these very same hands are clicking pornographic websites and also scrolling via sexual images and videos, we are frauds to the core” (124).

Basically, Counter Culture is a speak to to think the gospel. Platt is clear that his “hope is that we would believe the gospel of Christ and also that our think would certainly move us to communicate our culture” (22). This is where the rubber hits the road. Virtually every Christian can agree that we should stand also against the social injustices of sex trafficking, poverty, and racism. But what around other worries that even more directly require conviction that contradicts the culture? What around same-sex marital relationship, homosexuality, abortion and the fight for religious liberty? While we all will certainly struggle through different issues, and also while we cannot emphasis all of our energies on all of these concerns, Platt writes we have to be constant in our trajectory toward them and the society.

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“What must be constant for every one of us, however, is that we pray, give, and also go as he leads, and as we carry out, that we procase the gospel with conviction, compassion, and courage” (253).

Despite all that has actually been mentioned, I feel the many significant and also compelling element of Counter Culture is what the book is not made of. This book is not a polemic against “the people.” In the past, those in the “radical religious right” would condemn the human being for their views on homosexuality, abortion, sex, and so on. However before, in the process they would self-righteously overlook their very own failures. This is not the situation in Counter Culture. Humility drips from eextremely page of the book. Platt confesses his very own failures, especially his silence on the atrocity of abortion (57-58). Instead of pointing his finger at those who neglect these social problems, he stands with his readers prior to the face of God ready to repent and also respond to each injustice and also concern presented.

While Platt boldly speaks prophetic biblical fact into the most pushing social problems of our day, he soberly helps his readers check out with him that the best atrocity in the people is not same-sex marriage, abortion, sex trafficking, racism, poverty, or persecution. The biggest atrocity in the people is the presence of unreached human being groups. Platt claims,

“We have actually settled into a condition quo wright here we’re content to sit idly by while literally billions of civilization die without ever hearing the gospel. Sudepend this is the biggest social injustice in the whole people, over and also above all the other problems we have considered” (247).

Will a book suddenly wake Christians approximately the substantial social injustices in the world? If at all feasible, Counter Culture will certainly affect this awakening. But will a book like this mobilize Christians to actively stand also against injustice and social rebellion versus God through biblical conviction for the sake of the glory of God in the gospel and also the joy of billions of people? Maybe. But it also has the opportunity to overwhelm readers.

While soaked via the grace of God in the gospel and filled via admission of individual faiattract to stand also through “conviction, compassion, and also courage,” a lot like Radical, it has actually the potential to be burdensome. Personally, I left the book realizing my failures in so many type of of these areas. The question, “Wbelow deserve to I begin to help?” is the first rock of a fill unbearable. However, Platt reassures that we are not alone and that we underestimate the possibilities via God.

“Some will certainly say that these difficulties are complex, and also one perchild, household, or church can’t really make a lot of a difference. In many type of respects, this is true, and each of these worries is very complex. But don’t underestimate what God will execute in and through one perchild, one family members, or one church for the spread of his gospel and the sake of his glory in our culture. So perform these points through the unshakable conviction that God has actually put you in this culture at this time for a reason” (254).

Christians today are tempted to either compromise their convictions or cower behind them. Counter Culture is a rare book that calls Christians to confront social issues with gospel-centered, Christ-like, compassionate conviction for the sake of God’s glory in our culture. Readers will certainly leave the book via repentance and also deal with to stand firmly to counter culture whatever the cost.

Mathew Gilbert is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church East Bernstadt. He is the author of the forthcoming book Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Delight in God (CrossBooks). Mathew resides in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their dog, Simba.