Book Review: Counter Culture by David Platt

41O76wsT0VL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Recently I finished reading David Platt’s new book Counter Culture. I’ve always enjoyed reading Platt’s books and found this one to be my personal favorite. It’s a timely book that speaks about major issues we are facing today as a church and as a culture.

In this book, Platt urges and shows how we as Christians must be counter cultural when it comes to the various issues that are in our world today. The issues Platt hits in this book are poverty, abortion, orphans and widows, sex slavery, marriage, sexual morality, ethnicity, and religious liberty. Platt dedicates a whole chapter to each one of these issues. Within these issues other topics that show up are same-sex marriage, immigration, persecution, and more. Platt bookends these issues with a chapter on how the Gospel is the great offense and calls us to be counter cultural. Then he ends the book with an urgent plea to not loose sight of the unreached world around us. Instead of going into detail about what Platt says about these issues (I’ll let you discover that on your own when you read the book) I want to share five things I really liked about this book. These are just a few of the many reasons I believe this is a “must read” for Christians today.

Boldness and humility. Throughout this book Platt balances boldness and humility well. There isn’t a page in this book that doesn’t have one or more bold statements that calls the reader out of complacency and indifference on these important issues. However, Platt’s boldness is balanced by a deep humility. Throughout the book Platt shares how he hasn’t always responded to these issues in the way God expects. He also shares how he doesn’t have all the answers and is seeking answers alongside the reader. Platt’s boldness for the Gospel and his deep humility is clearly seen throughout this book.

Gospel-Centered. If you have ever read anything about or by Platt you know he is a very Gospel-centered leader, writer, and person. It would be easy for anyone to write a book about social issues like these and do so in a way that isn’t Gospel-centered. However, Platt realizes and shares how the only real answer to these issues is the Gospel. That doesn’t mean he ignores the practical and gives us a pass to not take action, in fact, Platt shows us how the Gospel fuels action and demands we live counter culturally as well as doing something about these vital issues. Platt shows how the Gospel is the foundation and key to addressing and fixing these social issues. He also shows how the Gospel itself transforms Christians and how they see and act towards these issues.

Practical. Platt not only tackles these issues with a large dose of Bible and theology, but also shares a lot of practical things the reader can do in response to these issues. At the end of each chapter, Platt shares a list of things the reader can do in response to that particular issue. There is also a helpful website for this book that has more resources on each issue and more.

Focuses on the local church. The call to live counter culturally and respond to these issues is something that is not just given to the individual Christian, but to the church as a whole. The entire body of Christ has been called to counter culture and to respond in a way that God expects when it comes to these social issues. Platt keeps the local church at the center of how we should respond to these issues. He calls the Christian to partner with their local church in doing something about these issues. I believe that’s the way God wants it. God doesn’t want “lone ranger” Christians working their tails off alone against these issues. He wants Christians to work together as a church to counter culture and through the Gospel make a difference in the world around them.

Timely chapters for the American Christian on racism, homosexuality, and religious freedom. I’m not suggesting these issues don’t exists elsewhere in the world or that they are not timely for other countries, but I do believe these are very timely chapters for Christians in America. Our country is facing racial issues, a redefinition of marriage, and freedom of religion becoming less of a reality. Platt takes these issues head on and shows how the Gospel ascends race and breaks down the racial walls. He shows how homosexuality is wrong and against God’s design for marriage. He shows how religious freedom should be given but how we much approach such an issue. These chapters are needed for American Christians today.

As you can probably tell I really liked this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand more about these issues as well as how to respond in a God-honoring way. It’s a powerful book that packs a much needed punch.

180 the Movie

The video above is Ray Comfort’s (Way of the Master) newest endeavor to share the Gospel with people in a way that works. Basically, what he does in the 180 film is share how abortion in America is just like the Holocaust in Germany by Adolf Hitler. What is shocking is that most of the people he interviews, mostly younger people, have never even heard of Hitler or even know a thing about what he did. Ray then puts them in a corner and ask what they would do if they were told to bury innocent Jews alive. Almost all of them said they would not. What Ray does next is great, he then asks what do they believe about abortion. Is it murder? Is it wrong? Most of the people say it’s the “women’s choice” and Ray points out how their inconsistency. They would not kill Jews, but would kill innocent babies inside their mother’s womb. Of course this discussion leads to right moral and the existence of God. Whats great about this video is that you actually see people change their mind on the spot about abortion and more importantly about Jesus Christ! Here are a few other great things about this video:

Shows that evangelism, at times, should be done with intellectual conversations. The world will not respond to the Gospel if we just yell Bible verses at them and tell them to “turn or burn.” This is why I have a big problem with street preachers who show more anger and hatred rather than a love for the lost. Ray shows us in this film that by having intellectual conversations and talking in terms people will understand can open the door wide open for sharing the Gospel. Use the Bible, but don’t start with it. Most non-Christains don’t even believe the Bible is truth so it will not work if you start with it.

Shows logic behind the fact that abortion is murder. Many times we just tell people abortion is wrong because it’s murder and don’t take the time to explain why that is the case. Ray shows us in this film that by using examples like Hitler and the killing of the Jews that abortion can be explained as murder. If you are a pro-lifer out there (don’t worry, I am pro-life) please don’t stand on the street with a big sign saying “abortion is murder.” Drop the sign and have a real conversation with people about why abortion is wrong. If you do the sign thing, don’t stop there, have a conversation!

I highly recommend everyone to take 30 minutes and watch this film. It will make you think and will help you understand how we can share the Gospel with others. If you are a youth pastor, this would be a good film to show your youth group that will certainly strike up good discussions. If you are not sure where you stand on abortion, PLEASE WATCH. I pray and hope this film will help you make a discussion on that matter.

Not everyone is a big fan of this film and some college students feel they got it pushed into their face. Read about that here.