In his book Counter Culture, David Platt lays out a strategy for impacting a fallen, messed up world with compassion and love. He deals with how the gospel of Jesus Christ can not only affect but can also combat the injustices and evils of the world. In a time when many around us are struggling either because of the circumstances of life or because they are being oppressed in some form or another, Christians are called to respond with a love and concern that moves out of the comfort zones and into the battles of righting wrongs and confronting injustices. The church and those in the church can stay silent no longer as so many are overcome by the evils of the world and the mistreatment of the powerful. Christians must respond in a manner that goes counter to the culture around us and highlights the genuine good news that is found in the gospel. Will the followers of Jesus be up to the challenge that the evils around us pose? We must be. Too many are affected and too many still need to hear and experience the saving grace of Jesus for believers to sit by idly.
Platt begins with a reminder that the gospel is offensive and a stumbling block to those who have yet to respond in faith to Christ. In light of the ever-fading moral absolutes that are dissolving into a culture based, majority determined relativism, the need for the gospel and the clarity of the gospel is quickly dimming. It is into this atmosphere that Platt calls believers to allow the Spirit to revive a call to conviction, compassion, and courage. The question remains, will the Christians respond to such a call?
Throughout the remainder of the book, Platt lays out social ills that confront our twenty-first century society. Moving from the issue of poverty to the atrocity of abortion to the desperate need of widows and orphans, Platt describes in vivid detail and through numerous statistics the difficulties facing so many people in our world today.
Then, Platt deals with sex slavery, same-sex marriage, and sexual morality issues that plague our ever changing public conscience. Finally, Platt ends with the issues of race relations, religious liberty, and reaching the unreached peoples throughout the world.
With so many issues that are pulling down the masses throughout the world, the challenge of the church is to determine if we will respond and how we should respond in the face of a seemingly impossible task. With such huge struggles in the world, Platt concludes his work by asking three very pointed questions:
- Are we going to choose comfort or the cross?
- Are we going to settle for maintenance or sacrifice for mission?
- Will our lives be marked by indecisive minds or undivided hearts?
With these three questions reverberating in our hearts, Christians must decide what actions can be taken to jump in and help.
Though Platt offers some huge solutions, many readers may feel totally inadequate to step in and offer much change. Yet, Platt does a marvelous job of pointing out the plight of so many people and challenging Christians to act. Once the issues are revealed, inaction is not really a choice.
This article is a review of the following book:
Platt, David. Counter Culture. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2015.