Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book Review: Counter Culture

If you feel overwhelmed by the world’s eroding values and pressing needs, read A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Persecution, Abortion, Orphans, Pornography by David Platt. He begins with “The Greatest Offense: The Gospel and Culture,” which explains how we face a conflict between good and evil that began in the Garden of Eden.

Then Platt opens readers’ eyes to what is going on: How are young girls recruited into sex slavery? How is religious liberty threatened even in our own country? What does it mean to our society to redefine marriage? Platt offers glimpses into the lives of real people to illustrate his points.

He also clarifies issues and challenges Christians to take a stand. Chapters clearly define problems and suggest responsible ways Christians can respond to a landscape of changing values. For instance, “Where Rich and Poor Collide: The Gospel and Poverty,” “Unity in Diversity: The Gospel and Ethnicity,” “Christ in the Public Square: The Gospel and Religious Liberty,” “The Most Urgent Need: The Gospel and the Unreached.”

Most valuable are the end-of-chapter sections: Pray, Participate, Proclaim. “Pray” sections suggest how to ask God to work in these areas. “Participate” sections offers ways for readers to respond to needs. And “Proclaim” lists truths from scripture to support Platt’s positions.

This book will open your eyes in many ways. For instance, did you know that six million Jews died during the Holocaust but each year 42 million children die through abortion? Did you know about 18 million children in our world have lost both parents? Did you know surveys show that over half of men and increasing numbers of women in churches view pornography? And pornography feeds prostitution, increasing the demand for sex trafficking. Seven pages of notes document research into areas listed in the subtitle. 

While Platt’s research is alarming, his book’s value lies in the way he encourages readers to respond to pressing societal issues. He has touched my heart. Although I read this book on library loan, it is so valuable I plan to buy it for myself. Counter Culture would stimulate great discussion at book discussion and Bible study groups.

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