Counter Culture
David Platt

1. The author begins by asking these foundational questions: “What if the main issue in our culture today is not poverty or sex trafficking, homosexuality or abortion? What if the main issue is God? . . . How would we act if we fixed our gaze on the holiness, love, goodness, truth, justice, authority, and mercy of God revealed in the gospel?” (pages xiv-xv). Why is it important for Christians to put God and his character at the center of discussions about social issues?

2. The author writes, “I’ve seen in my own life, family, and ministry a tendency to actively and boldly engage certain social issues while passively and unbiblically neglecting others” (page xv). Do you identify with the author’s confession here? What issues seem safe or acceptable in our culture? Which issues are more threatening to talk about?

3. “The gospel of Christ is not a call to cultural compromise in the face of fear” (page 22). In what areas of injustice are you tempted to compromise because of fear or because it could prove costly to you personally? How could a greater understanding of God’s holiness, goodness, justice, and grace help you overcome your fears?

4. Do you think there are some blind spots in your understanding of the Bible and God’s message? Does your church have any blind spots?

5. Great disparity exists in a world where people in remote villages are dying of preventable diseases while we are comparatively rich—spiritually and materially. “In a culture that places great emphasis on leisure, luxury, financial gain, self-improvement, and material possessions, it will be increasingly countercultural for Christians to work diligently, live simply, give sacrificially, help constructively, and invest eternally” (pages 33–34). Is God calling you to make some changes in one or more of these areas? (See the points under “Participate” on page 55 to help you get started.)

6. In chapter 2, we are encouraged to respond to poverty in five main ways: work diligently, live simply, give sacrificially, help constructively, and invest eternally. After reading this chapter (especially the recommendations on pages 54-55), what do you think should be your next steps?

7. If your life has been touched by abortion, have you experienced forgiveness and healing from God? Is God prompting you to talk to someone (a pastor, counselor, or trusted Christian friend) about it? The author says, “It is not possible to believe the Bible and deny that the unborn are persons” (page 65). How does this argument address the cultural view that women should have the right to choose when it comes to abortion?

8. Citing James 1:27, the author explains that “to visit orphans and widows means to seek them out with a deep concern for their well-being and a clear commitment to care for their needs. . . . True religion counters culture and results in sacrificially caring for people who can benefit you the least” (page 82). Do you sense God calling you to bring a child into your family through foster care or adoption or to support other families who have done so? How might you intentionally seek out widows, and what can you do to care for their needs?


Counter Culture
David Platt

9. The author recounts the biblical story of Ruth in chapter 4. What does this story say about God’s character? What truths in it apply to our own lives?

10. The author writes, “Men and women who indulge in pornography are creating the demand for more prostitutes, and in turn they are fueling the sex-trafficking industry” (page 123). Why do you think it is possible for a disconnect to exist between a person’s public and private behavior when it comes to this issue? Do you need to repent of viewing pornography and seek help? What safeguards might you need to put in place to protect yourself or your family?

11. Do you know of anyone reaching out to women being trafficked? Can you tell about a time when trafficking intersected your life?

12. The author states that countering culture in the area of marriage starts with personal, not political, action and with grace-saturated, gospel-centered approaches to marriage (page 147). Can you identify areas of your life, whether you are married or single, that are not consistent with a biblical picture of marriage? What might you need to ask God to redeem or reconcile in your relationship?

13. In what ways does contemporary culture’s view of marriage contrast with the biblical view of marriage? In what ways is Christian marriage a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the church? Why is it important to support Christian marriage?

14. Galatians 2:20 indicates that “when you turn to Christ, your entire identity is changed. You are in Christ, and Christ is in you. Your identity is no longer as a heterosexual or a homosexual, an addict or an adulterer” (page 178). How does this new identity in Christ give you hope in your struggle with sexual sin? How might this understanding affect the way you view others whose sexual temptations are different from yours?

15. “The gospel reminds us that when we are talking about immigrants (legal or illegal), we are talking about men and women made in God’s image and pursued by his grace. Consequently, followers of Christ must see immigrants not as problems to be solved but as people to be loved” (page 205). How can you intentionally get to know immigrants in your area? In what practical ways can you show love to them? (See page 210 for ideas.)

16. What positive experiences have you had in cross-cultural relationships? What are some common blocks to friendship? How can you start to overcome these challenges?


Counter Culture
David Platt

17. Why is religious liberty, which David Platt describes as “one of the fundamental human freedoms” (page 215), so important? What are some modern challenges to religious liberty?

18. The author writes, “We must pray and work for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. . . . In a land of religious liberty, we have a biblical responsibility to stand up and speak out on their behalf” (page 234). How can you be intentional about praying for the persecuted church? (See or for ideas.)

19. Why do you think tolerance is so highly valued in our society? Why is tolerance important? How can tolerance be problematic for Christians?

20. The author asks, “Are we going to follow Jesus with all our lives, no matter where he leads us to go, how countercultural the task is, or what the cost may be for us, our families, and our churches?” (page 239). He follows up with three corresponding 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? Consider each question, and ask God to show you where he wants to bring about countercultural change in your life. Recognizing that there is a cost involved in proclaiming God’s Kingdom, how does focusing on God as your great reward help you not to worry about that cost?