John Cooper of Skillet on Resilient: Standing Firm in a Hostile World
John Cooper is the lead singer of the band Skillet and an outspoken advocate for the counter-cultural ways of Jesus. Recently, John wrote the foreword for David Young’s new book Resilient: Standing Firm in a Hostile World.
You’ll appreciate reading John’s wisdom in this foreword and seeing his appreciation for David Young’s Resilient. This will also serve as a reminder to sign up for the Renew National Gathering April 25-26 in Indianapolis because all attendees will receive a free copy of the book.
And note that “Resilient” is the theme of the Gathering. I hope John’s words in the foreword inspire you.
John Cooper’s Foreword to David Young’s Resilient:
“I didn’t know you were a far-right conspiracy theorist, John!”
I had never been accused of this before, so I probed a little to understand where this woman was coming from. The year was 2020, and I had been asked to speak at a church about how swiftly the culture was changing. So what was the “conspiracy theory” I was peddling?
I said that there is a cultural revolution against Western civilization, historic Christianity, and biological reality itself. For this revolution to take hold, secular progressives must indoctrinate our kids as early as possible; and part of this strategy is to teach children that being a boy or a girl is based on our subjective sense of self, not on objective reality.
A year and a half later, after schools opened up, this woman’s eight-year-old came home from school with materials including the gender unicorn, which is a resource that teaches kids that gender is fluid and that sex is “assigned at birth.” Parents all across the country are realizing that this is not a right-wing conspiracy theory—in fact, it’s a progressive conspiracy to overthrow objective reality.
“Parents all across the country are realizing that this is not a right-wing conspiracy theory.”
Yet many other Christians still seem to think that things aren’t really all that different from how they have always been. Christ promised us that the world would hate us, so what’s the big deal, right? Others conclude that the Western world is just going through a phase (like going goth in the 90s or growing a mullet in the 80s).
I believe that we are in the midst of a world-historical shift in the way humans view truth and reality. If you think that the current chaos is merely “business as usual,” that will be dispelled within a few pages of this book.
David Young expertly lays out the state of things without alarmism or sensationalism. I agree with him that this is not foundationally a political battle, but a spiritual battle. As I write in my upcoming book, Wimpy, Weak, and Woke: “We are witnessing a war between gods. It’s a winner-takes-all battle between the Living God and the false god of Man.”
Progressivism pretends to promote tolerance and freedom, but it is surprisingly intolerant and anti-individual liberties for those who will not conform to its agenda. This philosophy aims to bring humanity into its own definitions of reality and perfection, starting by destroying the concept of God’s created order. If Man is to become God, then he must kill the reflection of Christ on the earth. And where better to start than with what God said was “good”—namely, creational norms.
“Progressivism pretends to promote tolerance and freedom, but it is surprisingly intolerant and anti-individual liberties for those who will not conform to its agenda.”
It has been difficult to find a book that presents us with practical answers for everyday people. Is it loving or unloving to use someone’s preferred pronouns, or to attend a same-sex wedding? Should I refuse to work for a company that advocates for abortion? This is just to name a few dilemmas Christians face. Most Christians sincerely want to know how to please the Lord in these scenarios, but sadly, many pastors shy away from these incendiary topics. In contrast, Young has given us clear and bold answers to difficult questions such as these.
Importantly, this book is meant to spark conversations in small groups and discipling relationships. We need to be in relationship with each other as we wrestle with these dilemmas. Part of the reason we have been blindsided by progressivism is that many of us have not yet been forced to consider what Christ would have us do in order to live an uncompromising life that glorifies God in the face of hostility. You may not agree with all of Young’s prescriptions. That’s okay! I too have my caveats and nuances that need to be discussed within a trusted group of Jesus followers.
But as we move forward together, let’s agree to never compromise the Word of God—no matter what the culture demands, no matter the threat of losing our cred, our livelihoods, or even our freedom. And let us recognize that while we may be losing cultural applause, we have been given true power through the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8): power to stand against the tide, power to say “no” to sin, power to love those who attack us, power to overcome the world. We are far from destitute. In fact, we have everything that we need to be resilient.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
— John L. Cooper, frontman of Skillet; author of Awake and Alive to Truth; and host of Cooper Stuff Podcast
Join us at the 2023 National Gathering and receive a free copy of David Young’s new book Resilient.