Christian Retailing

Calling believers to engage in social issues Print Email
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 12:02 PM America/New_York

‘Counter Culture’ author David Platt urges Christians to ‘rise with conviction, compassion, and courage’

CounterCultureDavid Platt senses many Christians fiercely desire to combat injustices such as slavery and poverty, yet are hesitant to engage in more controversial issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. On these topics, people in today’s culture are often insulted by biblical views, which often leaves believers wondering how to respond.

To compel and equip Christians to speak up for their faith on all types of social issues, Platt has written Counter Culture, a book with a lengthy but explanatory subtitle: A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans, and Pornography.

Following Platt’s recent election as president of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, he resigned as senior pastor at the Church of Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama. He is known for New York Times best-selling books Radical and Follow Me.

In Counter Culture, Platt proposes that the main issue of any culture is not poverty, sexual morality or religious liberty, but God Himself. He poses a key question: “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?”

The only hope on the cultural battlefield is believing, applying and proclaiming the gospel, Platt says. To this end, he begins with a comprehensive presentation of the gospel and grapples with one social issue per chapter.

Acknowledging that no one can take on every issue and that each person will be led to act differently, Platt reminds readers: “God sovereignly puts us in unique positions and places with unique privileges and opportunities to influence the culture around us.”

The author was spurred on to greater compassion and action while on a trip to the Himalayas, where he encountered those suffering from severe poverty and sexual slavery. He believes Jesus’ admonition to love one’s neighbor applies to local and global neighbors, and Jesus’ command to care for the poor applies to the believing and unbelieving.

Platt says engaging the culture in biblical ways is costly and requires courage, but the rewards will be great.

His prayer is that God will “cause us to rise with conviction, compassion, and courage to humbly spread the truth of God while selflessly showing the love of God, all in hopeful anticipation of the day when sin, suffering, immorality, and injustice will finally be no more.”

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