The Gospel should compel “contrite, compassionate, courageous” cultural engagement, David Platt exhorted in a chapel message at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Platt pointedly challenged younger evangelicals’ “lack of zeal” and being “strangely quiet” about certain issues in a message drawn from Genesis 1-3.
Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., and author of a 2010 bestseller, “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream,” spoke March 20 at Southern Seminary’s Louisville, Ky., campus.
While younger evangelicals are rightly passionate about sexual slavery, orphans and poverty, Platt said too many avoid “contentious” issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and sexual immorality that bring Christians into conflict with the prevailing opinions of the culture.
“Followers of Christ do not have the option of picking and choosing which social issues we are going to apply biblical truths to,” Platt said. “… We do not have the option of choosing which battles we are going to fight and which issues we are going to flout.”
Platt noted four biblical, Gospel foundations in Genesis that lead to four cultural implications.
Citing Genesis 1:26-31, Platt said God “creates us as a demonstration of His glory.” Genesis 1 itself is a “glorious tribute to the greatness of God as creator.” In some sense, Platt said, humans are the “spitting image of God Himself.”
Second, Genesis 2:18-25 reveals that from the beginning “God designs us for the display of His Gospel.” The Genesis 2 passage “is not addressing dignity or value here, but role,” Platt said, describing godly marriages and biblically defined gender roles as a literal and figurative design “for the display of His Gospel.”
Moving to Genesis 3 for a third Gospel foundation, Platt noted that “God judges us by His righteous law.” Humans have “spurned” God’s authority and have the “audacity” to question God, he said. “We have rebelled against Him and we now suffer the consequences of that sin all around us.”
Platt cited Genesis 3:15 as the fourth Gospel foundation in which “God pursues us with His redeeming love.” Despite humanity’s sin and the self-centeredness resulting from sin, God does the “shocking and the scandalous”: Rather than waiting for humanity to take the initiative, He “seeks after the guilty,” Platt said.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press