Christian Life

Preaching on Racism from the 'White' Pulpit: Reflections from David Platt’s Talk at T4G


The learning curve in this conversation about race is steep and more complex than the Black-White binary. And because of that, it can become emotionally exhausting for all of us.

Expository Faithfulness and Racism

Attention prominent White pastor: If you want to avoid controversy, do not preach sermons on race at large evangelical conferences. In 2018, that will not go well for you. This week, David Platt discovered this at Together for the Gospel (T4G) in Louisville, Kentucky.

Tasked with the responsibility of preaching on race and the church in America, Platt walked attendees through Amos 5:18-27, which includes the oft-cited King speech mantra to “…let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

Platt told attendees that God used Amos to indict his people on three primary offenses: (1) eagerly anticipating future salvation, while conveniently denying present sin; (2) indulging in worship while ignoring injustice; and (3) carrying on their religion while refusing to repent.

Platt went on to apply the text to attendees, specifically mentioning racism as sin. He noted the complicity of the church in America in widening the racial gap in the United States. How? Being slow to speak about the various forms of racial injustice happening in America. He closed his message with a Christ-exalting call for repentance and an exhortation that one day Amos 5:24 will be fully realized in God’s coming kingdom.

Platt began his talk asking for grace while handling a tough topic. Instead, some responses to his message were anything but gracious.

What did Platt say that led to this pushback? Why was his expository faithfulness questioned? Unfortunately, this is the moment we live in. For some, faithful exposition of a text means never preaching about racism from the pulpit. For some, preaching the whole counsel of God excludes sermons on racism in the church in …

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