Author, Pastor Addresses Critical Issues of Church and Culture

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

Ingram ChipPastor Chip Ingram is eager to address the cultural issues that are so much a part of our times, including sexuality, homosexuality, abortion, the environment and politics. His message is most strong when it comes to the church and these topics.

"These are the defining issues, but behind all of the topics is the church's belief in the authority of Scripture, and whether we believe what Scripture says is Truth or not," said Ingram, senior pastor of Venture Christian Church near San Jose, CA, and former president of Walk Through the Bible. "Our base issue is that we're not sticking with what Scripture truly says."

Ingram will be in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, Sept. 16, to speak at Sunshine Community Church as part of a book tour to promote his new title "Culture Shock: A Biblical Response to Today's Most Divisive Issues," released by Grand Rapids-based Baker Books in August. The book is an effort to apply the Bible to the most pressing cultural issues of the day, and is rooted in biblical exposition and personal stories.

"It's easy to recognize that the world has problems," said Ingram. "The church has traditionally held to clear truths such as to love one another and to bring light to the world, but problems have crept into the church and we're not having an impact. Undermining what Scriptures says is moving through the church."

For Sunshine Church's pastor Joshua Blunt, the timing and topic of Ingram's visit is fortuitous. "We are deeply concerned about the decaying state of marriages, sexual boundaries, parenting and society structures in culture around us. Like Chip, we seek to engage others in truth and love without compromising traditional teachings of Scripture," said Blunt.

He hopes that this visit and promotion of Ingram's book is an encouragement to like-minded churches in our city.

"As denominational affiliations and alliances are shaken by these issues, individual congregations that refuse to flow with culture will feel increasingly alone," said Blunt. "I hope this time with Chip is one of many moments to come in which those faithful churches will see that they have more friends and allies in the broader Church than they thought. Chip loves the Lord and his Church, and this book addresses key issues that affect ministry in real congregations like ours. We appreciate his practical and loving approach to these very real issues."

Christians, Ingram said, tend to be silent and withdrawn or angry and condemning. He urges Christian to take a strong biblical stand without attacking the other side and without ruining relationships.

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Along with role of the church in society, there is also a role for individuals. "I'm looking for people who want to be active catalysts to make a difference," he said. "I'm going to challenge the status quo."

Ingram is calling for individuals to make a difference, "to get it, digest it, apply it, and become an army to make it happen so people will meet Christians they like and respect."

His goals are education—so Christians can begin to think clearly and come away with convictions; modeling—so Christian can bring light into cultural situations instead of either nothing or heat; and urging Christian to make a difference in their churches and personal lives.

"I think we'll be a minority because the world is rapidly changing," said Ingram. "But the early church was a minority too."

Ingram will speak at the Sunshine Church event, then answer questions from the audience. The book and a small group curriculum for "Culture Shock" will be available for purchase.

The curriculum is a 12-week DVD study with a study guide.

Ingram will also speak and answer questions on Sept. 16 at the Grace Bible College chapel service at 10 am.

Just The Facts:

Who: Chip Ingram, author of "Culture Shock: A Biblical Response to Today's Most Divisive Issues"

When: 7 pm Tuesday, Sept. 16

Where: Sunshine Community Church, 3300 East Beltline Ave. NE. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Additional Info: Copies of "Culture Shock" will be available for purchase at Sunshine Church. Ingram will sign books at the event.
Author Information
Ann Byle
About:
Ann Byle is a freelance writer and owner of AB Writing Services. She writes for a number of publications including WMCN, Publishers Weekly, CBA Christian Market and Grand Rapids Magazine, and is author or coauthor of several books including The Baker Book House Story, The Call to Care: A Compassionate Response to Caring for Vulnerable Children (2018) and Christian Publishing 101 (2018). She and her husband Ray, a science teacher, have four young adult children.

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