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Author Topic:   R.C.Sprouls Teaching On Reformed Theology
Phat
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From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
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Message 1 of 99 (824354)
11-27-2017 5:42 AM


Back in the day,1994-2004 before I came to EvC Forum, I experienced a lot of indoctrination and teaching from various Pastors and teachers. I never knew the difference between denominational beliefs and philosophies among Christians (or anyone else, for that matter) and was happy sticking with what I felt comfortable with after my salvation experience in late January 1993. I believed then close to the same as what my understanding is of how Faith believes now.(Our member Faith)

In this topic, I want to study one of the teachers whom I really looked up to back then and whom I am comfortable enough to question now. In addition, and specifically, I wish to use his own teaching materials and bring them up for questioning and critical analysis in this topic.

The reason that I have chosen R.C. Sproul, and specifically his website, Ligonier Ministries is because although he sells plenty of books and teaching articles on Christianity, it has always been a well-organized compilation of the basic thought and belief that I was exposed to many years ago. Jar made the claim that Sproul was a Calvinist, and I was curious if this was in fact true.

Needless to say, the website confirmed the assertion and also brought up memories of how I myself was taught. I am not out to defend R.C. Sproul or Calvinism, or Reformed Theology nor am I out to attack it---I simply want to articulate what the teachings are and contrast them to some of our ongoing Theological discussions here at EvC.

Faith & Belief, please.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

  
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Message 2 of 99 (824356)
11-27-2017 10:14 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the R.C.Sprouls Teaching On Reformed Theology thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Phat
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Posts: 10230
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 3 of 99 (824379)
11-27-2017 4:31 PM


Sproul unplugged
This topic all started because I called jar on him saying that RC Sproul had some stupid ideas. jar then informed me that Sproul was a Calvinist. Odd that I had never made the connection. I realized that jar believed that Biblical Christianity was a culture of ignorance, and I saw it in Faith but not in myself.

Just today, I perused Sprouls website and saw a lot of assertions worthy of discussion. Some quick quotes from his website:
(Keep in mind that although he sells a lot of books and stuff, I have traditionally looked to him as a source for explaining what Faith would call traditional Christian belief.)

quote:
...As C.H. Spurgeon once said, Reformed theology is nothing other than biblical Christianity.

Wiki writes:

Robert Charles Sproul (/sproʊl/ SPROHL;[3] born February 13, 1939) is an American Calvinist theologian, author, and pastor. He is the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries (named after the Ligonier Valley just outside Pittsburgh, where the ministry started as a study center for college and seminary students) and can be heard daily on the Renewing Your Mind radio broadcast in the United States and internationally[4]. Renewing Your Mind with Dr. R. C. Sproul is also broadcast on Sirius and XM satellite radio.[5] In late July 2012, a new Christian internet radio station called RefNet (Reformation Network)[6] was also announced by Ligonier Ministries in an effort to reach "as many people as possible" where Internet access is available.[7]

Ligonier Ministries hosts several theological conferences each year, including the main conference held each year in Orlando, FL, at which Sproul is one of the primary speakers.[8]

It also notes:

Sproul holds degrees from Westminster College, Pennsylvania (BA, 1961), Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary (M.Div, 1964), the Free University of Amsterdam (Drs., 1969), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (PhD, 2001). He has taught at numerous colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and Jackson, Mississippi, and Knox Theological Seminary in Ft. Lauderdale.[1]
Thus, RC Sproul is the heart and soul of Biblical Christianity. Lets examine some of his teachings, shall we?

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by jar, posted 11-27-2017 4:43 PM Phat has responded
 Message 5 by PaulK, posted 11-27-2017 4:48 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
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Posts: 29758
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 4 of 99 (824383)
11-27-2017 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
11-27-2017 4:31 PM


Re: Sproul unplugged
Note several recurring themes you need to pursue; "Reformed" "Knox", "Whitefield ". Look these up; the Reformed Movement, John Knox, George Whitefield (sometimes spelled Whitfield) as basic reading before getting into Sprouls position itself.

My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 11-27-2017 4:31 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
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(1)
Message 5 of 99 (824384)
11-27-2017 4:48 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
11-27-2017 4:31 PM


Re: Sproul unplugged
I’d note that the claim to being “Biblical” is somewhat contentious, to say the least. The Bible says many things and is interpreted as saying more. And fundamentalists show their respect for the “Word of God” by denouncing scholarship that shows that the Bible isn’t as they claim (Faith is a prime - and nasty - example).

So take that assertion with a very large pinch of salt.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 11-27-2017 4:31 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 10230
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 6 of 99 (824424)
11-28-2017 12:42 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by jar
11-27-2017 4:43 PM


Re: Sproul unplugged
jar writes:

Look these up; the Reformed Movement, John Knox, George Whitefield (sometimes spelled Whitfield) as basic reading before getting into Sprouls position itself.

Give me a few days to compile my replies as I digest the information. I want to go slow with this one.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by jar, posted 11-27-2017 4:43 PM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
LamarkNewAge
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Posts: 1024
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 7 of 99 (824443)
11-28-2017 11:49 PM


"The Bible is a fallible collection" R C Sproul
Sorry for no reply on my other topic, will not be so busy in a few days.

But I was always trying to remember the fundamentalist who said this.

I keep forgetting to bring his quotes up (in the few relevant topics when it is appropriate).

I am always grateful when a fundamentalist says something like this.

Just this factor alone should open eyes.


Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by jar, posted 11-29-2017 6:59 AM LamarkNewAge has responded
 Message 10 by Phat, posted 11-29-2017 9:31 AM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

    
jar
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Posts: 29758
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 8 of 99 (824455)
11-29-2017 6:59 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by LamarkNewAge
11-28-2017 11:49 PM


Re: "The Bible is a fallible collection" R C Sproul
LNA, you are taking stuff out of context there son, doing the same dishonest quotemining as the Biblical Christians. There was more to his comment and he then went on to explain the context in full.

Go back and include all of the statement.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by LamarkNewAge, posted 11-28-2017 11:49 PM LamarkNewAge has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Phat, posted 11-29-2017 9:03 AM jar has responded
 Message 16 by LamarkNewAge, posted 11-29-2017 11:53 PM jar has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10230
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 9 of 99 (824460)
11-29-2017 9:03 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by jar
11-29-2017 6:59 AM


The Protestant Reformation
For the purposes of understanding RC Sproul in context, how far back should I go?

All the way to Luther or should I focus on England?

I have looked up the three things that you mentioned, but I went off and read a bunch of other stuff. The Council of Constance: Sacrosancta, 1415 for example. It has been 17 years since I took the Western Civ college course, and to be honest, I crammed the exams and did well grade-wise, but retained little of this information which i am rereading from my Western Civ book.

Edited by Phat, : added

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by jar, posted 11-29-2017 6:59 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by jar, posted 11-29-2017 9:57 AM Phat has responded
 Message 22 by kbertsche, posted 11-30-2017 3:53 PM Phat has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10230
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 10 of 99 (824462)
11-29-2017 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by LamarkNewAge
11-28-2017 11:49 PM


Re: "The Bible is a fallible collection" R C Sproul
I want you to do me a favor, LamarkNewAge. Do NOT clutter this topic up with your usual copy pasta. I am taking great pains to edit my posts, add in the relevant links, and keep them concise. I read some of the stuff which you post in your other topics, but I want this particular topic to focus on where Sprouls influence and belief sprang from, how it came to America, and why the current group around RC Sproul, including John Piper focus on the things that they do.

For the record, RC Sprouls full quote is attributed to his mentor, John Gerstner. In context:

quote:
Roman Catholics view the canon as an infallible collection of infallible books. Protestants view it as a fallible collection of infallible books. Rome believes the church was infallible when it determined which books belong in the New Testament. Protestants believe the church acted rightly and accurately in this process, but not infallibly.[Source: R.C. Sproul, Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology, 58].

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by LamarkNewAge, posted 11-28-2017 11:49 PM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29758
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 11 of 99 (824465)
11-29-2017 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Phat
11-29-2017 9:03 AM


Re: The Protestant Reformation
Phat writes:

For the purposes of understanding RC Sproul in context, how far back should I go?

There's a lot to learn and remember, this is all stuff I believe should be taught beginning around the end of elementary and into middle and upper school. What I think is needed is a basic eight to ten year course and taught at a time when kids minds are still sponges, rapidly absorbing all that is there. You are coming late to the course and the biggest threat right now is simply getting overwhelmed by the many avenues opened for exploration. Make a list of paths to come back to but initially stay on just one path.

The Protestant Reformation and Reformed Theology are not synonymous; Reformed Theology is but one of the different movements that made up the Protestant Reformation.

To understand RC Sproul you need to start with the two primary figures that created Reform Theology, John Knox and John Calvin. You also need to make note of some of the major tenets and also structure that evolved. Try to keep track of what they tried to accomplish and the hurdles they faced.

So much of all the different Chapters or Club Christian revolves around the issue of who is the authority and what is authoritative. And it is at those very basic points I find Sproul to be at best making really stupid comments but most likely simply willfully ignorant. Often he seems just about to make the leap into wisdom but then seems to pull back from the precipice.

Start with those two figures and look at what they saw as the proper organization of their Chapters.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
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 Message 12 by Phat, posted 11-29-2017 10:24 AM jar has responded
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Phat
Member
Posts: 10230
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 12 of 99 (824468)
11-29-2017 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by jar
11-29-2017 9:57 AM


Focus: George Whitfield
You also asked me to look up George Whitfield(or Whitefield) and I found this:

George Whitefield, also spelled Whitfield, was an English Anglican cleric who was one of the founders of Methodism and the evangelical movement. Born in Gloucester, he matriculated at Pembroke College at the University of Oxford in 1732.(...) An actor by training, he would shout the word of God, weep with sorrow, and tremble with passion as he delivered his sermons. Colonists flocked by the thousands to hear him speak. He converted slaves and even a few Native Americans. Even religious skeptic Benjamin Franklin emptied his coin purse after hearing him speak in Philadelphia.

Soon much of America became divided. Awakening, or NEW LIGHT, preachers set up their own schools and churches throughout the colonies. PRINCETON UNIVERSITY was one such school. The OLD LIGHT ministers refused to accept this new style of worship.

Christianity Today writes:

America’s Great Awakening was sparked largely by Whitefield’s preaching tour of 1739–40. (...)John Wesley is known as founder of the Methodist movement, but Whitefield formed a methodist society first. In fact, Whitefield pioneered most methods used in the 1700s’ evangelical awakenings: preaching in fields rather than churches, publishing a magazine, and holding conferences.(...)Whitefield preached at both Harvard and New Haven College (Yale). At Harvard it was reported that “The College is entirely changed. The students are full of God.” Yet Harvard’s leading professors later wrote a pamphlet denouncing Whitefield.

The Great Awakening

It was noted that the Awakening was spurred by a rebellion towards the Age Of Reason. Man! As i get into this stuff I just keep digging.

The Impact of Enlightenment in Europe

quote:
In the wake of political turmoil in England, Locke asserted the right of a people to change a government that did not protect natural rights of life, liberty and property. People were beginning to doubt the existence of a God who could predestine human beings to eternal damnation and empower a tyrant for a king. Europe would be forever changed by these ideas.

I am sorry that I am starting to make my own copy pasta after I asked LNA to watch his. I am beginning to see how the pattern of science vs religion developed throughout Europe and am intrigued by how it led to the beliefs we have today.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by jar, posted 11-29-2017 9:57 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by jar, posted 11-29-2017 10:53 AM Phat has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29758
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 13 of 99 (824469)
11-29-2017 10:53 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Phat
11-29-2017 10:24 AM


Re: Focus: George Whitfield
Look at part of what you are quoting.

quote:
An actor by training, he would shout the word of God, weep with sorrow, and tremble with passion as he delivered his sermons. Colonists flocked by the thousands to hear him speak. He converted slaves and even a few Native Americans. Even religious skeptic Benjamin Franklin emptied his coin purse after hearing him speak in Philadelphia.

Even if Ben did not really empty his coin purse; look at the picture being painted there. Think back to "message vs messenger". Think back to Evangelical Televangelists.

Are there any similarities?

By the way, many of Whitfield's sermons are collected online and they too reflect all the traits I have tried to shine a light upon; bumper sticker theology, quote mining, taking things out of context, proof texts.

Edited by jar, : missing "


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Phat, posted 11-29-2017 10:24 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Phat, posted 12-10-2017 12:11 PM jar has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10230
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 14 of 99 (824470)
11-29-2017 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by jar
11-29-2017 9:57 AM


Focus: Faith vs Reason
jar writes:

The biggest threat right now (to this discussion)is simply getting overwhelmed by the many avenues opened for exploration.

I know! I ran up the rabbit trail which is John Locke. I see how the EvC debate between Faith and Reason started even back then.
jar writes:

So much of all the different Chapters or Club Christian revolves around the issue of who is the authority and what is authoritative.

Locke commented on this.

Internet Encyclopedia Of Philosophy writes:

Although it initially sounds as though Locke has carved out quite separate roles for faith and reason, it must be noted that these definitions make faith subordinate to reason in a subtle way. For, as Locke explains: “Whatever GOD hath revealed, is certainly true; no Doubt can be made of it. This is the proper Object of Faith: But whether it be a divine Revelation, or no, Reason must judge; which can never permit the Mind to reject a greater Evidence to embrace what is less evident, nor allow it to entertain Probability in opposition to Knowledge and Certainty.” (4.18.10, 695). First, Locke thinks that if any proposition, even one which purports to be divinely revealed, clashes with the clear evidence of reason then it should not be believed. So, even if it seems like God is telling us that 1+1=3, Locke claims we should go on believing that 1+1=2 and we should deny that the 1+1=3 revelation was genuine. Second, Locke thinks that to determine whether or not something is divinely revealed we have to exercise our reason. How can we tell whether the Bible contains God’s direct revelation conveyed through the inspired Biblical authors or whether it is instead the work of mere humans? Only reason can help us settle that question. Locke thinks that those who ignore the importance of reason in determining what is and is not a matter of faith are guilty of “enthusiasm.”

And Whitfield was the epitome of enthusiasm!

The Great Awakening seems to have been a backlash against the reasoning of Locke and others.

Edited by Phat, : added


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by jar, posted 11-29-2017 9:57 AM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10230
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 15 of 99 (824472)
11-29-2017 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by jar
11-29-2017 9:57 AM


How RC Sproul likely paints Whitfield
RC Sprouls website has an audio interview which discusses George Whitfield.

The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield: An Interview with Steven J. Lawson

Note that I am keeping in mind the context of these sources and whether the source itself has an agenda to promote or denounce the issues covered.

I'm going to back away from Faith v Reason for this topic, since RC Sproul by nature would disagree with Locke.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by jar, posted 11-29-2017 9:57 AM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
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