Wow! R.C. Sproul's faith...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. skypair

    skypair
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    ...was subverted at seminary!!

    I don't know how many of you "stray off your own plantations" to examine the thoughts of others :laugh: but I've been reading his book The Mystery of the Holy Spirit and I am 1) awed by his salvation testimony and 2) double awed by how he got into Reform Theology. He was saved out of Catholicism and maybe that explains something -- his desire for structure both doctrinally and ecclesiastically. He is very honest in this book and it appears that he just "took the theological ball and ran" without a very good look at the options. Let me quote some of his own words ~

    Sproul: "One of the most dramatic moments in my life for the shaping of my theology took place in the seminary classroom. One of my professors went to the blackboard and wrote these words in bold letters.

    "REGENERATION PRECEDES FAITH

    "These words were a shock to my system. I had entered seminary thinking that the key work of man to effect rebirth was faith. I thought we had to first believe in Christ in order to be born again."

    We DO! That is how even R.C. himself was saved!! Do we have to be "born again again" if we did believe that??? Did Sproul not just invalidate millions of peoples' salvations and add in another million that passively, "monergistically" did nothing but go to church Sundays??

    Sproul: "Perhaps I was confused by traditional teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. ... [Tradition says that] No man has the power to raise himself from spiritual death. Divine assistance is needed and needed absolutely. This grace according to Rome comes in the form of what we call "prevenient grace." ...

    "... To be sure, after a person is regenerated, that person cooperates by exercising faith and trust. But the first step, the step of regeneration by which a person is quickened to spiritual life, is the work of God and God alone." ...

    "... The reason we do not cooperate in regenerating grace before it acts upon us and in us is because we cannot. We cannot because we are spiritually dead."

    Now here I take exception and for the reason that Sproul has not thought this through! Our spirits are our mind, emotions, and will. What Sproul is saying is the we can't cooperate with the Spirit because we are BRAIN DEAD! Of course our souls are dead once transgression has occurred. But the spirit still has it's living capacities! We are not, as he later surmises, "corpses choos[ing] resurrection" like Lazarus!! In fact, it is living spirits with which the Holy Spirit MUST work in order to "draw" us to Christ!!

    And here are the key "proofs" for his newfound belief: 1)
    Sproul: "The key phrase in Pauls letter to the Ephesians is this:

    "...even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) " (Ephesians 2:5)"

    Folks, this is NOT Paul's exposition of the steps of salvation. If one wants that, one looks at 1Cor 15:1-4. This passage is a cursory glimpse of salvation as it pertains to our former vs. our reborn lives.

    2) John 3:3, 5 -- "Except a man be born again, he cannot see [nor enter] the kingdom of God. That's it?? Again, one sees and enters the KoG when one is saved. It is NOT necessary (cf: 1Cor 2:1-5, Rom 10:9-11, etal.) for salvation.

    I think Sproul is an honest believer caught up in academia and a structure that he can study and get very good at explaining. But it is still, regretably, the "doctrines of men."


    skypair
     
    #1 skypair, Apr 20, 2007
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  2. Helen

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    Thank you. I have met and talked with R.C. and was the organizer for his deaf interpreters for several years on the West Coast. He threw me into a tailspiin with Reformed theology when I finally heard it from one of his speakers. I spent two years reading the Bible several times looking only for evidence supporting Reformed theology. I did not find it.

    But how many people are thrown into similar tailspins and do not have or take that time to check into it?

    R.C. is one of the nicest people I have met, personally, but your post and the quotes from his book explain a lot that makes sense to me now. Again, thank you.
     
  3. Andy T.

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    The implication being that those who do not come to the same conclusion as you do on Reformed doctrine have not studied it as hard as you have.
     
  4. Helen

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    The 'implication' being that the Bible does not support Reformed theology when read in context and allowed to explain itself.
     
  5. skypair

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    Likewise, I am sure. :laugh:

    Andy --- can you not take Sproul's own testimony for what it is worth?? for what it says about his theology? And read the book and tell me where he might be listening to the Spirit rather than to man -- Calvin and his professors. My view is that he merely read Calvinism into scripture after that "shocking" revelation!

    Perhaps you had the same experience and are "stuck" like he is in a broken theology, eh?

    skypair
     
  6. Rippon

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    John H. Gerstner ( 1914-1996) was the professor who wrote what Skypair and some others here believe is wrong . But I'm with Gerstner , Sproul and Scripture . Faith in Christ is the result of the new birth , not the cause of it .

    Some snippets follow.

    Acts 16:14 The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message .

    1 John 5:1 everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God

    John 1:13 children born not of natural descent , nor of human decision ... but born of God

    John 6:65 This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him .

    John 17:2 that He [ Jesus ] might give eternal life to all those you have given Him .

    Romans 9:16 It does not , therefore , depend on a person's will or effort , but on God's mercy .

    James 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the Word of truth

    Skypair belittles R.C. Sproul's conversion by calling it a subversion . Shame on him .

    Helen can not seem to find Reformed theology ( the doctrine of grace ) in the Bible . She claims to have looked for years . Spurgeon said that a man claimed to have spent years praying on his knees and meditating on Scripture , but he too could not discover the doctrine(s) of grace in the bible . C.H.S. said that the man should have gotten into a more comfortable position while reading the Word . Spurgeon said anyone could be running and discover what the Bible reveals about these doctrines .

    It is sad and wrong to disregard , minimize and reject what the Bible so clearly reveals repeatedly .
     
    #6 Rippon, Apr 20, 2007
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  7. Andy T.

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    The implication being that anyone who disagrees with your theology must not be reading the Bible in context and intepreting it correctly.
     
  8. Andy T.

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    Nope - my experience is quite different than Sproul's, and I don't appreciate you trying to pigeon-hole all Reformed people within your preconceived notions.

    Congrats on starting another 1-star thread, Skypair. I need to bow out - I'm feeling dirty just being here.
     
    #8 Andy T., Apr 20, 2007
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  9. webdog

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    Herein lies the problem... The Bible isn't composed of "snippets" that we can pull together to support what we want it to say. Atheists, universalists and others I'm sure you don't agree with claim to do the same thing.
    ...as have I. Can't find it either, sorry.
    Herein lies another problem. Taking the statments of mere men to be immutable truth. Why should Helen's, your or my statements carry less or more weight than Spurgeons? Is the Holy Spirit different in him or something?
     
    #9 webdog, Apr 20, 2007
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  10. Helen

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    Thank you, Webdog. That is why I said that the Bible TAKEN IN CONTEXT and ALLOWED TO EXPLAIN ITSELF does not support Reformed theology.

    Taken in snippets, anything can be supported. My mother supported her adultery against my father biblically by saying, "Well, doesn't the Bible say 'God is love'?" She is dead now, or I wouldn't be able to tell about this, but I have seen the Bible misused so consistently that I wonder how many people have even read it!
     
  11. Rippon

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    Is anyone arguing against the truths expressed in my snippets ? If you disagree please be specific . Some of those snippets were full verses . Actually the idea of "verses" are really snippets . They are localized divisions of God's Word used for our convenience to locate the addresses of parts of the Bible . What I do is compare Scripture with Scripture . I itemized some portions of God's Word because they are related . I do not believe in isolating a single passage to propound a particular belief . Instead of launching an attack on snippets deal with the doctrines they declare .
     
  12. reformedbeliever

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    This is another perfect example of why i'm ready to bow out of the bb for a while.... other than being in a new church start and needing to be busy with other work than only theology.
    I'm sick and tired of supposed Christians eating each other.

    Colossians 3:12. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
    13. bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
    14. Beyond all these things {put on} love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
    15. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
    16. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms {and} hymns {and} spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
    17. Whatever you do in word or deed, {do} all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
     
  13. pinoybaptist

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    Thank you, RB.

    That was called for, and needed.
     
  14. russell55

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    The opening post attributes a story Sproul tells about John Gerstner's experience to Sproul's own experience, and then tries to make a point in regards to R. C. Sproul based on that story. The incident didn't happen to R. C. Sproul, so any point made about R. C. Sproul based on that story is pointless.

    There's no need to post a point by point refutation of a pointless post.
     
    #14 russell55, Apr 20, 2007
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  15. Andy T.

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    Thanks for the clarification, Russell. It was news to me that Sproul came out of the Catholic church - I thought I remember hearing him say that he grew up as a nominal Presbyterian and was converted in college.
     
  16. bound

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    Because of the erroneous foundation of this thread perhaps this thread should be deleted?
     
  17. Rippon

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    Deleted is too severe , perhaps locked would be better .
     
  18. skypair

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    OH STOP, rippon. I SAID I believe Sproul is saved! Just stop your ridiculous attacks and answer to the issue!

    Again -- empty accusations of a "wounded animal!" STOP IT! Be a man and address the issues please!

    I do not yet see anything in what you posted of scripture that contradicts what I have said.

    skypair
     
  19. skypair

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    Andy -- sorry you can't take my "reporting." Perhaps reading the book would be more helpful.

    Or was that the plan? To make a lie about my source so that you could have the thread and the truth deleted??? Shame on YOU! Go read Chapter 6 page 101 (in my edition). He is NOT quoting ANYONE.

    Boy, the devices of the devil are cunning indeed!! Thanks russ, Andy, rippon, and bound! I can't believe that 4 people who haven't even read the book can "run with the lynching mob" just beause their own "theological truth" has been compromised.

    skypair
     
    #19 skypair, Apr 20, 2007
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  20. skypair

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    I can sure understand your lack of perserverance, rb. I think we all see our cherished beliefs attacked daily but as they say, "no pain, no gain." Iron sharpens iron" or in my case "working on my irons on the golf course sharpens by my iron game!" :laugh:

    Seriously, rb. This is good for especially you. You are able to get your message out and I see lately in you an ability to answer in a more believable manner than previously. :applause:

    You know -- it surprised me Sproul's testimony. But now I've heard it, I begin to take him more seriously (more so than Luther or Calvin whose testimonies I also have heard and question). I finished the book today and there are many insights I would not have gotten without his ministry! One was how that we don't depend on some "apostelic succession" to understand God but on the real, live Paraclete that indwells each of us the sharing comfort and truth of God daily!

    sincerely,
    skypair
     

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