Remembering RC Sproul (MUST reading)

Short video of clips of RC proclaiming the gospel through the years

Hi TD Family,

I’ve thought about, gave thanks for, and ached for RC everyday since I first learned of his hospitalization and then ensuing Homecoming.  I’ve reminisced fondly over our times spent together, enjoying not only fine food, but hearing him explain to us the finer details of our Real Food, our faith in Christ.

My family will remember his gentleness and frivolity with our kids over the decades.  He loved kids, knew how to make them feel comfortable, and knew how to make them laugh.  He’s the one who taught us the unique “Give me five … up high … down low … ” ritual that I use with young ones today.

RC was also sincerely humble, not taking himself too seriously, often making fun of himself.  He once was excited to tell us, “As I came out of the shower this morning, do you know what Vesta (his wife) said to me? She said, ‘When I married you, I knew I was marrying an athlete, I just didn’t know it was going to be a sumo wrestler!'” We howled in laughter together.

I have often had people address me as Pastor or Pastor Arthur, have assumed I went to seminary, or comment that they couldn’t believe that I didn’t go to seminary.  More than anyone, I owe that to RC Sproul, whose calling and vision was to bring the seminary to the layman, to bridge the gap between seminary and Sunday School.  I am the fruit of what RC envisioned, a lay theologian on the street or in the field, as it were.

I commuted for work from South Pasadena to Orange County from 1990 – 1997, before opening up my Pasadena office.  I have often called my little blue Honda Civic my seminary, for it was there that I had stacks of theological courses taught by RC Sproul sitting in my passenger seat.  Each day, for nearly an hour’s drive each way, I would listen to the audio cassette tapes over and over again, hanging on RC’s teaching and being increasingly blown away with each listen … of the same lesson!  For hundreds of hours, I listened and learned from RC, meeting ultimately with … God.

It was RC that alerted me to the fact that in order to really maximize what you get out of a lecture, you need to listen to it about a dozen times.  I have found that to be true and lament when I see Christians think they know what a passage in the Bible says because they have read that passage before or have heard a message on that passage already.

In the absence of any older spiritual mentors at church for me, RC was like a surrogate spiritual father to me; not directly, but certainly indirectly.  Thus, it was a distinct privilege and joy to interview RC for you at TD a few years ago when we did the “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” series.

It is a great interview that is personal, honest, real, and very candid.  There are things that will surprise you.  We typically receive about 20 – 25 views a day on the TD blog.  In the last few days, we have received well over 2,200 views, primarily driven by these interviews.  Some have linked them to their blogs.

I am also giving you the links to some extraordinary tributes from extraordinary people that are MUST READS.  They will not only give you more depth to understanding RC, but will also help you grow in living out your Christian life. – Arthur

Arthur’s Interview With RC

A Personal Conversation With RC Sproul, Pt. 1

A Personal Conversation With RC Sproul, Pt. 2

A Personal Conversation With RC Sproul, Pt. 3

MUST READ Tributes to RC

Steven Lawson’s Tribute to RC (this one is especially good)

John Piper’s Tribute to RC 

Joni Eareckson Tada’s Tribute to RC

Sinclair Ferguson’s Tribute to RC

John MacArthur’s Tribute to RC

Al Mohler’s Tribute to RC

RC’s Biography

Stephen Nichols

 

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RC Sproul (1939 – 2017) – He Fought the Good Fight

Video of RC’s surprise b-day greeting on my 50th

Hi TD,

It is with profound sadness that I inform you of the passing of one of the great ones, Dr. RC Sproul.  As giant a figure as he had become in Christendom for enabling the lay person access to the deep truths of God and powerfully and indelibly confronting us with His absolute and transcendent holiness, he was a humble, gracious, generous, funny, and loving man.  He was a hero to me and so, so instrumental in teaching me and helping to shape not only my theology, but my character.  He will be sorely missed.

In the video above, you can get a flavor of his warmth and kindness as he surprised me with a clever birthday greeting for my 50th this summer.

Please pray for his family, as they work through their loss.  They said they are weary, saddened, yet rejoicing for him.  Here’s why they are rejoicing:

We’ll be posting more from his life and ministry in the weeks ahead, so you too can be impacted and your faith deepened.

Here’s the official announcement:

Dr. R.C. Sproul, Called Home to the Lord

FROM  Dec 14, 2017 Category: Ministry News

Dr. R.C. Sproul went home to be with the Lord this afternoon around 3 p.m. surrounded by his wife, Vesta, and family in his hospital room in Altamonte Springs, Fla. He was 78. He died peacefully after being hospitalized twelve days ago due to severe respiratory difficulties exacerbated by the flu and complicated by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Known to millions of Christians as simply “R.C.,” he was used of the Lord to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God in all its fullness. Through his teaching ministry, many of us learned that God is bigger than we knew, our sin is more deeply rooted than we imagined, and the grace of God in Jesus Christ is overwhelming.

God called R.C. to proclaim the gospel to as many people as possible. R.C. did this knowing the Lord did not need him. In fact, he wanted people to know the enduring, faithful witness of God’s servants throughout church history. God powerfully used R.C.’s ministry in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to awaken people around the world to the truths of classical Christianity.

It belongs to others in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead to assess the impact of R.C.’s ministry in the history of the church. In this moment, we feel loss—immense sadness and profound loss—the loss of a pastor, a teacher, a leader, a brother-in-Christ, a friend.

R.C. now sees the object of his faith, the risen Christ, high and lifted up. He now hears the seraphim’s song before the throne, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

We will be publishing details about the memorial service and providing an opportunity to leave a note of appreciation for Dr. Sproul’s ministry at RCSproul.com in the coming hours.

Please Pray for RC Now – in serious condition

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Visiting with RC and his family last month

Hey TD’ers and TD Alum,

May I ask you to please stop for a moment and make a hearty petition to God, asking Him to help heal and restore health to my friend and a hero in my life, Dr. RC Sproul, who is sedated in the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit in serious condition.  His breathing is being supported by a ventilator and he has fluid in his lungs.

His daughter, Sherrie, told me this afternoon that he is a little more stable but is “not out of the woods.”  Please pray that God would lead him out of the woods.

In addition to being a world-class theologian that has helped countless number of Christians in the last four-plus decades to grow in awe and wonder and appreciation of the holiness of God, he is a really good guy.  He is gracious, kind, amazingly sharp and witty, very funny, and yet very humble.

Our entire high school Sunday School curriculum, from 9th – 12th grade comes from his teaching, and all of your Sunday School teachers and TD leaders have been profoundly impacted by his faithful teaching and unique ability to communicate difficult theology in a way that is profound yet understandable.

We were able to visit with RC and his family last month in Orlando (see picture above), and he was as sharp and gracious as ever.  Your prayers for RC, his wife, Vesta, and the rest of the family would be one way you can make a return contribution to him.

Thank you so much – Arthur

Happy Reformation Day! – The Reformation 500 Celebration

Reformation 500 Celebration

Happy Reformation Day, TD!

If you’re asking, “Reformation? Reformation Day? What?,” then this post is for you.  500 years ago today, October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his now famed 95 Theses that sparked the flame that spread throughout Europe and eventually … the world.

All over the world today, there have been celebrations, tributes, TV programs, articles written, video productions broadcast, and more to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  We invite you to watch a re-broadcast of Ligonier Ministries’ Reformation 500 Celebration to not only get a better theological and historical perspective of the Reformation, why God ordained it, it’s impact and need today, but also for needed reformation in our own lives.

In this celebration, you’ll get an animated history of the life of Martin Luther, new choral music written for the church (by RC Sproul and Jeff Lippencott), as well as terrific mini- messages (18 mins) addressing essential Reformation issues for our lives and our times.

Click above for the entire celebration or click below to watch the specific messages.  I encourage you to honor the Lord and what He did in the Reformation by watching at least one of the following videos. – Arthur

 

An Inspiring Q & A From One of the Greats!

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Hey TD,

Life is short.  It’s vital for us all to appreciate and treasure those who have made a big impact in our lives while they are still with us.  That’s exactly what I did at last month’s Los Angeles Ligonier conference as Dr. RC Sproul came to us via live video feed from Ligonier’s headquarters in Florida.

RC is not only one of America’s leading theologians, he’s also been a hero, mentor, teacher, and friend; someone I’ve looked up to a lot over the last few decades. Due to his health, RC is no longer able to travel significant distances.  Now 78, his health has been up and down over the last decade and has lived the last several years connected to an oxygen tank.  Though we’ve communicated via snail mail and on the phone, I haven’t personally seen RC in a couple of years. His daughter, Sherrie, would give us updates periodically and let us know he was doing well, but having seen him not doing so well in recent years, I wondered how well.

So, when he did a Q and A session at the conference, taking on live questions from the audience, I was nervous for him inside, praying that he would be able to keep up.  And what I saw was sheer joy to me, putting a smile in my heart and face, and leaving me amazed at how he could still answer questions coming from all over the place, and do so with such skill, precision, wit, and winsomeness.  I was blown away.  In my heart, I was yelling, “Way to go, RC!”

Thankfully, Ligonier posted that Q and A online.  Please watch and be edified in your faith. It’s beautiful (and includes a funny impromptu interchange with John MacArthur) – Arthur

Questions:

(0:20) In Deuteronomy 23, it states that a Moabite shall not enter the assembly of God. How did David, the descendent of a Moabite, enter the tabernacle?
(1:55) As a new student minister, how can I respectfully respond to people in the church who encourage me to entertain and dumb down spiritual things for my students?
(3:20) If Jesus and Paul used harsh words against their opponents in Scripture, does that give us permission to do the same today?
(5:50) Is it true that you got a hole in one recently?
(6:50) Since the Manhattan Declaration, has there been a change of opinion or a clearer understanding from the evangelical community?
(8:16) How can the Lord regret something, if He knows everything?
(10:45) What is double predestination?
(13:49) Is it necessary for pastors to challenge their congregations to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior?
(16:45) How would you respond to the accusation that you teach the Bible is part of the Trinity?
(20:03) Is separation in marriage permitted in Scripture and if it is, under what conditions?
(22:26) Would emotional and/or physical abuse merit a separation?
(23:24) Given the Bible commands us to obey authority, how should we view the American Revolution?
(25:34) How should we understand generational curses in the Bible?
(27:30) Do you have any concerns about the spiritual formation movement?
(28:47) Since everyone is unable to obey the greatest commandment, are we always actively living in a state of sin?
(30:05) Why did God create sin and Satan?
(32:26) What do success and failure look like in the eyes of Jesus?
(33:57) 1 Corinthians 15:22, why is the first Adam’s condemnation universal and the second Adam’s justification limited?
(36:40) What is your view of the altar call?

Note: Answers given during Questions and Answers sessions reflect the views of the individual speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dr. R.C. Sproul and Ligonier Ministries. Here is our Statement of Faith: http://www.ligonier.org/about/who-we-…

Killer Q & A

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Hey TD!

Those who went to the Ligonier conference last week were treated to a wonderfully rich time of teaching, theology, and a deeper knowledge of the God of the Bible.  This was the Upward Prong of our 3-pronged approach to the Christian life.

One particular treat were the Q & A sessions – one with Dr. RC Sproul and one with the rest of the speakers.  There is always lots of candor and humor that accompany the insight and truth shared.

Below is a Q & A session from LIgonier’s National Conference a couple of months ago with Dr. RC Sproul, Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. Albert Mohler, and Dr. Steven Lawson. Below is the list of questions discussed:

Questions:

1. Dr. MacArthur, can you tell us about the Shepherds Conference? (1:09)
2. How do you explain the term “Reformed” to a someone unfamiliar to Reformed teaching? (2:34)
3. Is our still heart deceitfully wicked after we are born again? (4:47)
4. How should I share the gospel when it could cost me my job? (7:08)
5. Is it biblical to say God “loves you” to believers and nonbelievers alike? (9:32)
6. What does it mean when we confess that Jesus has a reasonable soul? (13:05)
7. Dr. MacArthur, you spoke at 2016 Shepherds Conference about clergy malpractice. What did you mean by that? (17:08)
8. How can I best prepare students to live their faith out in public schools? (19:17)
9. How do I counsel a Reformed mother who is married to a Roman Catholic? (22:25)
10. With the rise of seeker-sensitive churches, how do we understand biblically ‘seeking’ God? (25:02)
11. How do you define a false teacher? How much error is needed before they are considered false? (32:23)
12. How is the current cultural climate forcing the “mushy middle” out of the church? (35:55)
13. Giving the failure of ecumenical movements, how do you promote unity in doctrine? (37:59)

Note: Answers given during Panel Discussions reflect the views of the individual speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dr. R.C. Sproul and Ligonier Ministries.

Enjoy!

TD at Ligonier Conference Friday

Why We Can’t Choose God

Does God Hate the Sin But Love the Sinner?

Hey TD!

We just got back from having dinner with our good friends at Ligonier Ministries, the Teaching Fellowship of RC Sproul, and I’m really excited for our outing on Friday and Saturday!

So, just a reminder that TD will NOT be at church on Friday.  Instead, we will be “Discovering the God of the Bible” with Ligonier Ministries.   If you want to join us, either on Friday or Saturday, let your small group leader know asap.

Otherwise, we’ll see you next Friday for our final TD meeting of the year!

In the meanwhile, enjoy RC’s teaching above on “Why We Can’t Choose God” and “Does God Hate the Sin and Love the Sinner?”  They are short, but very poignant, and more importantly … true. – Arthur