Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. ~2 Timothy 2:15

About Me

I am a young man who is following God's call into pastoral ministry. I have been so blessed with the privileges which the Lord has granted me. I am blessed to serve the Mt. Joy congregation in Mt. Pleasant, PA. I am constantly humbled and amazed at what the Lord is doing in my life.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What I Appreciated About Dr. R. C. Sproul

I was first introduced to the ministry of Dr. R. C. Sproul while in college by my pastor/mentor. His book, "Chosen by God," was very helpful for me as I struggled to understand the Bible's teaching on the doctrine of election and figuring how it all fit together. Later I read his "The Holiness of God" and was so encouraged with the biblical picture of the greatness of God that often has been watered down so much today. It very well could be part of what the Lord has used to spark a passion in my own life and ministry for the proclamation of God's holiness. I have benefited from many of his other books, commentaries, teaching series, and sermons as well. He has been helpful in forming my theological understanding in various ways.

While there are many things that I appreciate about Dr. Sproul, the one thing that I would have to say that I appreciate the most was the fact that he never talked down to anyone in his teaching and preaching. What I mean by that is that he never shied away from using big theological terms or teaching difficult doctrines because they might be over people's heads. He labored instead to explain them in such a way that just about anyone could understand them. Like Martin Luther, he aimed at communicating in such a way that the simple maid in the congregation could understand as well as the learned scholar. He often would mention the Latin or Greek terms used in relation to a specific doctrine and explain the meaning of the word by the etymology of it. He appeared to delight in doing so. He certainly had a gift from God to make the complex comprehensible. This struck me in a day and age when pastors and teachers are even told not to use such theological language or go that deep in doctrine because the people in the pew won't be able to understand it. I hear many pastors claim that they themselves avoid ever using such theological terminology on account of the same reason. Then interestingly enough, have the same ones complain at how much their congregations don't understand of doctrine. (And then I think in my head, that kind of makes sense if you are not teaching them these things because you think that they can't handle it. But it appears that they never make such a connection themselves.)

Dr. Sproul thought that every Christian should have a foundational and growing understanding of doctrine, theology, and philosophy so he labored to bring seminary to the lay person. This is what led to his founding of the Ligonier Valley Ministry Center which would eventually become Ligonier Ministries. His Systematic Theology which he released a few years ago is entitled, "Everyone's a Theologian." He wanted to be sure that people's theology was right and that they correctly understood who God is as He has revealed Himself in His Word.

This is something that I strive to do as well though I have much work yet to do on it and am nowhere near as gifted as Dr. Sproul. I am thankful for his modeling of this and pray that more would not be afraid to go a little deeper in their teaching of theology but be sure to seek to communicate the deep truths of God in a way that people can understand. May God continue to use the teachings of R. C. Sproul beyond the grave. To borrow the words of the author of Hebrews in regards to Abel, "though dead, may he still speak."

In Christ,
Lee Smith

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