What did the Lord do in your life to help you embrace your calling as a battlefield theologian?

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Mainly it was the influence of my studies in seminary as a young man and looking at what God did in the Reformation of the sixteenth century.

The magisterial Reformers were world-class academicians, people like Luther and Calvin and so on. But they understood that if you’re going to have reformation you have to take your case to the people. And that’s what I meant by being a battlefield theologian rather than an ivory tower theologian—that you’ve got to make your case before the people and communicate to the people.

John Piper said it somewhat like this: Not only must we be able to confess our faith, and not only must we be able to defend our faith, but we must be willing and able to contend for the faith once for all delivered in sacred Scripture.

There is always a polemical element involved in the confrontation between the world, the flesh, and the Devil, and the truth of the Christian gospel. And so we have to be willing to be the church militant before we’ll ever expect to be the church triumphant.

Lightly edited for readability, this is a transcript of R.C. Sproul’s answer given at our 2016 National Conference. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email ask@ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.