• The Battle for Grace Alone Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    The early part of the fifth century witnessed a serious controversy in the church that is known as the Pelagian controversy. This debate took place principally between the British monk Pelagius and the great theologian of the first millennium, Augustine of Hippo. In the controversy, Pelagius objected strenuously to Augustine’s understanding of the fall, of grace, and of predestination. Pelagius maintained that the fall affected Adam alone and that there was no imputation of guilt or “original sin” to Adam’s progeny. Pelagius insisted that people born after the fall of Adam and Eve retained the capacity to live lives of … View Resource

  • Paul: A Servant of Jesus Christ Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2006

    When I look back over forty years of teaching, I sometimes think I must be the most inarticulate writer and speaker in the history of the world. I wonder about that when I read interpretations of my teaching from the pens of other people, particularly from those who are hostile to what I declare. Frequently the distortions are so great that I cannot recognize my own position in the criticism. It may be helpful in trying to interpret mine or any other teacher’s declarations by looking at their geographical backgrounds. I grew up in the city of Pittsburgh, in a … View Resource

  • The Problem of Pain Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2006

    The problem of evil has been defined as the Achilles’ heel of the Christian faith. For centuries people have wrestled with the conundrum, how a good and loving God could allow evil and pain to be so prevalent in His creation. The philosophical problems have generated an abundance of reflection and discussion, some of which will be reiterated in this issue, but in the final analysis, the problem is one that quickly moves from the abstract level into the realm of human experience. The philosophical bumps into the existential. Historically, evil has been defined in terms of privation (privatio) and … View Resource

  • The Da Vinci Conspiracy Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2006

    Yes, Virginia, there really is a lunatic fringe on the ideological spectrum. We commonly hear perspectives described as left-wing or right-wing. Beyond that, the descriptions become more precise in terms of radical right and radical left. If we cross the border beyond the radical of right or left, we enter into the domain of the lunatic fringe. There is a lunatic fringe on the right, which would include neo-Nazis, skinheads, and the like. On the radical left there is also a lunatic fringe that would include within it radical conspiratorialists and even academicians who are educated beyond their intelligence. For … View Resource

  • Triune Monarchy Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    The most basic affirmation the Scriptures make regarding the nature of God is that He is one. The shema of Deuteronomy 6 reads as follows: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (v. 4). These words that preface the great commandment are axiomatic to the biblical understanding of the nature of God. Old and New Testaments together bear witness to the eternal truth that there exists one God — monotheism. Another term for monotheism is the word monarchianism, meaning that the God of the Bible is a monarch. Monarch comes from a Greek word that has … View Resource

  • The Liberal Agenda Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2006

    When any discussion develops concerning Christianity and liberalism, it is crucial that one gives a proper definition of liberalism. The term liberal can mean anything from being free in one’s thinking to being a proponent of the latest fad in the realm of theology or any other ideology. The term liberal shifts with the sands of time in as much as yesterday’s liberal may be considered today’s conservative without changing views. However, when we speak of liberalism in the field of theology, we are not thinking of a frame of mind or a philosophical bent but a distinct historical movement … View Resource

  • An Historic Faith Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2006

    Once upon a time….” These words signal the beginning of a fairy tale, a story of make believe, not an account of sober history. Unlike beginning with the words “once upon a time,” the Bible begins with the words, “In the beginning God….” This statement, at the front end of the entire Bible, introduces the Pentateuch or the first five books of the Old Testament, and it sets the stage for God’s activity in linear history. From the opening chapters of Genesis to the end of the book of Revelation, the entire dynamic of redemption takes place … View Resource

  • Christian Loses His Burden Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2006

    As a seminary student, I remember my favorite professor often setting forth arguments for particular theological positions. On many occasions, as these debates proceeded, the professor stopped in mid-sentence, paused, looked at his students and said, “I sense that you do not feel the weight of this argument.” His regular reference to the “weight” of arguments was an interesting metaphor for me. Arguments that we do not take seriously are those that we take lightly. The whole idea of weight or weightiness is one that is found throughout the Bible. In the first instance, the glory of God is … View Resource

  • Born of the Virgin Mary Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2005

    Along with the great theologian and philosopher Anselm of Canterbury we ask the question, Cur deus homo? Why the God-man? When we look at the biblical answer to that question, we see that the purpose behind the incarnation of Christ is to fulfill His work as God’s appointed Mediator. It is said in 1 Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself ….” Now, the Bible speaks of many mediators with a small or lower case “m.” A mediator is an agent who stands … View Resource

  • The Fine Points of Calvinism Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2005

    The late theologian Cornelius Van Til once made the observation that Calvinism is not to be identified with the so-called five points of Calvinism. Rather, Van Til concluded that the five points function as a pathway, or a bridge, to the entire structure of Reformed theology. Likewise, Charles Spurgeon argued that Calvinism is merely a nickname for biblical theology. These titans of the past understood that the essence of Reformed theology cannot be reduced to five particular points that arose as points of controversy centuries ago in Holland with the Remonstrants, who objected to five specific points of the system … View Resource

  • A Snare in Your Midst Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2005

    When is a church not a church? This question has received various answers throughout history, depending on one’s perspective and evaluation of certain groups. There exists no monolithic interpretation of what constitutes a true church. However, in classic Christian orthodoxy certain standards have emerged that define what we call “catholic,” or universal, Christianity. This universal Christianity points to the essential truths that have been set forth historically in the ecumenical creeds of the first millennium and are part of the confession of virtually every Christian denomination historically. However, there are at least two ways in which a religious group … View Resource

  • Cur Deus Homo Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    In the eleventh century, one of the church’s most brilliant thinkers, Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, wrote three important works that have influenced the church ever since. In the field of Christian philosophy, he gave us his Monologium and his Proslogium; in the field of systematic theology, he penned the great Christian classic Cur Deus Homo, which being translated means “Why the God-Man?” In this work, Anselm set forth the philosophical and theological foundations for an important aspect of the church’s understanding of the atonement of Christ, specifically the satisfaction view of the atonement. In it, Anselm argued that it … View Resource

  • The Pelagian Controversy Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2005

    Grant what Thou commandest, and command what Thou dost desire.” This passage from the pen of Saint Augustine of Hippo was the teaching of the great theologian that provoked one of the most important controversies in the history of the church, and one that was roused to fury in the early years of the fifth century. The provocation of this prayer stimulated a British monk by the name of Pelagius to react strenuously against its contents. When Pelagius came to Rome sometime in the first decade of the fifth century, he was appalled by the moral laxity he observed … View Resource

  • Radical Corruption Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2005

    In God’s work of creation, the crowning act, the pinnacle of that divine work, was the creation of human beings. It was to humans that God assigned and stamped His divine image. That we are created in the image of God gives to us the highest place among earthly beings. That image provides human beings with a unique ability to mirror and reflect the very character of God. However, since the tragic fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, that image has been subject to serious change and corruption. As a result, we speak of the “shattering … View Resource

  • Cultural Revolution Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2005

    In the early years of the 1950s the phenomenon of broadcast television was beginning to sweep America. In these early days, however, it was still a small minority of American households that proudly owned a television set. At this time, a ban was executed by the networks prohibiting the use of the word “virgin” in television broadcasts. The censorship of this word was explained in light of the term’s close connection to matters of sexuality. So sensitive were the original producers of television towards offending the ethics and mores of the American public that words as seemingly harmless as the … View Resource