• The Blueprint of Redemption Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2004

    A persistent tradition claims that upon being mocked by a skeptic with regard to his doctrine of creation, Saint Augustine was cynically asked, “What was God doing before He created the world? Augustine’s alleged reply was: “Creating hell for curious souls.” The reply was, of course, tongue-in-cheek. The Bible doesn’t speak of such a special work of divine creation before creation itself. But Augustine’s bon mot had a serious point that warned against idle speculation of God’s activity in eternity. However, quite apart from speculation, the Bible has much to say about God’s activity “before” the world was made … View Resource

  • The Supremacy of Christ Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2004

    I wonder if it is proper to have a “favorite” book of the Bible. The idea scratches like fingernails on a chalk-board. What would induce us to prefer one portion of the Word of God to another? It would seem that to hear God say anything would be such a delight to the soul that every word that proceeds from His mouth would excite the soul to the same degree. Perhaps when we reach glory, our delight in Him and in His Word will be such that it will know no comparative degrees. In the meantime we are left with … View Resource

  • Our Father… Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2003

    My first class at the Free University of Amsterdam shattered my academic complacency. It was cultural shock, an exercise in contrasts. It started the moment the professor, Dr. G.C. Berkouwer, entered the room. At his appearance, every student stood at attention until he mounted the podium steps, opened his notebook, and silently nodded for the students to be seated. He then began his lecture, and the students, in a holy hush, dutifully listened and wrote notes for the hour. No one ever dared to interrupt or distract the master by presuming to raise his hand. The session was dominated … View Resource

  • Zeal Without Knowledge Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2002

    Many people are surprised, and some are shocked, when they hear of my involvement in the charismatic movement years ago. It began in 1965, shortly after I returned from graduate study in Holland to teach philosophy and theology at my alma mater. Some of my senior students who were preparing for ministry kept talking to me excitedly about their experiences with the Holy Spirit and about receiving the gift of tongues. My first response was profound skepticism, because my only previous experience had been with hardcore Pentecostals whose views of sanctification I deemed aberrant. Soon, however, the sheer number of … View Resource

  • Resurrection and Justification Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2001

    How is the resurrection of Christ linked to the idea of justification in the New Testament? To answer this question, we must first explore the use and meaning of the term justification in the New Testament. Confusion about this has provoked some of the fiercest controversies in the history of the church. The Protestant Reformation itself was fought over the issue of justification. In all its complications, the unreconciled and unreconcilable difference in the debate came down to the question of whether our justification before God is grounded in the infusion of Christ’s righteousness into us, by which we become … View Resource

  • The Last Enemy Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2000

    HALT! WHO GOES THERE?” Such might be the words of a sentry who confronts a mysterious stranger in the darkness. The sentry must discern the identity of the trespasser to determine whether he is a friend or foe. Armed to protect his territory, the vigilant guard wants to avoid two evils: 1) the entrance into the compound of an enemy bent on destruction and 2) the mistaken shooting of an ally stumbling about in the dark. There is an intruder in our garden—the one called death. Our task is to determine whether his grin is the fiendish mask of … View Resource

  • Taking Thought for Tomorrow Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1999

    I’m too busy enjoying summer to think about winer,” the grasshopper told the the ant. —from the Grasshopper and the Ant, by Aseop MY FATHER’S FAVORITE BIBLE VERSE was Jesus’ admonition in the Sermon on the Mount, “Take no thought for tomorrow, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink.…” He never tired of quoting this text to me when I was a boy. Yet my father did take thought for the future. He bought life insurance, fire insurance, health insurance, etc. He also had a savings account. He preached a philosophy of delayed gratification. With my … View Resource

  • A Rose Is a Rose Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1998

    A rose is a rose is a rose. This dictum reinforces the adage that a rose by any other name is still a rose. The idea is that the essence of the rose is not conditioned by what name is attached to it. It is its res, not its nomina, that determines what it is. In different languages, the same flower is known by different names, but it is still the same flower. When we apply this idea to theology things get a bit more complicated. Indeed the rose adage has been transferred indiscriminately to religion in order to create … View Resource

  • Songs from Exile Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1997

    In exile the people of Israel faced the question: “How do you sing the Lord’s song in a strange and foreign land?” The question is similar to that faced by contemporary American Christians. Ours is a spiritual exile as we confront a culture and government increasingly hostile to Christianity. We look to Nehemiah for clues to guide our own pilgrimage in difficult times. Nehemiah was grief-stricken by the news of the condition of Jerusalem. The walls were broken down and its gates burned with fire. His first emotion over the sad loss of his heritage was grief. It was … View Resource

  • The History of the Reformation Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1995

    A cesspool of heresies.” This was the judgment rendered by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V on May 26, 1521, shortly after Luther took a stand at the Diet of Worms. Earlier, in the bull Exsurge Domine, Pope Leo X described Luther as a wild boar loose in the vineyard of Christ and as a stiff-necked, notorious, damned heretic. On May 4, 1521, Luther was “kidnapped” by friends and whisked off to Wartburg castle, where he was kept secretly hidden, disguised as a knight. There Luther immediately undertook the task of translating the Bible into the vernacular. Frequently the Reformation … View Resource

  • None Dare Call It Heresy Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1994

    Is the flamboyant faith healer Benny Hinn a heretic? He was so branded by Hank Hanegraaff, the “Bible Answer Man,” in his recent book Christianity in Crisis. Hanegraaff’s Charge resulted in a radical outburst of indignant cries directed not at Hinn but at Hanegraaff. It seems that the only real and intolerable heresy today is the despicable act of calling someone a heretic. If the one accused is guilty of heresy, he or she will probably elicit more sympathy than his accuser. Anyone who cries “Heretic!” today risks being identified as a native of Salem, Massachusetts. After Hanegraaff … View Resource

  • Marks of a Great Teacher: Understanding Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1993

    The K-I-S-S principle is frequently requested in a learning environment. The acrostic stands for “Keep it simple, stupid.” It seems we are a people who loathe difficult study. We want easy answers and we want them quickly. Mastery of a subject, however, requires years of diligent labor and study. But once the teacher has mastered his material, how does he transmit it to his students? Certain assumptions are made in the classroom. The first is that the teacher knows more about the subject than the student. It is, in general, a safe assumption. The second assumption is that the … View Resource

  • The Origin of the Soul Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | June 1992

    Students of philosophy are well aware of the watershed significance of Immanuel Kant’s epochal work, The Critique of Pure Reason. In this volume Kant gave a comprehensive critique of the traditional arguments for the existence of God, wrecking havoc on natural theology and classical apologetics. Kant ended in agnosticism with respect to God, arguing that God cannot be known either by rational deduction or by empirical investigation. He assigned God to the “noumenal world,” a realm impenetrable by reason or by sense perception. The impact on apologetics and metaphysical speculation of Kant’s work has been keenly felt. What … View Resource

  • The Marriage Feast Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | May 1992

    Thank you, Gary North. One of the benefits reaped by the impact of the theonomist movement is a renewal of the serious study of the Old Testament law. As a consequence of the pervasive spirit of antinomianism that has infected contemporary evangelicalism, the law of God has been treated with woeful neglect. In their zeal to recover the importance of divine law, the theonomists have produced significant scholarly expositions of the Old Testament law. In his huge volume Tools of Dominion, Gary North provides a masterful exposition of many of the laws of the Old Testament that appear arcane to … View Resource

  • Dear Bob Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1992

    Your letter struck a raw nerve with me. I felt a sense of déjà vu. My mind snapped back to my own seminary days and subsequent early years of ministry. The first memory it sparked was of occasions as a young man when I expressed my frustrations to older men who responded to me by saying, “You’re too young and idealistic to understand these things. Wait until you get more experience.” That type of answer only fueled my frustration. I wanted cogent answers and sound arguments, not patronage from my elders. My seminary experience was much like yours. I … View Resource