• Ecclesiastical Myopia Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2008

    Perhaps the most remarkable statement I ever heard a man utter from the pulpit was: “He has a penurious epistemology, which tends to be myopic.” I was seated in the balcony of the church when that statement was made, and I could not restrain myself from laughing aloud. I nudged my wife Vesta and said, “I just might be the only person in the church who understood what that man said.”  What is a penurious epistemology?  A penurious epistemology is a theory of knowledge that is poverty-stricken or on the verge of bankruptcy. Such a view of knowledge … View Resource

  • Tota Scriptura Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2008

    In centuries past, the church was faced with the important task of recognizing which books belong in the Bible. The Bible itself is not a single book but a collection of many individual books. What the church sought to establish was what we call the canon of sacred Scripture. The word canon comes from a Greek word that means “standard or measuring rod.” So the canon of sacred Scripture delineates the standard that the church used in receiving the Word of God. As is often the case, it is the work of heretics that forces the church to define … View Resource

  • Statism Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2008

    A decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered….” In Luke 2, the well-known passage introducing the nativity story, the title accorded to the Roman emperor is Caesar Augustus. Had this census been mandated earlier under the monarchy of Julius Caesar, the Scripture would read: “A decree went out from Julius Caesar….” Had Octavian followed the model of Julius, he would have called himself Octavianus Caesar, and then the text would read: “A decree went out from Octavianus Caesar….” But we note Octavius’ explicit change of his personal name to the title Caesar … View Resource

  • Faith and Reason Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    In this postmodern culture we have witnessed a fascinating revival of ancient Gnosticism. The Gnostics of antiquity were called by that name because they asserted that they had a superior type of knowledge that surpassed the insights found even in the apostles of the New Testament. They maintained that the insights of the apostles were limited by the natural limitations suffered by human beings tied to rationality. True knowledge, according to these heretics, was found not through reason or sense perception, but through a highly developed mystical intuition. In like manner, in this postmodern world we’ve seen a wide spread rejection … View Resource

  • Faith and Reason Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

      In this postmodern culture we have witnessed a fascinating revival of ancient Gnosticism. The Gnostics of antiquity were called by that name because they asserted that they had a superior type of knowledge that surpassed the insights found even in the apostles of the New Testament. They maintained that the insights of the apostles were limited by the natural limitations suffered by human beings tied to rationality. True knowledge, according to these heretics, was found not through reason or sense perception, but through a highly developed mystical intuition. In like manner, in this postmodern world we’ve seen a wide spread … View Resource

  • All Truth Is God’s Truth Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2008

    During the nineteenth-century potato famine in Ireland, my great-grandfather, Charles Sproul, fled his native land to seek refuge in America. He left his thatched roof and mud floor cottage in a northern Ireland village and made his way barefoot to Dublin — to the wharf from which he sailed to New York. After registering as an immigrant at Ellis Island, he made his way west to Pittsburgh, where a large colony of Scots-Irish people had settled. They were drawn to that site by the industrial steel mills led by the Scot, Andrew Carnegie.  My great-grandfather died in Pittsburgh in 1910 … View Resource

  • Twilight of the Idols Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2008

    The nineteenth-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is famous for his declaration that “God is dead.” That brief dictum does not give the whole story. According to Nietzsche, the cause of the Deity’s demise was compassion. He said, “God is dead; He died of pity.” But before the God who was the God of Judeo-Christianity perished, Nietzsche said that there were a multitude of deities who existed, such as those who resided on Mount Olympus. That is, at one time there was a plurality of gods. All of the rest of the gods perished when one day the Jewish God … View Resource

  • Cosmic Treason Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    The sinfulness of sin” sounds like a vacuous redundancy that adds no information to the subject under discussion. However, the necessity of speaking of the sinfulness of sin has been thrust upon us by a culture and even a church that has diminished the significance of sin itself. Sin is communicated in our day in terms of making mistakes or of making poor choices. When I take an examination or a spelling test, if I make a mistake, I miss a particular word. It is one thing to make a mistake. It is another to look at my neighbor’s paper … View Resource

  • Norma Normata Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2008

    The Latin word credo means simply “I believe.” It represents the first word of the Apostles’ Creed. Throughout church history it has been necessary for the church to adopt and embrace creedal statements to clarify the Christian faith and to distinguish true content from error and false representations of the faith. Such creeds are distinguished from Scripture in that Scripture is norma normans (“the rule that rules”), while the creeds are norma normata (“a rule that is ruled”).  Historically, Christian creeds have included everything from brief affirmations to comprehensive statements. The earliest Christian creed is found in the New … View Resource

  • The Dark Night of the Soul Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2008

    The dark night of the soul. This phenomenon describes a malady that the greatest of Christians have suffered from time to time. It was the malady that provoked David to soak his pillow with tears. It was the malady that earned for Jeremiah the sobriquet, “The Weeping Prophet.” It was the malady that so afflicted Martin Luther that his melancholy threatened to destroy him. This is no ordinary fit of depression, but it is a depression that is linked to a crisis of faith, a crisis that comes when one senses the absence of God or gives rise to … View Resource

  • Covenant Prosecutors Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2008

    I don’t remember the exact words. They went something like this: “He was a thundering paradox of a man.” These words served as the opening lines of William Manchester’s classic biography of General Douglas MacArthur. In this work, MacArthur was shown as a multi-faceted man whose essence could not be crystallized by a single attribute. In like manner, the prophets of the Old Testament were men of multi-faceted and multi-dimensioned responsibilities and behavior. Some of the roles carried out by these prophets include the following: First, the prophets of Israel were agents of revelation. They did not say,   … View Resource

  • The Weight of Glory Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008

    C.S. Lewis emerged as a twentieth-century icon in the world of Christian literature. His prodigious work combining acute intellectual reasoning with unparalleled creative imagination made him a popular figure not only in the Christian world but in the secular world as well. The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy, though rife with dramatic Christian symbolism, were devoured by those who had no interest in Christianity at all, but were enjoyed for the sheer force of the drama of the stories themselves. An expert in English literature, C.S. Lewis functioned also as a Christian intellectual. He had a … View Resource

  • The King of Kings Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    The gospel of Luke ends with a supremely jarring statement: “Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God” (24:50–53). What is jarring about this passage is, as Luke reports the departure of Jesus from this world, the response of His disciples was to return to Jerusalem with “great joy.” What about Jesus’ departure would … View Resource

  • Crossing the Channel Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2007

    The rapid spread of the Protestant Reformation from Wittenberg, Germany, throughout Europe and across the Channel to England was not spawned by the efforts of a globe-trotting theological entrepreneur. On the contrary, for the most part Martin Luther’s entire career was spent teaching in the village of Wittenberg at the university there. Despite his fixed position, Luther’s influence spread from Wittenberg around the world in concentric circles — like when a stone is dropped into a pond. The rapid expanse of the Reformation was hinted at from the very beginning when the Ninety-five Theses were posted on the church door … View Resource

  • To the Ends of the Earth Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    If God is a mission God, then His church is a mission church. “Missions” is the term we commonly use for the sending activity of the triune God in order to establish His kingdom. The Lord Jesus sent His disciples to make disciples among all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the triune God, teaching them all that Christ commanded, preaching to all people the Gospel of grace, and witnessing to the resurrected Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. The church is His main sending agency, and in that sense we speak of a mission church … View Resource