Giving and Receiving

R.C. Sproul at the Ligonier National Conference

© All rights reserved by Ligonier Ministries

Courtesy of the Ligonier Affiliates program, I’m giving one of you $50 worth of merchandise from Ligonier Ministries—details at the end of this post.


Over the last year and a half, one of the men whose increasingly been a positive influence on me and my faith has been R. C. Sproul. I’ve been an online student in the Systematic Theology certificate program (and dreadfully behind on, unfortunately) since last fall and this was really my first introduction to his work and teaching.

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts I’ve received from Dr. Sproul is a MUCH better understanding of theology’s place in the sciences and the essentials of Reformed theology’s essential doctrines as summarized in the acronym TULIP, that is:

  1. Total Depravity
  2. Unconditional Election
  3. Limited Atonement
  4. Irresistible Grace
  5. Perseverance of the Saints

In his book What is Reformed Theology?, Dr. Sproul argues that Reformed theology is theology proper—God is its starting point and its center. Theology is “the queen of sciences,” from which all other scientific disciplines find their foundation, where religion finds its root in anthropology.

Reformed theology strives to keep God at its center, remembering that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” rather than thinking God exists to glorify man. It finds its basis in God’s Word alone; thus, where Scripture is clear, so must the Christian be. It is committed to justification by faith alone, understanding that man cannot please God. It is devoted to Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King Who preaches the Word of God, intercedes on our behalf & rules over us as Sovereign Lord. And it is structured upon three covenants that ultimately illustrate the graciousness and wonder of God.

TULIP applies this understanding of God’s grace. If election were conditional upon us, no one would be saved. If Christ’s atonement was not effective, it would serve no purpose. If God did not preserve, we could not persevere.  TULIP remind us that “salvation belongs to the Lord” (Psa. 3:8; Jonah 2:9).

These are great gifts and great reminders—the clarity that Sproul brings to these often contentious doctrines in his teaching is something that I am grateful for.


Alright, where was I…? Right—I was about to tell you how you can win the latest giveaway.

Want to win $50 worth of merchandise of your choice from the Ligonier store?

Here’s how it works:

  1. Leave a comment—tell me how Dr. Sproul’s ministry has influenced your faith or what books or teaching series you’re interested in from the store.
  2. Tell a friend about this contest—Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or through email, if there’s someone you know who you think would benefit from this prize, you should tell them

That’s it!

I’ll be choosing the winner on Sunday at 5 pm EST and announcing the winner on Monday, December 6th. In the meantime, start taking a look at the Ligonier store and get some ideas for how you can use the prize.

  • http://tr.im/delgado Jason D.

    God has used Sproul’s ministry in a huge way… his books helped stir me towards the greatness of Reformed Theology and especially his book on how to study the Bible. Extremely helpful… letting others know by sharing this on Twitter.

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  • http://lg-rg.com cam

    Sproul rocks in that how he preaches on the Old Testament is amazing, and brings it in a whole new life. I’ll email some friends who love books.

  • http://cleverphrasehere.blogspot.com/ Amber

    I would love to read The Consequences of Ideas. Sproul’s ministry has not changed my faith, in that I haven’t ever read one of his books…So doens’t that mean I need it all the more? ;)

    I’ll email a friend.

  • awhall

    Heard Dr. Sproul speak at T4G in 2006 and 2008. His first message on justification was profoundly moving, his second message on the curse motif moved me to tears. Loved his book The Holiness of God – it challenged me deeply.

  • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

    The Holiness of God is without a doubt one of my favorites—when I read it (earlier this year), it felt like I’d been struck by a bolt of lightning; incredibly profound.

  • http://www.frogonaleaf.blogspot.com/ Doug Davis

    I first heard R.C. speak from video tapes I borrowed from one of the elders at my church in the early 80s. I was stunned. Here was meat indeed. And he made the deep truths of the faith so accessible to the rank and file. I have been truly blessed.

    I heard and interview of R.C. by Mark Dever where R.C. said one of the series of messages they’ve gotten the most positive responses on was called The Cross of Christ. I would like to listen to those messages some day.

    Blessings.

  • Justin Perry

    A few years back as I was wrestling through my beliefs about reformed theology, I picked up “Chosen by God.” This book really clarified unconditional election for me as Sproul encouraged the reader to set aside the “God would never not choose some” sentiment and to approach this topic by first answering the question, “What do all men deserve because of sin?” A truly paradigm shifting perspective in regards to thinking biblically about God’s choosing of man, and one (perspective) that breeds humble worship in response to Him.
    Thanks for the opportunity….

  • david syme

    His book on What is Reformed Theology, Understanding the Basics, explained to me my Presbyterian religion so effectively.

    Cheerz Frae Bonnie Scotland

  • Norm Brock

    joined fb and following on twitter. thanks!

  • http://taylormatthews.blogspot.com Matt Taylor

    Dr. Sproul has blessed my faith by helping me to understand the Spirit of power I have in Christ. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit has worked so mightily through Dr. Sproul and pray that we will be blessed for years to come.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/nate_downey nate downey

    Sproul’s Grace Unknown was a very formative book for me in my early Christian life. I can still remember wrestling through it and even where I was when I read specific portions of it.

    I’m interested in the Truth’s We Confess Set and anything on apologetics.

    Thanks!

  • http://kevinfiske.wordpress.com Kevin Fiske

    The Lord has used Dr. Sproul and Ligonier ministries in a profoundly impactful way on my faith and study. His commitment to the holiness of God and accessible, passionate, and clear proclamation of Reformed theology, along with his Renewing Your Mind teaching ministry and Tabletalk Magazine, have been great encouragements to my faith and love for Christ.

    The items I’m particularly interested from the store at the moment are the volumes in the St. Andrew’s Expository Commentary series!

    Thanks so much for your (& Ligonier’s) generosity in this giveaway…I’ll be retweeting it!

    God bless and Merry Christmas!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ChildofGod777/posts/181000651914702?ref=notif&notif_t=share_comment#!/ChildofGod777 Jason Stephens

    What I have been most blessed by is all the different teaching series that Sproul has put out, especially the “Chosen by God” and “Holiness of God” DVDs. I have also been blessed to read Sprouls articles in the monthly Tabletalk magazine. There is so much more I want to watch and learn from including His huge teaching series on systematic theology. I am so thankful for Ligonier Ministries.

  • Brian Elswick

    The greatest influence Sproul has had in my life was a short teaching called, The Extent of the Atonement, it changed everything for me.

  • http://www.wired4truth.info Douglas K. Adu-Boahen

    I’ll never forget the message Dr Sproul preached from Isaiah 45 on “I am the Lord and There is No Other”. That single message rocked my theological world, as I came to realize that I held to a version of God who was more like me, rather than being nothing like me or anyone I knew…

  • http://nathanharbottle.blogspot.com/ Nathan H

    I have just currently started reading about and following R.C. Sproul. I have not read any of his books or much of his material. I received a Reformation Study Bible and really like it. I have started using it within our Family Worship time at home. I also receive tweets from Ligonier. I really like the quotes they put out from Dr. Sproul. I shared the tweet with my mom and my Pastor.

  • http://www.pilgrimstent.org/ Corey Sosebee

    I appreciate R.C.’s deep intellectual knowledge and how has is able to bring in the history of philosophical thought and make it relevant to our faith as Christians. He has continually used his teaching series to increase my knowledge and faith.

    What a blessing to the church.

    I have started reading the St. Andrews Expositional Commentary series and would love more in that series.

    I’ll be retweeting this @csosebee and @PilgrimsTent! Thanks!

  • Mark Leberfinger

    Two things I’ve read or heard from Dr. Sproul: the Reformation Study Bible and from the Ligonier website, the “What is Reformed Theology?” video series. The RSB has challenged me to go deeper on God’s Word. The videos have really blessed me in two ways: Reformed theology isn’t nebulous and scary — it’s a comfort; and two, I realize what my chief end in life is: to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

  • http://cyberwordoftruth.blogspot.com charles woodruff

    I appreciate Dr. Sproul’s consistency. He declares God’s sovereign grace in a clear way. So I have no problem recommending his work to my Arminian friends with the hope that his clarity will persuade them. I have been blessed,, and learned much listening to his messages on The Holiness of God, and reading the book. Also I gained much reading Chosen By God. In our day we need the Old Paths that many preachers are throwing away. That is what i try to teach on my sites headed by http://cyberwordoftruth.blogspot.com. Blessings in Christ to all! (I linked to Facebook as “hombreviejo” to tell others about the contest).

  • Daniel McKay

    Hey Aaron,

    Right now I am getting back into studying theology, and have started listening to the podcast Renewing Your Mind with Dr. R.C. Sproul. I am very thankful for Dr. Sproul’s ministry and his dedication and love for the gospel.

    Dan

  • http://pastorricky99.blogspot.com Ricky Kirk

    I have read several books from Ligonier and have grown in my understanding of reformed theology, in particular the holiness of God. RC Sproul has an amazing gift of teaching and explaining difficult doctrine in a way that can be understood by the pew sitter and the pastor. This gift would be a great way to add some of these great resources to my library, or purchase multiple copies of a work and distribute it to others… decisions, decisions…

  • Jody Sneed

    Months ago I began asking pastors at my church about Reformed Theology. One recently gave Sproul’s What is Reformed Theology? and I am working my way through it with a lot of questions…Calvinism is a hot topic in Baptist circles but I just know enough…

  • http://www.danielspratlin.com Daniel Spratlin

    Sproul’s strength in philosophy had really helped to guide my own ideas about the relationship between faith and reason.

  • http://www.seizethebookblog.blogspot.com Judy Dudley

    Oh, wow! I’d love to win this! Mr. Sproul is one of my favorite teachers and authors. I have been blessed by many of his writings, including Chosen by God. I listen to him often on the radio, and he was one of the first ones who taught me about the doctrine of election. Praise God for R.C. Sproul!

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

  • http://Www.aaronsellars.com Aaron Sellars

    I’m interested in reading through his new commentary series especially through the volume of John just published.

  • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

    And the winner is… Jason Stephens! Congratulations, Jason!

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