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Posts By Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.


Scary Witches

The Evil of Witchcraft Witches are real, and witches are evil. To be sure, while warts, brooms and cauldrons are also real the caricature that brings them all together is rather far from the truth. God, in His infinite wisdom, told His people Israel not to suffer a witch to live (Exodus 22:18). Our fathers the Puritans followed the same perspective. They rightly saw witchcraft as a great evil. They, in accordance with their times, saw it also as a capital offense. Neither of these, however, is the source of the great horror of the Salem Witch Trials. The Folly. . .
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How should I prepare my son to provide for his family?

Don’t Follow the Folly of the World An excellent question. Too often we in the church follow the folly of the world in taking a passive approach to the future. We tend to believe all we have to do is show up, and if things don’t work out well for us, it must be the system’s fault. Another key error we have embraced from the world is this notion — that if we acquire specialized skills we will be able to provide for our families. Such thinking often leads to violating the first principle of sound stewardship — never spend. . .
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Our Lord is at Work Near & Far

Trip to Brazil It is a dangerous habit, but a habit nonetheless. When I find myself on my way home from a trip overseas, I take fingers to keyboard and write a piece. I am tired. I miss my family, and I am emotional. I do it, even though it’s scary, because it makes sense. When I see the hand of God at work, I want to write about it. Tonight I write from Sao Paulo, Brazil. A little less than a week ago I landed here eager and ready to preach the Word. I had hopes in me that. . .
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What have we lost in the lost art of letter writing?

My Dearest Gaulips, You asked about some of the newest features our media consultants are working on, and how you might put them to good use in your treatment of your patient. I will explain a few of them, but do not lose sight of the simple principle — the more we can take these cursed humans away from their bodies, the better off we can be. Entice them with ease, with reach, with speed, with convenience, but take away from them the things that matter the most — actual communication. When we move them from aural communication to written. . .
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A Man Has a Right to Own Her Body

Root Causes of Abortion You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain James 4:2. Seeking to stop the slaughter of the unborn by merely declaiming abortion is like building a bridge by starting in the middle. James reminds us that we murder because we lust. Statistics tells us that nearly 9 of ten women who get an abortion in America are unmarried. That is telling. Abortion & Related Sins Too often we in the evangelical church have taken a binary approach to the problem. Either we separate the sin of abortion from all its related. . .
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How can I tell if someone has truly repented of grievous sin?

The Fruit of True Repentance There is one tell-tale fruit, but it may take a long time for it to happen. And even then you likely won’t see it. But here’s the fruit nonetheless — if the sinner ends up in heaven, you will know they had truly repented. If not, they likely had not. I understand the desire to know the sincerity of another’s repentance. I’ve been in countless pastoral situations wherein it seemed like the answer to that one question — is this person truly repentant — determined the answer to every other question about what should be. . .
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Are We Getting Better All the Time?

Horrors in History History is littered with the inhuman. That is, when we seek to take an honest look at those who have gone before us, we find what we manage to think is something different to us. We look at Nazi Germany as if it were some bizarre aberration, the cultural equivalent of a snowstorm in August. Even cultures we might otherwise admire have warts we think we’ve grown beyond. Whether it was the open sexual perversion and abuse of boys that marked the ancient Greeks, or witch hunts of our Puritan forebearers, the skeletons do not hide in. . .
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Did God act unethically in asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?

A Challenging Question There are any number of challenges that come from this account in Genesis. Some have used it to deny God knows the future, on the basis of God’s declaration, “Now I know that you fear God” in 12:22. Some have used it to argue that God is wicked, either for asking the father to kill the innocent son, or for lying to Abraham, telling Abraham He wanted him to do something He didn’t really want him to do. The first objection is answered easily enough — only God the Father has an innocent Son. While Isaac may. . .
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Lovers (of the World) Gonna Hate

Human Trafficking & Abortion Next month I will be participating on a Christian college campus in an intriguing discussion. I have been invited, due to my public labors on behalf of the unborn, to join a panel asking something along these lines, “Why is the slaughter of the unborn so low on the radar of so many evangelicals? Why do we get our dander up over Kony or human trafficking, but not so much over abortion?” Before I get to the remarks I am apt to share, let’s make one obvious thing perfectly clear. Human trafficking is wicked, vile, nauseating. . .
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What 5 things can I do to best take advantage of a conference?

Evangelicals these days seem to have something of a love/hate relationship with conferences. We grumble about the conference junkie who wanders from event to event looking for a greater mountaintop experience, and soon finds himself dissatisfied with home preaching. On the other hand, people can go from one conference to another looking for that experience in part because there are so many because so many seem to be having mountaintop experiences. Perhaps, with some wisdom, we can maximize the benefits while diminishing the dangers. Here are five suggestions. Do not go to see/get close to the celebrity preacher. Go to. . .
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The Folly of Keeping Up with the Joneses

The Good Mr. Jones I have two sets of neighbors. On the east side is Mr. Jones. He’s a decent man, a loving husband, and an attentive father. He serves at the local soup kitchen at least once a month. He loves to talk to people about Jesus, and all that Jesus means to him. Indeed Jesus is Mr. Jones’ hero — he aspires to be just like him. Mr. Jones is at peace with his life. He’s content with where he is, and has every confidence about where he will spend eternity. The Bad Mr. Smith Mr. Smith, on. . .
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If you could have done one thing differently as a husband, what would it be?

My Deepest Regret It is both awkward and encouraging the feedback I have received over the past few years for the writing I have done during my beloved’s illness, homegoing and absence. I especially rejoice when I hear that the things I have written have served another in a time of hardship. It remains my intention to use what I have written in a book in the future. That said, I still believe that the most vulnerable, most insightful, most helpful thing I wrote all along this journey was this brief tweet — I wish I had held her hand. . .
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Ray Rice, Domestic Violence, and Other Monsters

Connecting the Dots It is, I believe, a useful habit that I stumbled upon now more than 20 years ago. I have found that forcing myself to look at two issues at once often helps me see a new perspective on both issues that I otherwise would have missed. It started when I was an editor for Tabletalk magazine and I had an idea. Each issue, then and now, is sort of two magazines, a daily Bible study, as well as a thematic issue. “Why don’t we,” I asked the team, “publish a ‘bridge’ article each month? For our first. . .
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A Verdict that Demands Evidence

Lying is Bad It’s a bad thing to tell a lie. Generally speaking we oughtn’t to do it. Truth be told, however, I suspect we lie less often than one might think, and do more damage with the non-lies that we tell. For me to lie I have to do two things first — speak an untruth, and know that I am speaking an untruth. It happens. I’ve done it and will do it again for certain. The great thing about lies, however, is that they can be exposed. Which puts some restraint on us from telling them. Accusations &. . .
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What is it like to be a single parent?

The Realization The first time I realized I was a single parent was while serving on a panel discussing how the church might better serve those in “broken families.” I was on the panel simply because I was a pastor, and as I was answering a particular question from the audience it came crashing down on me, “Oh, I’m in a broken family.” There is a reason, however, it took so long for this reality to dawn on me — it’s just not a “thing.” That is, I don’t look in the mirror and think, “Single parent.” I don’t look. . .
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Called to Disciple the Nations

Experiencing God’s Power Power, paradoxically, can sometimes be quite shy. I know great bolts of lightning and the attendant rumbling of thunder do not begin with a polite, and gentle, “Excuse me, may I cut in here?” But neither do they appear on command. While a raging storm may be indifferent to our desires, while it will not, simply because of our wishes, go away and come again some other day, other forms of power positively flee when we seek them out. I learned this first at the communion rail. The church to which I belonged when I was first. . .
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Recognize the Blessing in the Hardship

Learn the Meaning of Blessing Because we are by our fallen nature Pelagian we have a natural bent toward the notion of karma. Good things, we think, will happen when we do well, bad things when we do poorly. While it is certainly true that obedience brings blessing, that God’s law is the pathway to joy, and disobedience is sure to bring correction from our loving Father, we need to learn the meaning of blessing, and to distinguish between different kinds of hardships. Sin & Hardship When my wife was going through her third and final battle with cancer she. . .
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Is it appropriate to serve communion to shut-ins?

It is most certainly appropriate for the elders of the church to serve communion to members who are, for health or other reasons, unable to attend the gathering of God’s people on the Lord’s Day. Before we get to how and why, however, let me list a few caveats. First, the sacraments are given to the church, and are under the authority of the local church. We ought not, if we are shut in, arrange a private communion ceremony on our own. Neither should a non-elder, except perhaps in the most dire circumstances, serve communion to a shut in. Common. . .
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The Perfect Family Recipe

Proverbs & Promises I never want to diminish another’s hardship. Indeed I can’t imagine a greater one. I know there are too many heartbroken parents out there who sought diligently to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord only to see one or more reject the faith. These hardships, however, ought not cause us to forget the blessings. The promises of God are often more proverbial than mathematical. That is they describe the way He typically works, without turning Him into some sort of blessing vending machine. We use our own proverbs in the same way.. . .
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On Human Cruelty & Selective Application

Cruelty in Iraq & the Middle East I have seen none of the pictures. I have no position on the accuracy of the stories. If it is true that Muslims in the middle east are beheading children it is indeed heartbreaking. What there is little doubt about, that Muslims in the middle east are beheading adults, “marrying” little children, waging a wicked war, persecuting believers, I sadly concede is real. I share with those believers who are brokenhearted the same broken heart. I write today with no interest whatever in lessening the sickening nature of what is going on over. . .
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Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr..

Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. is a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary, and Grove City College. He received his Doctorate of Ministry in 2001 and is Founder, Chairman and Teacher of Highlands Ministries.
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