Ask R.C. Jr.

If you could have done one thing differently as a husband, what would it be?

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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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What is it like to be a single parent?

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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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Is it appropriate to serve communion to shut-ins?

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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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What is the difference between biblical theology & systematic theology?

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The Terminology In the context of this question we are using the phrase “biblical theology” in a specific, technical sense. In its general sense all biblical theology means is a theology that is biblical, true to the Bible. And we all hope, whenever we are engaged in systematic theology, that we are affirming what the Bible affirms, that it is a biblical theology. The Methodology When however, the terms come up in contrast they reflect less the content of theology and more the methodology of studying theology. Systematic theology is an approach that addresses key issues in our thinking by. . .
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Shouldn’t we send our children to the government’s schools so they can witness to their peers?

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Objection to Homeschooling: Our Calling to be Salt and Light If there were any objection to homeschooling that might have legs, this one might be it. Every believer, I trust, is eager to see sinners brought to salvation. Everyone knows that we are called to be salt and light, indeed that being such blesses even our unbelieving neighbors. Add to this the certain truth that actual eternal souls have been brought in through the faithful witness of believers in the government’s schools. Who could be against an army of little missionaries entering the lions’ den that is the government’s school. . .
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Should tithes and offerings be collected during the worship service?

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Ask RC Jr: Should tithes and offerings be collected during worship?

It was likely the most surreal thing I’ve ever witnessed at a worship service. Not surprisingly it happened Sunday morning at the Orlando Convention Center. My esteemed father was scheduled to preach at this service in conjunction with the annual Christian Booksellers Association convention. Back in those days CBA was a huge deal, with more than 5,000 souls in attendance representing book and music publishers, authors and artists and Christian bookstore owners. I don’t remember what big name sang the offertory, but it was a big name. Just before my father got up to speak, however, a gentleman in a. . .
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What are 7 things our generation has forgotten?

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Every generation has not just its blind spots, but its amnesiac moments, truths once held, even honored, that the rising generation let go of. One might call these things Slipping Off the Shoulders of Giants. Here are seven truths our fathers in the faith grasped that we have forgotten. It’s not about me. One of the reasons the greatest generation earned their title is because they sacrificed for others. In our day, because we engage in distant wars for hazy reasons, our soldiers are left fighting for mere geo-political interests. Some do so for a paycheck. Some do so to. . .
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What are 5 things to remember when talking with atheists?

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Ask RC Jr: What are 5 things to rember when talking with athiests?

Here are five things to remember as you converse with atheists: There are no atheists. Romans 1 tells us that unbelievers suppress the truth of God’s existence in unrighteousness (vs 8). They want not to believe, but they know there is a God, and know that they stand guilty before Him. Do not think you are dealing with a disinterested scholar who is just lacking good information. You are dealing with someone angry and frightened, someone rightly terrified over his own guilt. If they get angry, chances are they are angry at God more than you. No matter how smart. . .
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Why do we love taking internet quizzes?

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Ask RC: Why do we love taking internet quizzes?

What Pizza Topping are You? I don’t know. More importantly, neither does anyone else. The better question is, why would anyone think anyone could know? Though they have been with us for some time I’m seeing more and more quizzes on sundry social media feeds promising to tell me not just what pizza topping I am but which castaway on Gilligan’s Island, which 80’s pop diva, which former Secretary General of the United Nations. I’m not such a grumpus as to argue that there is something sinful about taking such quizzes. Nor am I inclined to believe that anyone takes. . .
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Should we allow abortions to save the life of the mother?

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No. Neither should we allow bank robberies, kidnappings nor terrorist attacks to save the life of the mother. The truth is that abortion has as much to do with saving the life of a pregnant mother as a bank robbery does. An intentional abortion is a self-conscious decision to take the life of an unborn child, and that is never, never necessary to save the life of a mother. Challenging Situations We talk this way, however, because we live in a world which sometimes produces deep challenges. Since the fall of man we have all been conceived dying. Medicine, however,. . .
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Is America a city shining on a hill?

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Ask RC: Is America a city on a hill?

Youthful View of American Exceptionalism I like to think there was a smidge of pity to mute the glaring pride in grade school me. As I studied geography, learning this and that about this other nation, that other continent I genuinely felt sorry for my age-group peers outside our borders. What must it be like, I wondered, to wake up every morning knowing you are not a part of the greatest nation in the history of the world? Were those boys consumed with envy, or were they just ignorant? It wasn’t long, however, before leftist ideologues in the schools tried. . .
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How much detail do we need to go into when evangelizing?

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Believe All that God Has Revealed Because God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4) and God is truth, it follows that truth is one. While we can talk about distinct propositions, the truth is that truth is monolithic, one piece, simple rather than parts. Such means, of course, that His revelation is not part cake, and part icing, part substance and part sizzle. It’s not as though justification by faith alone is the painting and election is the frame. We are called to believe all that God has revealed, and every error in our thinking is at least implicitly dangerous. Our Error, . . .
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Are evangelicals pro-life?

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Ask RC: Are evangelicals pro-life?

What I Mean by Pro-Life It’s not a trick question. You won’t find in what follows a specious argument that to be pro-life one must oppose the death penalty, or embrace pacifism. By pro-life, in this context I mean committed to the notion that the murder of the unborn is not only wicked, but ought to be illegal, like any other murder. I know we like to think we’re pro-life. But I’m afraid we’re fooling ourselves. Evangelicals are Procuring Abortions First, one in six abortions in America is procured by a professing evangelical. That means that if only professing evangelicals. . .
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R.C. Sproul Jr. what do you love to teach about?

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Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. Speaker & Teacher

Typecast Speaker Though I have from time to time been typecast, sometimes as the family guy, others the economics guy, and still more, the suffering guy, I am blessed to be called to speak on a number of different themes. I speak at pro-life events, theological conferences, apologetics gatherings, homeschool conventions and more. I am grateful for all those opportunities, and I pray that I always speak from a position of biblical passion. That said, and not wanting to close off any opportunities outside of this sweet spot, there are some things I get more excited about than others. R.C.. . .
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Why are evangelicals guilty of one in six abortions in America?

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Christians Can & Do Murder Before I offer up my thinking on the why’s, two things need to be said. First, the source of this statistic is here. Second, while we cannot know the hearts of others, it is important to understand that murder is not beyond a true believer. David, a man after God’s own heart, committed murder in order to cover up the adultery he committed. We Christians are reborn, indwelt, and we do in fact grow in grace. In addition, we do not practice gross and heinous sins. We do, however, from time to time, commit them,. . .
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What are ten fiction books you recommend for homeschool teenagers?

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A while back you published a list of the ten books your teenagers read as part of the homeschool education. They were all non-fiction. What fiction do you have your children read? I was honestly surprised when this was pointed out to me. I would guess over the course of my life I’ve read two works of fiction for every work of non-fiction. I hadn’t planned at all to make the list all non-fiction, and so am happy to add here fiction. As with before I am not here arguing that these are the ten best fiction works ever, only. . .
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If you could destroy the internet, would you?

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If you could destroy the internet, would you?

You have a big red button that will allow you to destroy the Internet. What do you do? Do you destroy it or keep it around? Why? I’ve never understood those who take a principial objection to hypothetical questions. “I make it a point never to answer hypotheticals” they tell me. Really? The truth is I actually have no such button. But it is helpful to consider what I might do if I did. I know what I’d do first—wrestle with whether to push the button. That is, I suspect it would be something of a close call. Because, naturally,. . .
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Why do you sometimes wear a kilt?

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The Kilt as Formal Wear The last time I wore my kilt was at the joyous occasion of the marriage of my first born daughter. The answer for why I wore it then is simple enough—it was a formal occasion. The kilt was a gift from my parents some twenty years ago. Over the past two decades I suspect that I have had roughly about 30 occasions to wear it. I wore it when I was first ordained, ironically to make an important point about the insignificance of our cultural heritages. I was originally ordained in an old and faithful. . .
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Do you think Jesus will come back soon?

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Ask RC: Do you think Jesus will come back soon?

No. Not at all. I think it likely that we have tens of thousands of years to go before Jesus comes back. I know that every odd astronomical event, every middle eastern hot spot fires up the end times hysteria machine, but I’m not willing to get on that ride. I suspect even if we don’t buy into dispensational end times scenarios we still find it plausible that the world will come to an end soon enough. I suspect we are inclined in that direction because we live in an age of hopelessness in the broader culture. The specter of. . .
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How can I know if I’m saved? 5 Key Principles

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Ask RC: How can I know if I'm saved?

There is no greater personal issue than our relationship with the living God. There are no greater stakes imaginable than the difference between eternal torment and eternal bliss. As such it is no wonder that so many struggle with issues of assurance of salvation. I cannot, of course cover the gamut of the issues in a brief piece, but can give some basic principles that I pray will help. 1. No one is allowed, save the Lamb, to look into the Book of Life, but there is no need to. Too often, especially in Reformed circles, the concern is expressed. . .
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