How are you preparing your children for persecution? A few weeks ago I tweeted this: I don’t know the future but am preparing my children to 1 day face martyrdom, like my great-grandparents should’ve done for my grandparents. — R.C. Sproul Jr. (@rcsprouljr) March 13, 2015 Interestingly, I got little push back on the notion that my children might one day face martyrdom. Neither did anyone express any curiosity about what I meant about my great-grandparents and my grandparents. (I meant that every generation of believers, in every context, even those wherein the Christian faith is privileged in a specific culture, ought to prepare their children for martyrdom.) I did, however, have several people wonder just what that preparation looks like. Here’s how we look at it in my family.
If it were twenty five years from now, and you could come back to today to warn yourself, what would you say? It is, I confess, a rather convoluted question, but the principle isn’t so hard to grasp. We often try as a kind of thought experiment to ask what we would tell the us of twenty-five years ago if we can go back in time. If such is at all helpful, shouldn’t we be thinking of the other half of the equation now? What are five things me at 74 would say to me at 49 by way of warning? 1. Do not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9). It is all to easy to allow long years of frustration to wear us down. When I sense I’m not making much progress in my own sanctification, weariness is at my doorstep. Our lives are marathons. And as we…
Is it wrong, or dangerous to marry someone from a different culture? I’m writing from San Francisco today. I know and love this city because thirty years ago I was in romantic pursuit of a young lady who lived here. At the time I lived in rural western Pennsylvania. The young lady was raised in the city. I was a student at Grove City College, which could likely be considered the most conservative school in the country. The young lady was a graduate of Cal-Berkeley, which could likely be considered the most liberal school in the country. I was too conservative to vote Republican, she too liberal to vote Democratic. I was a garden variety American, she a Chinese American.
Are husbands/fathers called to be priests in their homes? Yes and no. If we mean by “priest” one who intercedes for others, beseeching the blessing of God, of course fathers should be priests in their homes. We’re called to pray for our families, to storm the very throne room of heaven on behalf of those whom He has placed under our care. I can’t begin to imagine how anyone could have an objection to this. I will be first in line to object, however, to any notion that a husband or father stands as a mediator between God and man. That is strictly the work of our elder brother, Jesus. While I certainly hope to be used in my children’s lives as an agent of grace, a means in our Lord’s hands to help my children mature in their faith, I never want to stand between them and the Lord….
To too many the creeds are a dusty vestige of a happily distant past. They were written centuries ago, born out of abstract battles whose players we can’t even name. Isn’t it just better to love each other and not get caught up in all those silly questions?
I’ve been blessed, over the years, to teach a number of the Great Works courses here at Reformation Bible College. It is my contention that we ought to cover the great books of western civilization not so we can prepare our students to join in what some call the “great conversation” that back and forth over the centuries that seeks to answer the most foundational questions of our nature, purpose and end. Instead I want to prepare them for the “great confrontation.” I teach in light of the antithesis, the battle between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent that began in Eden and ends with the end of history. I want our students to understand the culture they are living in, the ideological water they are swimming in, so that they might both guard their hearts and press the crown rights of King Jesus.
One of the many blessings of having eight children is how frequently I get to remember how very little I understand the trinity. Indeed I regularly tell my students at Reformation Bible College, “If you think you understand the trinity, that is one sure sign that you do not.” The doctrine of the trinity is not an affirmation of a contradiction, that three equals one. It is, however, the greatest mystery, and I argue, the very Rosetta Stone of reality, the key to understanding all that He has made.
Does the biblical truth that “death came through Adam” preclude the possibility of an old earth? Before I address the question please allow me to lay down my bona fides. I believe in a young earth and in six literal days of creation. I believe Adam was fashioned out of the dust of the ground, and Eve from Adam’s rib. I have believed all of this for at least 25 years. And I’m not in danger of changing my mind on the issue any time soon.
It might be a sound argument as to why He ought not to love us that we find this question surprising. It is because of our sin, our pride, and our egos that we think ourselves worthy of His love, as if we are owed such. The truth is we are by nature rebels against His reign, would-be dei-cides, dead in our trespasses and sins.
What are the “third rails” in evangelical social media? We all have our sensitive issues, things that tend to instantly shut down our reason and jack up our emotions. It is usually those things, however, that call for careful reason most. What ought to happen and what does happen, sadly are often far apart. Over the years I have from time to time sought to boldly take up the prophet’s mantel and speak to these kinds of issues. On some occasions I’ve been thanked by those who have been helped. On others I’ve learned my dispassionate careful approach wasn’t careful enough, and I was in the wrong. Most of the time, however, I’ve found myself standing on the third rail as intense wattage of reader angst coursed through me. Like a dim dog not quite mastering the concept of the invisible fence, I sometimes return to the jolt. But I’m…