R. C. Sproul about The State of Evangelicalism Today and Christless „Christianity”

R.C. Sproul interviewed by Michael Horton:

Horton- There seems to be this creeping fog that we are calling Christless Christianity. As you’ve looked across the ecclesiastical landscape for many years, have you seen a shift from a concern for CHrist and the Scriptures to a foggy, hazy sort of moralism?

Sproul- I’ve certainly seen a shift in, I have a tendency to live in the past, as you know, my best friends are the giants of the christian faith and when I’m reading Augustine, Anselm, Luther, Calvin and Edwards, the greats i’m immediately aware that I am entering into a completely different culture, completely different mindset from what I experienced in the American church. On more than one occasion I have repreached the last sermon Martin Luther preached before he died. On that occasion he lamented in Germany that many decades after the awakening to the Gospel, where he said, ‘Even though, the churches have now the freedom to preach the Gospel every morning and every Sunday night and many times during the week, still, the people were rushing to the centers of relics. In Wittenberg, Frederick III of Saxony had the dream of having the best relic collection in Germany and he achieve that when he accumulated enough relics to give 2 million years in purgatory. Of course Luther as close as he was to Frederick had challenged that whole thing and they cleaned up Wittenberg, but, there were still churches around the nation that maintained their relic collection. And Luther was dismayed that so many people were rushing to the site that had the trousers of Joseph and to another site that was supposed to have a vial of milk from the virgin breast of Mary.

I try to translate that into what’s happening in our culture today. We don’t have relic centers in the United States like Luther had to deal with there. But, here’s where I see the parallel. God declares that the Gospel is His power unto salvation. But, the American church is so much seduced by being successful, by being powerful that we look for power in programs, in experiences, in entertainment, in psychological applications, everywhere but where God has placed the power. It is in the Gospel. So, when you are trying to find success anywhere but in the Gospel, when you lose the Gospel, you lose Christ.

Horton – How do you define the Gospel?

Sproul- I think the Gospel is a very simple thing to define in biblical terms because we look at the New testament, we look at the preaching in the book of Acts and you see that there’s what we call the kerigma, there is a certain preaching pattern of the preaching of the apostolic church that begins with the declaration that Jesus was born, according to the Scriptures as the incarnate Son of God, that He lived a sinless life, and that He died a death that was atoning for us and that through the result of the atonement, the justice of God is satisfied in our behalf, where by Christ’s perfect act of obedience and His sinless life acquired a righteousness that is given to us and so basically, the core of the Gospel is the person and work of Jesus. What He did, not only the atonement, the resurrection, the ascension, the session at the right hand of God, the promised return to consummate the kingdom, the Gospel in the first instance is the Gospel of the kingdom, which breaks through Jesus and then, an essential part of that Gospel is what makes it clear, in Galatians, in particular- is how the benefits of the person and work of Jesus are received by the individual person. (minute 8:16 – total video running time is 54 minutes).


5 comentarii (+add yours?)

  1. gabebogdan
    sept. 06, 2012 @ 01:22:21

    One of the sermons at the convention was Christ less…. 🙂

  2. gabebogdan
    sept. 06, 2012 @ 23:05:33

    Specially he had to be the first one… People were still coming in while he was preaching….I can listen to him for hours…. 🙂

    • rodi
      sept. 06, 2012 @ 23:54:43

      Maybe you can let me know when he visits churches that film their services and I can find & post some of his messages, and maybe you guys should film when you have special bible study programs (get some kid with a camera to do it 🙂 ). There is just not much ‘in depth’ bible study videos in the Romanian language out there.

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