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Your Support at Work in 2022

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
December 1, 2022 12:01 am

Your Support at Work in 2022

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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December 1, 2022 12:01 am

Your support of Ligonier Ministries is positioned to help reach 70 million people with trusted biblical teaching by the end of 2022. Today, hear a conversation between Ligonier’s president and CEO, Chris Larson, and special guests about the ways that God is using your generosity this year to build His church. This discussion was recorded during a recent live event for Ligonier’s Ministry Partners.

Help Send Biblical Teaching around the World: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/2414/donate

Don't forget to make RenewingYourMind.org your home for daily in-depth Bible study and Christian resources.

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Coming up next on Renewing Your Mind. We'll be right back. We want you to know that you are part of a large audience that is joining us across the United States as well as Canada, and we realize that there are many things you could be doing this evening. The fact that you're spending this time with us is a great encouragement to us. First and foremost, we want to thank you for your partnership with us. Second, we want to reflect on what the Lord in His kind providence has done with your generous support over the past year. Chris, what has encouraged you this past year that you'd like to share with our ministry partners tonight? Well, as we have continued throughout this year, it's really hearing from our dear friends and ministry partners that has encouraged me because it's clear that the teaching of the Word of God continues to bear great fruit in the lives of His people, just as He has promised. And we're coming up on a big anniversary, five years since our beloved founder went to be with the Lord. We miss Dr. Sproul every day, and we think about R.C.

all the time. And of course, his teaching is reaching new people, and it's likely that more people are now hearing about R.C. Sproul and his teaching and learning from him and all that Ligonier is doing, probably more now than ever. And so many people are just now becoming familiar with the teachings of the historic Christian faith. And we know that the Spirit causes truth to reside in the hearts of His people, and that teaching bears fruit, and it bears fruit in many ways, and the Lord is always at work through His Word. And so Ligonier Ministries is really just here to lift up God's glory above all else, and we are so thankful for our ministry partners. We get letters all the time, Lee, coming in, and I just wanted to encourage all of our dear ministry partners listening in tonight to join us in thanking God for His work through these few testimonies.

One is from Theodore. He writes, saying that he's grateful for the legacy of Dr. Sproul and Ligonier. One from Brittany, who writes, this is certainly going to relate to the busy moms who are out there. She writes, And Lee, I have to mention this darling note that we received from Rachel, seven years old, who wrote in with her own handwriting, this little note that said, That's great. That is great. Rachel, if you're listening, we want you to know that you're already part of Ligonier Ministries. That's right.

So you can thank your mom and dad for introducing you to Table Talk magazine. That's just wonderful. That is wonderful. Well, just in the last few moments, Chris, the numbers of folks who have joined us on this live telephone have increased dramatically. And in case you are just joining us, we want to welcome you, our ministry partners and friends, to this special live telephone. Joining us from his home in Southern California is Ligonier teaching fellow and our board chairman, Dr. W. Robert Godfrey. And Dr. Godfrey, what encourages you as you help lead Ligonier as the chairman of our board? Well, I think one of the things that always strikes me so much is the wonderful staff that Ligonier has gathered together, how faithful they are to the Word of God, how dedicated to the work of Ligonier, how talented they are in their various callings. And I just think it's remarkable that in the providence of God, we've been able to assemble such a really fine team of people who are all pulling together to make Ligonier resources available to the world. And I'm always impressed when I have contact with them.

Just recently, last month, I was on a Mediterranean cruise with Ligonier, and we had Ligonier staff on that cruise. And you could see their real interest in people, their real commitment to helping people grow in the faith and in the truth of God's Word. And that's what we're really dedicated to—that people might know the Word of God in its fullness, in its depth, in its truth, and be drawn to Christ through it. So that encourages me tremendously to see people of all different ages and backgrounds coming together to this wonderful enterprise work. Dr. Godfrey, we so appreciate you. I think many times folks tend to think of a chairman of the board as sort of a figurehead position.

That is not the case with you. You have rolled up your sleeves and gotten involved with us on so many levels, and we are grateful for your involvement with us here as a teaching fellow as well as the chairman of our board. Chris, if you would, would you remind our ministry partners what our focus has been this year and as we move into 2023?

Well it's really the same playbook that R.C. gave us. We want to continue to broaden the scope of our outreach, and then we want to deepen our teaching library. And so that really has given us strategic focus. One of the ways that we talk about that is that we're striving to be building the world's largest library of discipleship resources that are faithful to the historic Christian faith. There are a lot of other ministries and publishers out there producing good work. We have a defined focus, and we want to get Reformed theology to the church throughout the world. And so we're striving to continue to add to the library. So Dr. Godfrey's teaching, our other teaching fellows, and other teachers that we involve through our conferences, through our publications, they're helping us to amass this library. And it's also to be able to do something rather interesting when we get to talking about international outreach, but I'm not going to get ahead of myself just yet. But just what you've stated here, Chris, this is an ambitious goal.

It is. And so it's taking physical resources and creating physical resources, but also then using the technology that's available to us. And as Dr. Godfrey has said, we have an amazingly talented team here at Ligonier who really are thinking of ways to curate the teaching and to make it accessible to every age and stage of the Christian life. And so the library that we have is deep and it's growing, but it's also growing in its reach.

And in fact, our reach for 2022 looks like we will cross 70 million people reached, which is amazing to us. And I want our listeners to have an update straight from Nathan W. Bingham, who's vice president of ministry engagement. He and his team really helped to steward this outreach and trying to find audiences for this teaching of every age and stage.

So Nathan, what does this look like for you? Chris and our ministry partners, it really is so encouraging. If I take you back to last year, it was our 50th anniversary year and our growth and our reach continued to grow. And it looked like we were going to cross 50 million people in our 50 year anniversary, which was tremendous. And as a communicator to say, it's our 50th anniversary year, and we're crossing 50 million people reached, but the Lord had bigger plans in store and we crossed 56 million people. We reached 56 million people last year. So coming into 2022, we didn't know what the Lord would have in store.

And as you said, it looks like we will cross 70 million people reached. We're trusted teaching in this year alone. So there's just a couple of areas that I'd love to highlight for you, our ministry partners, where we're seeing some of this growth.

One that really energizes me is Always Ready. We have these youth apologetic conferences and we've been across the country this year. We've been in Miami, Pittsburgh, Sanford here.

We're just in LA early this month. And we've served thousands of middle schoolers in these one day gatherings on a Saturday. And as a speaker at these events, I want you to know how encouraging it is to look out and to see 1,000, 1,100, 1,200 teenagers on a Saturday morning with a notepad out taking notes. They've got their Bibles and they want to know answers to really important questions. Who am I? Who would have ever thought the question who am I was something that we'd have to struggle with, but these people are exposed to such distorted views of who man is, our gender, our sexuality.

And so we've got messages on who am I, what is apologetics? What about world religions? And so really encouraging to see the hunger from these young people. These events are selling out and so looking forward to doing more of those in 2023. Another area where we're seeing growth is in our prison outreach. And we distribute Reformation study Bibles, table talk magazines to chaplains within prison facilities, as well as direct to inmates. A year ago, we're receiving about 200 letters a month with theological questions that our Ask Ligonier team answers with requests for resources.

Now it's not 200 a month, it's 200 a week. Tremendous, tremendous growth. And you, our ministry partners, you are fueling that. You're enabling that outreach.

So we're so grateful for it. And I know we don't have a lot of time tonight, but I really want to share one story I heard recently. We had some of our colleagues at a facility recently, and as they were touring, they saw a wheelchair and this wheelchair had a Reformation study Bible on it. This is a prison? This is a prison, yes. I said a facility, yes, a prison.

And so it was just kind of random. This wheelchair with a Reformation study Bible on it. So at the end of the tour, one of the Ligonier team asked the chaplain there, can you tell us about this wheelchair and the study Bible?

And he said, oh, this is a really sad, sad story. They had a young man who was incarcerated there, 19 years old, and he was exposed to Bible teaching there and joined one of the Bible studies and repented of his sins, trusted in Christ, received a Reformation study Bible. And for six months in this prison, he would wheel his wheelchair out of his cell across the yard to go and be with the other men and do Bible study.

And then one night his spleen ruptured, I believe, and they couldn't get medical attention to him soon enough and he died. And so the prison is there. They left his wheelchair with his Bible and recognized that this young man left this earth with his only two possessions, a wheelchair and a Reformation study Bible. They gave it to the chaplain and said, what should we do with his things?

And he said, I want you to leave it outside my office so that when anyone walks by, they remember the brevity of life and the importance of getting right with God, trusting in Christ. And so that is the outreach that you are enabling and you're putting trusted teaching God's word and the exposition of God's word into the hands of these people. They know they're sinners, but they need to hear the gospel. Another area that is, is growing too is our audio outreach, podcasting everyone today. It's not just gen Z and the younger generation.

We all have these air pods in our ears and we're listening to podcasts and various things, but of course the younger generation is consuming a lot of this audio material. We're seeing so much growth, a 25% growth year over year for our podcast library. Lee, you'll be pleased to know Renewing Your Mind 30% growth year over year, but we continue to invest in building this library. And so I just want to give a little tease for you to be on the lookout for a new podcast coming out in January by our very own teaching fellow Sinclair Ferguson.

I'm not going to tell you the name. You're going to have to stay tuned, but it is a five day a week devotional. He's written all of these.

He's recorded about half of them. He'll be back here in the studio, I think in January to finish and round out the year, but it will be a year long five day a week devotional from Sinclair Ferguson. So we really trust that that will be an encouragement to you. And I really just want to thank you because you are enabling this to happen and really looking forward to 2023 and who will be able to serve. And the new audiences that Chris mentioned that, that your support will help reach. Well, we also are seeing some tremendous growth at our national conference. Tell us kind of what's in store there for the national conference.

Yeah. If you've, if you've been following a national conferences for the last number of years, you will, you will know that each year we reach capacity and we have to close registration and it's, it's discouraging because we know you want to be with us and we have to say, no, I'm sorry, there's no room. So we made the decision that we're going to move to a new venue, a new location that has a larger capacity already. Those that are registered for next year's national conference. If this was at the original venue, we would have had to close registration, but it is filling fast. It is a wonderful time of fellowship, of trusted teaching, and we love it to see you, our ministry partners to shake your hand and just to encourage each other. And so if you have not yet registered for our national conference next spring, make sure you go to ligonier.org slash 2023, because we really want to see you there. That's right.

You've been warned listeners to this filling up. Right. And before we give an update now on our international outreach, let's, let's talk about the incredible work that's happening here on our campus, Chris, and that's at Reformation Bible College.

Yeah. Just outside the doors here of the studio, I'm reminded when I look at the one building that we opened with back in 2011, 8,000 square feet under one roof, 25 students. Well, fast forward to today, fall 2022. We currently have a full campus with nearly 80,000 square feet and a head count of 235 students. There was a rocket launch that happened over at Cape Kennedy, a couple of nights ago. And I have to think though, that we have an amazing launch pad here of sending out these young men and women into the world to serve the Lord. So for the first time this fall, we welcome students on campus to actually live here in our brand new two-story residence hall, a hundred percent occupancy. And these on-campus students, they represent over 40 states and four countries. And so that's been amazing growth. And so Dr. Nichols, Dr. Tweedale, the faculty, the staff there, they are serving these students so well and coming alongside of them, really helping them to understand that theology is for life, whatever they go on to do. And so this curriculum that Dr. Sproul has designed is bearing good fruit in the lives of students here, but also we've extended that online.

And now we have nearly 200 students online joining us for classes representing countries outside the US, including Ghana, Great Britain, Pakistan, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, France, Mexico, Kenya, Zambia, the Philippines, Spain, and Hong Kong. And so with each passing semester, it is a joy to see the fruition of Dr. Sproul's vision for Reformation Bible College. And we are pleased to have two Reformation Bible College students joining us here in the studio tonight. Bo Thomas is in his sophomore year completing an associate's in theology degree and Renee Phelps, she's a junior completing a bachelor of arts in theology.

And Renee and Bo, thank you both for being here tonight. Renee, how has the Lord used RBC in your life? The Lord has used RBC in so many different ways. I would say the most influential has been the emphasis of RBC to show us students that the theology that we're studying and we're learning cannot just stay in the mind. It has to move to the heart and doxology for God and praise and just adoration for who he is and what he has done for us. Then also moving from the heart to the hands and service for the church. You know, we are called to love our neighbors as ourself and the message of RBC is theology for life, you know, and that can be in a, I think in two senses. One, we're taking this theology and we're going to carry it with us for the rest of our life, but also it is being applied to our life in so many different ways in service to the church, in our academic life, you know, in our personal life and our prayer life. And so I'm just so thankful for the opportunity to come to RBC and just to really take what I'm learning and applying it to myself and into the church. That's wonderful. Love what you said about theology becoming doxology.

Dr. Sproul would be very pleased to hear you say that. Beau, what is unique about Reformation Bible College? Well, Mr. Webb, RBC is intentionally small and a natural consequence of that is the amazing community that is built around the teaching, the student body and the faculty. There's so many lifelong friends that I've made here at RBC, men that I'm going to be in the church with, men that I'm going to be in the world with and preaching the gospel to those around me, but also the faculty here is just absolutely phenomenal.

Any professor that I walk up to and talk to, I can either have a 15 minute conversation with him or that could turn into a two hour discussion about my personal life, about my walk with the Lord, or just about how we're both doing. So the community here at RBC has just been blessed by God. We'll walk around campus, you'll see students praying with each other, and that's the type of relationships that are being built here at RBC.

Not only are we getting a very Christ-centered and biblical education to go into the church, both the pulpit and the pew, but also we're building relationships with each other that are going to last for years and years to come that are focused on Christ and His likeness. You're both impressive young people and just thank you for being with us tonight and sharing your thoughts with us. Dr. Nichols, who is the president of RBC, if he were here tonight, I would say, let's go ahead and award these two their degrees tonight. You all are very impressive and we appreciate you. Renee, you have a note for us from another person who has been impacted by Ligonier Ministries. Would you read that for us? Yes, of course. So here's a note from David in Ecuador.

He says, Greetings from Ecuador. I am very grateful for these teachings that have transformed my spiritual life. I am a 21 year old young man from a rural community, and in my rural community and its surroundings, there are no pastors or men who accurately know the blessed word of God.

There has been so much confusion in the churches. Seeing all this, I almost left the church and I didn't want to be a religious person. Maybe I wanted to be an atheist, but thank God for the teachings of Dr. R.C. Sproul that have helped me. Never in my life have I had the opportunity to listen to a theologian that explained so simple and so straightforward the sacred scriptures. It is an honor to listen to an American pastor who teaches me and guides me with his teachings. When I was still a child in my theological knowledge, Dr. R.C.

Sproul helped me a lot. I don't know how to thank him for all his help. May God bless you greatly, and I always keep your ministry in my prayers.

You have helped me a lot. May God Almighty bless you greatly. R.C. Sproul, thank you for being with us, and Bo, we appreciate you joining us as well. May the Lord bless you in your continued studies at Reformation Bible College. Dr. R.C.

Sproul, thank you. Dr. Godfrey, I know that's encouraging for you to hear as well, because you served in the academy for many years leading a seminary. Why is biblical and theological education so important for the future of the church? I really believe that sound undergraduate education is crucial for the future of the church, but also for the future of the nation.

I was struck a few weeks ago reading some statistics that since the year 2000, humanities majors in American universities has declined really dramatically and drastically. And it led me to think, are some of the problems we're finding in our civic life the result of young people not really being educated, either in high school or in college, in the history of America, in our governmental system, in the responsibility of citizens. And so, it's really to form citizens as well as Christians that Reformation Bible College exists, following very much on what Calvin did in establishing the academy in Geneva. It was to help the church, but also to help beyond the church. And as I hear these young people speaking from RBC, I'm so encouraged to think about them standing up for Christ and standing up for truth and for responsibility in the broader realm. I hope some of them will come to seminary. The church certainly needs talented young people to carry on the work of the ministry, but I'm so thankful that many of them will be going out to be an influence in their local churches, but also in our nation. And taking a classical education in foundational thinking, foundational documents, and being prepared then to speak to what our nation needs, what our churches need, it's very exciting and very important. It is very exciting, and thank you for that, Dr. Godfrey.

We'll be hearing more from you in just a moment. Chris, you said earlier that we have two strategic focuses here at Ligonier. One is to build the world's largest library of discipleship resources faithful to the historic Christian faith.

What is the second? We're adding depth to the library, yes, every week here at Ligonier. But just as Nathan touched on some of the growth that we're seeing, we're taking the teaching that we have here to continue to grow the outreach by having this goal. And here's how we've stated it. We want to have sustained ministry in the top 20 languages of the world in the next few years.

And why the top 20 languages? That covers about 80% of the world's population. So we rejoice and praise God for hitting maybe 70 million people reached in 2022. But with 8 billion souls on the planet, I know our listeners are praying for Ligonier to continue to move forward. And they're standing with us as we continue to press truth into more places around the world. And so yes, wonderful to hear what's happening here around the campus.

But let's talk about what's happening around the world. And to help me do that, we have our very own senior field manager for Latin American outreach, Manny Batanzas. And Manny is usually on an airplane. I follow him on Instagram, and I see all the places that he's going. And I rejoice, Manny, to see the people that you are meeting and the way that you are helping to steward all of Ligonier's resources for our Spanish speaking brothers and sisters in Christ.

Tell us what is happening. Thank you, Chris. And it's always a joy to share with our ministry partners about what the Lord is doing with Ligonier content around the globe. And by the grace of God and the support of our ministry partners, we continue to expand our dedicated language websites. And just to give you an example, in the summer, we launched the Japanese website and social media channels. And this fall, we just released our Ligonier German website.

This marks our 11th dedicated website. So now Ligonier has websites and social media channels in Arabic, Chinese, traditional, and simplified in English, Farsi, French, Hindi, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish. And we're currently working on Russian and Urdu. So all this content from Table Talk, from teaching series that have been dubbed into different languages, it's been spread literally throughout the globe. And as you see, thanks to the support of our ministry partners, we are moving closer to our goal of having sustained ministry in the top 20 languages.

And I have so much to share, but let me just give you some highlights of what we've been doing in international outreach. This year, our team is on course to store the translation of over 6.5 million words of Ligonier content. Alongside over 10,000 minutes of dubbed video content.

And this is teaching series from Dr. Arsis Pro and other trusted teachers. Right now we're dubbing into five different languages. And currently we're working on two other languages to release in 2023. So we'll be dubbing content into seven different languages by the beginning of 2023. This year's projects spanned 35 different languages, including languages as Bengali, where we already have the Ligonier statement on Christology, and Maltese, where we completed four children's titles by Dr. Arsis Pro already.

The Spanish edition of Dr. Steve Nichols, Five Minutes in Church History, the podcast, which we call it in Spanish, Cinco Minutos en la Historia de la Iglesia is already in production and it's going to be released in Q1, 2023. We also have our Ligonier Connect, which is our online platform. It's already live in Spanish.

It's called Connexion Ligonier. We have 20 courses already. We have close to 9,000 people that are taking classes already. And right now we're working on 25 more courses in Spanish, and we plan to launch a subscribed based platform in Q1, 2023. The amount of content that we are pushing forward, moving forward in Spanish and Portuguese as well, like I said, we already started dubbing Arsis Pro into Portuguese.

It's just amazing. We have a team of over 30 people working just in Spanish, translating and dubbing content and editing content. And when I travel all over Latin America, I've been with Ligonier now for five years.

So when there was nothing and I used to travel, I remember 2019 and it was hard because you have to explain to people and you have to tell them and you have to explain who Arsis Pro was and what Ligonier was. But now you travel, I just came from Argentina and from Colombia and people actually lying out to the table on my booth just to thank us. And they're thanking Ligonier. They're thanking the ministry partners for the content. There's this guy in Medellin recently that he came to my table.

It was a young guy. And he says, I started listening to Renovando Tumente, which is Renew Your Mind in Spanish, which by the way, we've grown the reach year over year, close to 70% on Renovando Tumente in Spanish. And he comes to the table and he goes, I've been listening to Arsis Pro. After the Apostle Paul, Arsis Pro is my teacher, the teacher that God has used to change my life. I've started listening to Arsis Pro and Renovando Tumente before I was a Christian. So I've been a Christian now for three years and praise the Lord for what you guys are doing. So it was like, what do you say to that? Well, I know Arsis would probably say something like, well, I know where I got my theology is from the Apostle Paul.

Exactly. But it was like, and to see so many young people coming to these conferences all over Latin America and buying books and talking about Renovando Tumente and going into Connexion de Ligonier now. Let me just ask you, Manny, from your perspective in all of your travels and the people that we've been able to serve in Cuba, Venezuela, Panama, throughout Central America, why is reforms theology in one sense catching fire down there? Well, it's a long story, but like most people know, Latin America was never really reached by the reformation.

So in the last 20 years, God has been working through different churches, different ministries in Latin America. But I've seen something that happened during the pandemic and is that people, they couldn't go to church, prosperity gospel was really damaged by the pandemic because they couldn't meet, they couldn't do any of the events that they used to have. So all of a sudden people, they had no choice but to search online for content. I've met pastors that by the fourth service, by the fourth Sunday, that they had to preach online to a little camera. They didn't know what to say. They had run completely out of content. So they started like looking online, searching on YouTube, searching on Google, and they've all of a sudden found our resources and resources from other trusted ministries. And they started copying the sermons and then trying to preach the way that the artist pro preaches or Dr. Miguel Nunez and all that. And all of a sudden they got called out by their supervisors saying, Hey, what are you guys doing? What are you doing?

That's not the way we do it. And I met this pastor in Cartagena. He goes, I had to tell my supervisor that, you know, we had to change because I realized that I didn't know the gospel. And all of a sudden now I see the light and I see all this richness and truth that I didn't know about it before.

And we need to change. And he was kicked out of his church. So now he's planting a church with a group of pastors in Cartagena.

That's just one testimony out of hundreds. I hope this informs your prayers, dear ministry partners, to know that Jesus Christ is building his church. And we can be discouraged and seeing some of the way that the church is really failing to meet the challenges here in these United States and even Canada, where the church may have lost some of their confidence. But convictional Christians know that the truth of the gospel is where we must put our confidence. It's the power of God unto salvation.

Paul writes to the Romans. And so that's where we put our confidence. And we know that the Spirit is taking that truth and it is bearing amazing fruit.

Your title is Senior Field Manager, but you're more like Field General, Manny Betanzos. Well, let me tell you, I'm going to just share something else, because this is how God is using our resources. We started distributing the Spanish edition of the Reformation Study Bible last year, trying to reach pastors and leaders all over Latin America. By the grace of God, in the last 18 months, we've distributed over 18,000 copies of the Spanish Reformation Study Bible in 21 countries. And this is reaching not only Reformed churches, but we're reaching Pentecost souls, we're reaching Methodists. And these pastors are now, now that they have a Bible, they're reaching out to us and they want to know more about our resources, about RCS Pro, about Reformed theology.

So the Lord is using this opportunity of giving away all these Bibles to spread the word. Well, thank you, Manny. Ministry partners, pray for Manny and the entire international outreach team. They are doing wonderful work. Know that your support is also serving our friends up there in the north, our Canadian brothers and sisters. We are returning to Canada with a conference, Lord willing, in 2023, next fall, as well as for our French-speaking friends in Canada, the French Reformation Study Bible is well underway in terms of production and translation.

And so we're hoping to see that released in 2024, as well as we're continuing to establish some outreaches to prisoners through a new prison outreach there in Canada as well. And so if you know of chaplains who are serving in prisons, have them get in touch with us and we'll ensure that we get some resources to them. Chris, I know that we want to touch briefly on our latest state of theology survey. This is something we do every couple of years here at Ligonier Ministries to sort of take the theological temperature of Christians, as well as the broader population here in the U.S. Yeah, we take this poll since 2014, and it's a biannual survey. And in one sense, we ask the U.S. population core doctrinal questions about what they think who God is, who Jesus Christ is, who the Holy Spirit is, what they believe about sin and salvation and grace and the Word of God, as well as a number of ethical issues.

And we're never surprised by how the U.S. population answers. They are not taught the things of God, and so they don't know the truth. And so that's part of why we exist as a ministry. But we also care about how, quote unquote, evangelicals answer these questions. And so we also pull out a segment of the data and see how people in the pew, people at church are answering these questions. And it's pretty clear that they need to be in church more often, or they need to be in better churches, because the answers are horrifyingly bad when it comes to these theological issues. Let me just give you a couple examples. So we ask them to either agree or disagree with this statement.

The Bible, like all sacred writings, contains helpful accounts of ancient myths, but is not literally true. Well, in 2020, 15 percent of evangelicals agreed with that statement. Two years later, it jumps up to 26 percent agreeing with that statement.

Another one. This is horrifying. We asked whether you agree or disagree with this statement. God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam. U.S. evangelicals in 2020, 42 percent agreed, which was discouraging. In 2022, 56 percent of, quote unquote, evangelicals agreed.

It sounds like there's a lot of evangelicals who are not evangelicals when it comes down to it. But I also want to encourage our ministry partners. We also send out this survey to our ministry partner family and just to let them take this quiz.

And you can find all of this at thestateoftheology.com. And our ministry partners pass with flying colors. So rest assured, they are in healthy churches, it appears, and they're receiving good teaching through Ligetor Ministries. But Dr. Godfrey, going back to these results as it relates to U.S. evangelicals, how did the church, how did the American church get to this point, whereas biblical knowledge and theology could be so weak and so informed by the culture? Well, I think probably 50 or 60 years ago, a lot of evangelical churches concluded that the real problem in church life was that people knew things, but they weren't committed in the heart. And so they de-emphasized teaching content and put all their emphasis on what turns out to be a largely emotional response to the gospel. They thought this was a way to influence people. They thought this was a way to bring more people to Christ.

And it turns out to be a colossal failure. They assumed people would know and learn biblical content, but quite the opposite has happened. The churches have seen an ever-shrinking knowledge of biblical content, and as a result, an ever-shrinking commitment to what is true religion. And it's a kind of cultural accommodation that leads to a teaching that I've been tempted to say really teaches that we're not justified by faith, we're justified by feeling. And it really has been a major calamity, I would say, for the evangelical churches and opening the door for the churches to be more and more indistinguishable from the broad culture, which is part of why I'm so committed to Ligonier.

Ligonier is standing for the truth, but perhaps even more importantly, making truth available to Christians far and wide around the world so that we can know what the Bible teaches, we can know what sound theology teaches, and we can hopefully over time begin to see these kinds of survey results reversed. Chris, Nathan, is there anything else you'd like to share with our ministry partners tonight? Dr. Godfrey mentioned traveling with you just earlier this year when he was on that Mediterranean study cruise, and I had the privilege of being there as well. And I just want to share what a wonderful time it is to be able to see you face to face.

This evening is a joy. We know there are thousands of you listening, but it is such an incredible experience to be able to see you face to face and enjoy that fellowship. So we would love to have you travel with us even in 2023. And we have many opportunities as the world has opened back up to be able to travel together or to see us at our national conference. So if you're looking for opportunities to travel next year, I encourage you to visit Ligoniertours.com.

And I look forward to seeing you at one of those opportunities. I hope our ministry partners hear the expansive outreach of Ligonier Ministries. We are striving in all that we publish, broadcast, and teach through our live events, in-person events, travel opportunities, to get the Word of God in front of as many people as possible. But our mission statement is that we are seeking an awakening, and we are not in charge of that. And so we ask, first of all, that you would continue to join us, dear ministry partners, in prayer, that the Lord would bless the preaching and teaching of His Word. It is a spiritual fruit that we are seeking. We are striving to be good stewards of all you entrust to us through your faithful giving. We try to improve our efficiency as a ministry and effectiveness even in trying to get the Word out to more people, as you heard earlier. And so I would just ask our ministry partners to continue to pray for us and to continue to give.

We do need to hear from you. This is our year-end period. And the team was telling me just the other day that between now and the end of the year, we need to raise over $5 million.

So that's a significant sum. But what we're able to do in reaching millions of people is quite amazing. I have a first row seat to seeing what the team is doing here at Ligonier, and it is so encouraging.

And you've just gotten a glimpse of this tonight. So you can go and make a year-end gift at ligonier.org slash donate. Or of course, you can always give us a call at 800-435-4343. Thank you again for your continued support. We love to say thank you, but we learned how to say thank you from our beloved founder himself. The team put together some clips of Dr. Sproul saying thank you to the ministry partners in that message of the month that he would faithfully record year after year. So we have a short clip for you to listen to our thanker-in-chief, R.C. Sproul. R.C.

Sproul, Jr. Finally, before we move to this month's message, let me once again express my profound gratitude to all of you who are the backbone of support for this ministry. Again, I want to take a moment to thank you for your ongoing support of Ligonier. These have been difficult times in the past months for the economy here in our nation, but God's people have stepped up and have been faithful so that our ministry continues. It's because of your partnership that you enable us to accomplish so many things.

By providing the benefits that you do, we want to help you extend your ministry reach. Again, I want to thank you for your loyal and constant support of this ministry without which we would not be able to carry on this enterprise. And again, before I say goodbye, let me say once more, thank you for your generous and often sacrificial giving. Thank you.

Thank you again. Thank you. Thank you for what you mean to this ministry. I want to thank you for me and for all of us here at Ligonier Ministries. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless. It's wonderful to hear his voice.

We never grow tired of that, and we are so grateful for Dr. Sproul and the rich legacy that he left. Earlier, you heard Manny Betanzas, my colleague, talk about this pastor in Cartagena, Colombia, and we want you to pray for him and lift him up. And his name is Pastor Fernando Barrios. Am I pronouncing that right, Manny? Yes. Yes. And he's in... Cartagena. Cartagena, Colombia.

Yes. And he's at Iglesia Bible Church. That's Iglesia biblical, Camino de Gracia. That's the church that he's planting now with a group of pastors, Reformed pastors. Well, it was a dramatic story that you shared with us, and I'm sure that's replicated throughout that area.

It is. So as we approach years in, would you consider a generous financial gift to Ligonier Ministries? Let me give you our phone number once again. It's 800-435-4343. If you prefer to give your gift online, you can go to renewingyourmind.org. Renewing Your Mind is the listener-supported outreach of Ligonier Ministries. Thank you for joining us today, and I hope you'll make plans to be with us again tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-01 10:46:04 / 2022-12-01 11:02:47 / 17

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