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February 12, 2021 12:01 am
Over the course of his decades-long ministry, R.C. Sproul faithfully taught the Word of God to growing Christians around the world. Today, Ligonier President Chris Larson and Ligonier Teaching Fellow Stephen Nichols introduce a new way for you to listen to moments of biblical insight from Dr. Sproul.
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People in our day want to divorce their religious life from their scientific life, as if to say, religion is something strictly of the heart and does not engage the mind, but it is the mind that God has given you, as the means to hear embrace and to understand his word mindless Christianity is not Christianity at all because mindless Christianity would be a Christianity with no content Renewing Your Mind as we work 50 years of ministry or the dinner we celebrate the legacy of Dr. nursing school it's enduring because RC focused on the things that matter. Ultimately, with that in mind we are grateful for the opportunity to let you know about a new resource that we think is of particular interest to you are Renewing Your Mind. Listeners joined by our president and CEO Chris Larson along with the president of Reformation Bible College, Dr. Steven Nichols and Kristin will talk about this resource in just a moment but first, in terms of Dr. Sproles ministry matter ultimately to him for RC as her listeners to renew your mind know it was about the character of God to be able to introduce people whether they were inside the church were outside the church to a deeper understanding of who God is God and his majestic sovereign holiness because he understood that before we can understand who we are. We must know who God is, that was RC's passion and it was what drove him and whether he was addressing biblical topics or theological topics something from church history or philosophy or apologetics or just Christian living in all centered on the doctrine of God and that informs every different area that we might want to study as God's people and so that is really what drove RC when you say Dr. Nichols.
Absolutely he he knew how to get through all of the sort of secondary end and sort of marginal ideas to get right to the heart of the matter, and it is who God is.
That's how we know who we are. Our place in the world. So it is the ultimate thing and we are excited to share with our listeners. What mattered ultimately to RC with a new podcast. It's called ultimately with RC Sproul. Some of our listeners would certainly know ultimately is one of the ways that RC would sum up what he was trying to teach. We did have a bit of a internal conversation about what we should call it, and it's been a few weeks now since we launched this podcast and even some of the listeners to the new podcast rode in and said you should've called it in the final analysis I think I probably would've worked just as well but that I would just encourage you all. If you want to hear more teaching from RC to maybe just press pause right now if you're listening to this by podcast and go and search out ultimately with RC Sproul and you'll find that you'll be able to subscribe and make sure you don't miss another episode you can also learn more about email@example.com Dr. Nichols you are a podcast veteran your podcast five minutes in church history debuted in 2013. Would you talk about how important a platform like this is to communicating the great truths found in Scripture absolutely Lee you know are all about communicating content.
This is what we do as Christians we believe it at the center of our faith is content and you go all way back to the beginnings it was really the New Testament that brought about the technology of the book the big Leon and the Bible and getting that content to people has been at the forefront of what Christians have been doing through the centuries, and it was right there at the beginning of Ligonier ministries beginnings, it was cassette tapes.
Then it evolved into videotapes and course terrestrial radio and now many people are getting their content in their entertainment and their information through podcasts and so to be able to put out there into the marketplace faithful trusted teaching that is accessible to people in the medium that they are using today is really something that I believe we have an obligation to be doing and so I'm so excited about these new podcast that were doing and especially this one and it's been really gratifying for me just to hear from people as to how five minutes has ministered to them and and an encouragement to them and we just trust God as we send this podcast now out ultimately with Dr. RC scroll that that too will have an impact on people and as they go through their busy lives will be able to set aside for six minutes here there to think about things that ultimately matter what we what you to hear what it sounds like we have a clip from the very first episode of ultimately with Dr. Spruill that reminds us of the importance of our minds.
People in our day want to divorce their religious life from their scientific life or their otherwise intellectual pursuits as if the site religion is something strictly of the heart and does not engage the mind. I understand how popular that idea is.
But church history and the Scriptures themselves bear witness that Christianity certainly involves the commitment of the heart, and certainly involves the movement of the will and all of those things, but whatever else it is, it is also profoundly intellectual. That is to say the word of God is addressed first to the mind and nothing can be in the heart or in the will. That is not first in the mind. You can't respond with love and adoration. For example, or devotion to nothing or to a mental blankness. You have to have some idea of the object of your adoration.
Some idea in your mind of what it is you believe in and who it is you are following. And so, in so far as faith has content and the only way content can be processed is by the mind, then Christianity at that point is profoundly intellectual and I hate to even take the time to labor that point and I do it only because I'm convinced were living in the most anti-intellectual. In the history of Christianity, and again, what I mean by that is not anti-academic, not anti-scientific, not anti-technological anti-intellect, anti-mind, as if the mind were some kind of bad thing, but it is the mind God has given you, as the means to hear embrace understand his word mindless Christianity is not Christianity at all because mindless Christianity would be a Christianity with no content. I think our listeners are really going to enjoy what the team has pulled together with ultimately with Dr. RC Sproul really mining the archives and presenting them in this new format.
In these short shareable nuggets of truth and it's something that we want to put really into your hands.
Whether it's through your phone in your pocket or your computer so that then you can share it with others.
These little arrows of God's truth that can pierce to the human heart that can help people to think about matters.
I still remember RC saying in an arresting way as he's trying to get Christians to not fear using their minds when he says Christians think and that charge is emboldening for us as God's people to recognize that we are whole people that God redeems us and renews our minds and as RC said truth can't be in the heart unless it's first in the mind because you just joining us were talking about a new podcast from winter ministries. It's called ultimately with RC scroll and Chris some of the content that our listeners will hear has never been publicly released before the current that's right that we have gone back deep into the archives and been able to resurface these short little snippets that I think our listeners.
Typically, those who listen to RC for some time. We really appreciate hearing his thoughts on a variety of different subjects and the other thing that comes through as I've listened to this podcast is just RC's passion for the truth. And yes, he does take complex ideas and make them simple to understand. But it's also the way that he does it. I am not aware of another Christian communicator who has done there is life in his ministry what RC scroll has done. And so to be able to capture these moments and preserve them for future generations of Christians is really a stewardship that we feel and launching this new podcast, Dr. Nichols, you have written a biography of Dr. Spruill that there will be released soon and I'd like to know would you share with our listeners what it was like to go back into the archives to research your writing for this book. I asked that question because ultimately takes listeners on a similar journey you like to joke Lee that you could write a biography just by reading the books and listening to the teaching series of Dr. scroll. He weaves so much of his own life and his own experiences into his teaching, and that stems from his belief that theology is for life.
It flows out of the challenges and the questions of life and it answers the challenges and questions of life, you know, we have this little publication. Here we call table talk and that of course goes back to the early days of the study center of naming the newsletter, but it goes back to his good friend Martin Luther and the IDF table talk was here's Luther with his large dining room table and there'd be traveling dignitaries and fellow faculty and students and there's Luther and his family gathered around the dinner table talking theology talking about God's word. How it applies in life. In the 16th century and that was such an inspiration to what Dr. scroll was doing not only at the study center but through all of his teaching, because again theology is for life. It answers life's questions. It's not as if we have Christian living in one category in theology and another. And as for academics and the scholars in the and educated theology is for everyone. As Dr. scroll taught us in silk yes just great to to hear him read him and see how he brings his own life into the picture. I mentioned that biography that is about to be released so what's your clip from ultimately with RC Sproul in which he takes his back to his childhood rested. I had the opportunity to return to Pennsylvania and to visit our childhood home.
I had two experiences there were very meaningful to me anytime I get back to Pleasant Hills which is a suburb outside of Pittsburgh. The city of champions anytime I have a chance to get back there. I always make a pilgrimage to 150 McClellan Drive, but I took my car not drive down the street and I look wistfully at the house that my father built where I was born and where I grew up in. This trip was no different, and I drove down McClellan Drive in. And as I slowed down, approaching our family home. I saw a woman out in front of the house, clipping the hedges is obviously the owner of the house and I pulled the car up alongside and I said hello I said you know my father built that house and she should really see. So I said yes.
I explained that we had moved way back in 56 and she said would you like to come in and see the house I sent left so husband came out and that they brought a seemingly escorted through the house and showed me what they're done with this, remove that room but it was exciting to see that it was as though something were laid to rest in my soul and then the next day I drove out to our old baseball field. Mari Park and as I entered the entranceway of Mari Park, I noticed that there was a monument built of stone, and on the monument was chiseled the date of the dedication of this baseball field. It said May 30, 1955 and then it had underneath and the names of the city commissioners who'd been there for the dedication of that baseball building light, I saw that I want because I remembered May 30, 1955, I played in the first baseball game that took place on that field.
We started out at the stop at a drugstore and we were in our baseball uniforms and we marched in the parade with the firetrucks in the bay and we marched to miles out the road and came to the entrance of Maribor. I'll never forget it. But this day as I went back to Mari Park. It wasn't anybody that would nobody in the field, living stands, noting the duck so well. I knew no one could see me. I walked out of the field. I stood in my old position or had so many memories.
I said that all of a sudden I felt like I could do it again but this was 31 years ago and then the thought came to me and 31 pounds ago and then I checked that thought again and I thought no more than 31 pounds ago but I cite live with the ghost of my friends and my teammates there on the and then walked off the field again. I realize this there's no going back. There is a future for the people of God promises in the New Testament say to us that we shall not all perish, but that when Christ returns. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye as the trumpet is signed and our Lord appears in Shekinah glory in an instant the graves of our log lines will be open, and there will be new life.
My father will live again you will see your loved ones again because the God we are assembled here this morning to worship is the God who is the author of life. He is the one who holds the keys of death.
He is the one and the only one who has the power and the ability to bring something out of nothing and to bring life out of death and my dear friends.
He has promised categorically and immutably that the dead in Christ shall rise. Dr. scroll was just such a compelling communicator and such a wonderful storyteller because at the center of the story, of course, is this ultimate truth of who God is, but the way he is able to wrap his own life's experiences and stories around that ultimate truth.
It really is something only you know he he firmly believed that you take this message to the people and he cared so much about the content that he was that diligent in presenting it as a communicator and you can sense it in the way he crafts the story, the drama with which he brings to it and the passion with which he tells the truth he he preach the word of God. He taught theology. He taught church history, all of the subjects was such a diligence because these subjects are of eternal consequence and they truly do matter. Ultimately, we hope you're as excited to listen to this podcast as we are to make it available to you and if you like to subscribe to ultimately with RC Sproul.
You can visit ultimately podcast.com or simply search for. Ultimately with RC Sproul or Liggett or ministries in your favorite podcast app will RC was never as shy about weaving a reference to one of his favorite pastimes into a theological point he was going to make so let's listen to a portion of another clip from ultimately rehearsing a flock of sheep without a shepherd. I forget the time I don't play golf someplace and assert a shape came from the fields next door and started running all of the fairway interrupting the golf game. Nobody could we did not go that go this way than the go that way one would turn in the other direction.
The next group or follow them. They're all over the place blinded sitting aimless shape without a shepherd. And when Jesus saw people acting like that he wasn't angry. He felt sorry for these people need a shepherd. I love that image goes through all the Old Testament and all of the prophecies of the coming Messiah who will be a shepherd king who will be the good Shepherd who will be the one who lays down his life for his sheep. And so, in his compassion the good Shepherd looks at these human beings who are acting like sheep without a shepherd, and he will address their need immediately so he began to teach them.
So began to teach the many things and now the day was far spent, so the disciples come to Jesus and I said well this is a deserted place were outside the city now away from the villages nice grassy plain. But it is deserted here in a slight sent him away so they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread for they have nothing to eat.
Jesus it's time to call a halt to this seminar is over, you need to send them away so they going to the villages before it's too late for all stores are closed so that get something to eat. Jesus said you feed I've been fading in here all day. Now it's your turn. You feed them once again they're flabbergast them in their gases definitely flap when this when I hear this I say, how do you expect us to feed them.
It would take 200 denarii. It would take a year's salary to buy enough bread to feed this mob whirling any of that money we don't have that kind of money here because you heard that we can't do this, we don't have what's necessary to accomplish this task and I learned when I was a kid I can't. Never did anything except sit there and say won't allow us about all the obstacles that stand before our mission. That's what disciples we could do that whole year's salary.
What do you have see what you have the check around my so we got loaves of bread, cuttlefish okay so I have you take what you have, let me bless it and will see what God does when you give them what you have, was a what God does when you do what you can do you do what you can do you get what you can give and then get out of the way and watch God work that's really impactful for me because I think RC summary statement. There wraps around the overarching narrative of what God is done through licking or ministries over the years and he's brought together thousands of supporters to this ministry. Now that is reaching millions of people every year around the world.
It's it's really a reach that when I would talk to Dr. scroll about the origins of this ministry. It's not something that he had in mind in terms of this worldwide broadcast in teaching and discipleship and resource publishing ministry and yet that is exactly what is happening today, not just in English but in many different languages now so I would hope that our listeners would be encouraged.
One of the reasons why we want to invest in this new podcast because we know that God can use it to bring more people into fellowship with him to know more about the Lord Jesus Christ and then to be sent out in service to the church in the kingdom of God.
Again, if you'd like to subscribe to ultimately with RC Sproul visit ultimately podcast.com for all the links but as Chris mentioned leader produces many podcasts. So, simply search for Liggett or ministries in your favorite podcast app and you'll find ultimately with RC scroll Renewing Your Mind. This broadcast along with five minutes in church history simply puts ask Liggett near and others, Dr. Nichols, thank you for being with us. Chris Larson, thank you as well and thank you to our generous donors that make outreaches like ultimately with RC scroll possible. I wanted repeat what RC said there at the end of that last clip that we played will see what God does when you do what you can do as we mentioned, you have made this possible for us and we are grateful to for your donation of any amount today in support of this new podcast along with Renewing Your Mind and the global outreach, avoiding, or ministries would like to send you the RC scroll teaching collection Bible study basics and includes eight teaching series 4 on DVD and four on MP3 CD. As we have talked about today. RC dedicated his decades long ministry to helping Christians know and understand and apply the truth of Scripture to their lives in the this resource that were offering is a great example of that. You can reach us with your gift of any amount when you go to Renewing Your Mind.org or when you call us. One of my colleagues is standing by at 800-435-4343 web address again Renewing Your Mind.org and her phone number 800-435-4343 thank you for being with us today and we hope you'll join us again Monday for Renewing Your Mind