Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Is R.C. Sproul Saved?

Will Few Be Saved?

R.C. Sproul

Last night I was checking out Facebook posts when I came across an individual's re-post of R.C. Sproul's statement that Calvinism is more than the Five Points; it's a worldview. The follow-up comments quickly took an unexpected turn toward the Christian year.

Dr. Sproul observes and leads others to observe a calendar of special days, such as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost. A female posted a comment bemoaning that Dr. Sproul practices this "idolatry" and walks this "destructive path." Perhaps she was careless about her language, but, since turning to God means turning away from idols and since the wide door and wide path lead to destruction, it's a serious thing she said. So I asked, "Does this mean Dr. Sproul is going to hell and leading others there?" This got me booted from the comments, so I do not know if or how she answered.

But this got me thinking again about the matter of who is a Christian and who is not. I do know this is none of our business for two reasons. First, in the ultimate sense, only God knows who is a Christian (saved, going to heaven, etc.). As the saying goes, we "don't know the heart." Second, on earth it is the business of the church to judge who is a Christian (though this begs the questions: what is the church? what churches are true churches?).

But, give me a break, we are talking "evangelical" here, and individual evangelicals are quite used to distinguishing individuals as Christians and non-Christians. In the evangelical mind, however, the term "Christian" is no longer hard currency so adjectives must be used. On the negative side there are: nominal, professing, head- knowledge Christians. On the positive side there are real, evangelical, genuine, born-again, consecrated, on-fire Christians. 

Even separated fundamentalists face these issues about who is in and who is out as is evidenced by the fact they not infrequently separate from one another as individuals and institutions. (Consider the case of Pensacola Christian College and Bob Jones University.) But what intrigues me is the way the evangelicals work these things out. Yesterday Carl Trueman noted the effort to make an evangelical out of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which in a way he, as a Lutheran, was, but which he was not in the Bebbington* sense. So I ask, Was Bonhoeffer a Christian? Do you expect him in heaven?

I wonder about these guys whom not a few evangelicals admire.

What about this guy?


What about this guy?

J.R.R. Tolkien

What about this guy?

C.S. Lewis

What about this guy?

Carl Trueman

But what about this guy?

* Historian David Bebbington's Definition:

Conversionism: the belief that lives need to be transformed through a "born-again" experience and a life long process of following Jesus.

Activism: the expression and demonstration of the gospel in missionary and social reform efforts

Biblicism: a high regard for and obedience to the Bible as the ultimate authority

Crucicentrism: a stress on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as making possible the redemption of humanity

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