RC Sproul and the "Curse Motif of the Atonement"

I go to a Bible study at work once a week. As far as I’m aware, it’s a mixed denomination, so I take everything there with a grain of salt. This week, it seems we’ll be listening to part of a talk by RC Sproul. His wiki page says he’s critical of the Catholic Church. I haven’t had time to listen to the talk yet, but I’m planning to listen to it and make some notes, as this might be a fun opportunity to share a little bit of my own faith.

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with Sproul or his teachings or can give me any heads up on what to expect. The guy that recommended them said they’re available from the Ligonier app, which appears to be a ministry started by Sproul. If that helps at all.

Thanks all, may God bless you and Happy Easter! :thumbsup:

I’ve only read a general outline of his beliefs but I do remember a quote from a movie that quoted him.

“Now R. C. Sproul said we’re not sinners because we sin, but we sin because we are sinners. In more accessible terms, we’re not evil because of the evil we do, but we do evil because we are evil.”

I am pretty familiar with his teachings; I used to really like him when I was a Presbyterian. He is a Calvinist through and through, so he holds to the TULIP doctrines (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints). Be very careful with his teachings because he is very much a Protestant and is committed to the ‘ongoing Reformation’ as it were.

If you would like to know more about something to do with his teaching on a particular toppic let me know.

Thanks for the information. :slight_smile:

I’m about to start listening to the post and making my notes. I’m definitely not taking what I’m about to hear as Gospel and making sure to compare it to the Catechism and everything else. Honestly, the only reason I’m going to listen to it now is so that I’m a little prepared for Wednesday; I’m not the best at thinking on my feet so I want to have some thoughts ready beforehand.

The talk’s summary seems to be talking about God cursing Jesus on our behalf when he was on the cross? :shrug:

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor 5:21

Ask what that righteousness means.

It’s important to remember that most Protestants (especially Reformed Protestants) have a slightly different understanding of the Atonement and a very different understanding of how it is we are saved and it is all tied together with election (predestination). If you encounter Reformed theology very much this will become very evident. As I said before, R.C. Sproul is very much a Calvinist and one of the stronger proponents of Reformed theology in the world today.

In Reformed theology Christ did not die for all men, his Atonement in no way paid for the sins of all men. Rather, they believe that God the Father poured out all of his divine wrath on Jesus on the Cross (‘cursing him’ if you will) for all of the sins of the elect (past, present and future). And, at the same time, Christ’s righteousness is to be ‘imputed’ to the elect so that when God looks at an ‘elect’ Christian he only sees the righteousness of Christ which has been imputed to him, and not the sins (which have all been imputed to Christ on the Cross). It is impossible to lose this state of justification through any sort of sin committed because all sins have been been forgiven their debt of eternal punishment (therefore, they are all essentially venial). Of course, since this is tied in to their understanding of ‘election’ and ‘predestination’ it would be a straw-man to conclude that one could become apostate and still be saved; while this is theoretically possible to conceive logically, it proves to be impossible in this system because they believe that all of the elect will attain to faith and justification (and the elect only - no one that isn’t elect will even be justified) and all of the elect will persevere in faith to the end because they are predestined - no exceptions.

I would recommend reading this article on Called to Communion:

Called to Communion is a very good Catholic site that is primarily devoted to discussing and countering Reformed theology. It was very instrumental in my coming to the Catholic faith. If you think you may have much contact with Reformed theology I would recommend reading some of their articles and the subsequent discussions.

Pax Domini

R.C. Sproul has called the Bible a “fallible collection of infallible books.”

Here’s an article that might help:

Frankly, I would stay away. :shrug:

Thank you for the link. Rest assured I’m not seeking Sproul out on my own; one of the guys in the Bible study I attend at work is bringing him in. I was just trying to be prepared for discussions that might come up. :slight_smile:

I meant you should stay away from Sproul, not the Bible study. Studying the Bible is always a good thing! :slight_smile:

Oh of course! I think we’re both on the same page, just using different words. :thumbsup:

I’ve been going to the Bible study for a few months now. The only reason I was listening to the podcast from Sproul was because on Monday one of the guys in the Bible study was like “hey I heard this really good talk, we should pause our study of Acts and listen to this talk.” Otherwise, Sproul would’ve never come up on my radar.

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