More on Common Grace

“How is this admission, that there exist acts of human kindness that we may label “good,” compatible with Paul’s assertion: “None is righteous, no, not one…. No one does good, not even one” (Rom. 3:10-12; see Ps. 14:1-3)? R. C. Sproul writes: The answer is that what fallen man can do on the horizontal plane in his behavior toward other people he cannot do on the vertical plane in his behavior toward God. When Scripture records, “There is none who does good, no, not one,” good is more narrowly defined than it usually is.” -Derek Thomas

Kinds of Apostasy

“We make a distinction between de facto apostasy and de jure apostasy, between formal and material apostasy. Formal apostasy is when the church clearly and unequivocally denies an essential truth of the Christian faith. De facto apostasy is apostasy at a material or practical level, where the creeds are still intact but the church doesn’t believe the creeds anymore. The church undermines the very creeds that they say that they believe.” -R.C. Sproul, What is the Church?

Cultural Observation: Peace at All Costs?

“In our generation we’ve been told that the highest virtue is peace. We’ve lived in the age of the atomic bomb. We’ve seen widespread warfare. We’re tired of disputes, tired of people fighting and killing each other. It is by God’s grace that churches aren’t burning people at the stake or putting them on torture racks as was done in earlier centuries. We’ve learned to coexist with people with whom we disagree. We value that peace. But I’m afraid the danger is that we value it so much that we’re willing to obscure the gospel itself. We have to be careful of speaking about unity when we really don’t have it. At times I think we believe we have more unity than we actually have.” -R.C. Sproul, What is The Church?

Summing Up a Century of Theology in One Word

“The strongest indictment against nineteenth-century liberalism was that waged by the Swiss theologian Emil Brunner in his classic work Das Midler, or The Mediator. In this work, he talked about the Christology developed in nineteenth-century theology that resulted in the denial of the deity of Christ and of His substitutionary atonement. Brunner said that he could define the essence of nineteenth-century liberalism in one word, and the word was unglaube, or unbelief. He said that nineteenth-century liberalism was a monument to unbelief.” -R.C. Sproul, What is The Church?

The Difference Between Heresy and Error

“The church has always had to deal with heresy, and the church has always made a distinction between heresy and error. This is a distinction not of kind but of degree. The church is always plagued with errors or at least some members who are in error in their thinking and in their beliefs. But when an error becomes so serious that it threatens the very life of the church and affects the essentials of the Christian faith, then the church has to stand up and say, “This is not what we believe. This false belief is heresy and cannot be tolerated within the visible church.” Historically, that’s what has happened with conflicts over theology.” -R.C. Sproul, What Is The Church?