Monday, October 02, 2006

RC Sproul Jr's Ligonier Tales, Back By Popular Demand

RC Sproul Jr's Ligonier Tales

For several years RC Sproul Jr had a "novella" posted on his ministry web site entitled "Ligonier Tales." This novella proved to be a remarkable glimpse into the mind of RC Sproul Jr, a glimpse far more telling than his theological articles posted in Every Thought Captive or in his father's Table Talk. The implications of Ligonier Tales are disturbing indeed.

Here's a review of Ligonier Tales from "Dabney." The only problem with his review is that it's a little dated since he refers to RC Sproul Jr as "an ordained Presbyterian Pastor." RC Sproul Jr managed to get himself defrocked in January 2006:
The other day I read the Words Of Wit With RC Sproul Jr page at Drinking With RC Sproul Jr. It’s hard to believe that a gospel preacher would actually say that kind of claptrap and then be proud enough about it to publish it for the whole world to see. One of the things quoted from at that site is RC Jr’s Ligonier Tales, a shabby piece of trashy dime store drivel.

As repulsive and degrading as I found the whole process to be, I went to the Highlands Study Center web site and read every one of the eleven chapters of RC’s “novella,” Ligonier Tales (yes, I do deserve the Purple Heart). I don’t recommend that anyone do this right after eating. In fact I don’t recommend you do it on an empty stomach even after taking Dramamine. Why an ordained Presbyterian Pastor would publish such twaddle on his ministry’s web site for the whole world to see is sure beyond me. He ought to be ashamed, but obviously he’s not.

A lot of us grew up doing things that we’re plenty embarrassed about. But most of us have got enough horse sense to not talk or write novellas about it. Maybe what RC Sproul Jr. is trying to tell us all is that just because he’s the son of a famous theologian he didn’t grow up any different than any of the rest of us. But if that’s what he’s trying to say, he could do it without giving everyone the lurid details. RC Jr’s communicating a lot more with his trashy novella than “I’m nothing special, I’m just like all the rest of you.” Anyone who grew up acting as foolishly as RC Jr did ought to be embarrassed enough about it to not memorialize it for the whole world to see. A son who cares to keep the fifth commandment ought to know that publishing his spectacular adolescent moral failures could in no way help his father’s reputation. Not RC Jr! Indeed, all RC Jr is effectively doing is saying, “My dad was a failure as a father.” He even seems to be real proud of his foolish adolescent years. Nowhere does he express any regret, remorse or sense that he has anything to apologize for. If anything he seems to look back with fondness on those good ‘ol days.

In Ligonier Tales RC fancies himself as a rough and tumble hard-drinkin’ beer-guzzlin’ jock, and a regular Casanova ladies-man. My impression about RC from reading Ligonier Tales is that he was horribly insecure and was constantly seeking attention and trying to impress his peers. Not one word is ever mentioned about trying to please or impress his parents or be an obedient son. In fact hardly a mention is made of his parents, other than the fact that they referred to RC Jr as “Precious.” I’ve heard said that RC Sproul Jr is referred to by family by the pet name “Precious” to this day.

His novella ends in an anticlimactic fast-forward a couple decades “here I am today a happily married-with-kids successful preacher-man” non-ending. No lessons are taught, no lessons are learned, no value or benefit of any kind is conveyed by the writer to the reader for expending the time to peruse this literary swill. Reading RC Jr’s novella is much like sitting down to watch a bad movie that a friend told you is actually a good movie. You sit there minute after minute thinking, “At some point it’s gonna get good.” But it never does, and you’ve just wasted your evening. You feel cheated. That’s how it feels to read Ligonier Tales. You can easily reckon that the only reason RC Sproul Jr. wrote it is to cover for some deep seated insecurities. Maybe he wrote it as a personal catharsis, but that doesn’t mean he’s got to punish the rest of us with it.

The part that I kept waiting to read was the part where he talks about his mom and dad — the part where he honors his parents — the part where he obeys the fifth commandment. It never comes. RC’s entire novella is the biggest piece of self-obsessed bilge I’ve ever read. It’s only redeeming quality? It’s short enough that the nausea doesn’t last very long.

Before immersing yourself in Ligonier Tales we recommend that you get yourself good and liquored up, unless liquor makes you nauseated. In that case take some Dramamine instead. Feel free to leave your comments below.

Ligonier Tales begins here.


TheIronHare said...

My review:

Anonymous said...

The ting that gets me about your diatribe against Mr. Sproul is that it isn't even good fiction.

I have to wonder why you are on a constant flame against Mr. Sproul?

Can you think of nothing better to do than to spend your precious limited time railing against someone? I would think Christ's admonition to the Pharisees would be in order: " let the first of you who is sinless cast the first stone!"

If your criticism were something that would improve another's condition it could have merit. Unfortunately, you spend all of your criticism in a wasted fashion finger-pointing, and trying to discredit someone, to assault their character, or to simply whine and complain.

This weakens any argument you may have, because it defies logic. Do you also have same thing to say of other evangelicals? What would you say of Dr. Dobson, who has had to deal with battles within members of his staff, who have fallen prey to sinfulbehavior while in the ministry.

How about "There, but for the Grace of God go I."?

On a more elementary level, try applying this schoolyard logic: Every time you point a finger, three point back...

Like Mr. Dick and I a m sure others, I will also pray for you. It is evident that with this much anger and hostility you need all the prayer you can get.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I read it, and I really just can't believe it. I know this isn't a joke and that he really did write Ligonier Tales, but the whole thing is still really hard to believe. I thought R.C. Sproul, Jr. was a Christian, but this isn't how Christians act. This is what heathens do, bragging about their sinful past and not express any regret for it.

R.C. Jr. has children of his own now. Is this the kind of thing he wants his kids reading? Won't that just encourage his children to rebel? Something is very very wrong about R.C. Sproul, Jr. I guess it's a very good thing that he was defrocked.

Anonymous said...

I knew that R.C. Sproul Jr. was a nut but I didn't know he was an unrepentant lush too. Thanks for the warning. Since discovering your blog and your web site I've found some other things out there too. This isn't the only place on the internet exposing R.C. Sproul Jr's drinking problems. Even without your help he's been doing a good job of exposing himself. He doesn't seem to be at all ashamed of himself. Have you seen the video of R.C. Sproul, Jr. on YouTube as he's recording one of his "Boozement Tapes"? Either he's a flaming idiot or he's real proud of being a lush.

Anonymous said...

i think that if you call yourself a christian you would stop this crazy banter, whether true or false, and stop riding this over and over and over! do you seriously think bashing someone over and over again is biblical?? at this point, i would have to agree with Tim, you have a problem, or maybe you have a jealous fetish with sproul jr. whatever it is, you need to stop. if i were him i would file a restraining order against you! and it is funny how you will probably never post this or any other negative remarks..go home, read your bible, and pray long and hard if you really should be spending so much time with this..if you are a believer, then you should probably spend more time preaching the gospel than haveing a blog just to rant on someone..

RC 2.0 said...

Thanks for your comment. We're impressed that our stats show that multiple people every week still visit this blog (and the Drinking With RC Sproul Jr web site), even though we haven't posted anything on this blog for almost two years now. In other words, we did "stop this crazy banter" and we stopped a long time ago. That's only because there hasn't been much of anything newsworthy of reporting on though. If something significant happens, like RC Jr repents of his abuses, drinking abuses, ecclesiastical tryannies, or otherwise, we'll let you know. From what we hear though everything at St. Peter Presbyterian Church remains as it has always been. If things ever improve there we might even consider taking down this blog and the Drinking With RC Sproul Jr web site too. Until that happens though...

Anonymous said...

You Suck!

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Such language! What a great example for all to follow! Yes, telling other Christians that they suck is showing the love of God.

Patty said...

I can't bring myself to read all of Ligonier Tales. It's revolting, and I can't understand why a pastor would want to boast about his past debaucheries. We're only supposed to boast in Christ.

There seems to be a lot out there on the internet exposing Rc Sproul Jr' s drinking abuses. I' ve also seen comments saying that he' s running a cult. The two together confused me because I would' ve figured that cult leaders would be too legalistic to encourage their followers to abuse alcohol. Then I read this --

"Although most authoritarian churches adhere to a strict regimen of do's and don'ts, there are a few exceptions. I have talked to a number of former members of the Christian Growth Ministries shepherding movement who have indicated that quite a bit of flexibility was applied to the area of drinking behavior. In fact, in some shepherding circles, drinking was almost promoted and drunkenness trivialized." Churches That Abuse, Ronald M. Enroth, page 138

That sounds like it could' ve been written about Rc Sproul Jr' s St. Peter Presbyterian Church. It' s all very sad, and it' s sad that it all has to be exposed like this. You' ve probably made a lot of enemies.

KingEz said...

Thank you for posting this, I don't think I would have found this otherwise.

You have some good points.. but I would disagree with much. I have followed RC JR for many many years and find him to be a repentant humble man. I'm not as learned as you, and am sure you would squash me with any argument. But I say, look at his fruits, not the fruits of the ceremonies of man, (which I am under also - PCA) which can, will, and do, have falsities even if your as thoughtful as the elite reformed. But look to the fruits of the spirit.

I'm a musician of many years, and this sounds allot like the blasting criticism I would get over one song expressing humor, history, sin or memoirs over one song, instead of a body of work. I'm sure King David was a poor Father due to the record of his son Solomon. I think your over thinking this as us reformed (you have your reformed gold card right?) people do with avengence,

Once in awhile I get tired of the bickering of the overly educated, and need to hang out with regular sinners like myself.

My Father is a Minister too, was quiet a biggy in his time. He enjoys reading my memoirs of youth and his poor Fathering, because let's face it, your a poor Father, I'm a poor father, and so was Sproul.

You might want to get into a bit more satire to enjoy and understand Sproul. Thanks for your thoughts though.

RC 2.0 said...

Thank you KingEZ for your very courteous, and what appears to be, a very sincere comment.

"But I say, look at his fruits..." That's exactly what we've done. We've been inspecting fruit. If the fruit ever improves, and if he ever repents for all the bad fruit, then the need for this blog will have ended.

The fruit of RC Sproul Jr's life has been a mixed bag. Yes, there's been some good fruit. But there's also been a lot of very bad fruit too, and the net effect of that bad fruit has, in many cases, devastated multiple lives and multiple families. RC Sproul Jr has been, and remains, a stumbling stone to God's people, and he's not repented of his offenses. In fact he glories in being offensive and causing offense. The list of charges in the Declaratory Judgment of the RPCGA which resulted in his defrocking is just a small sampling.

Did you know, KingEZ, that multiple St. Peter Presbyterian Church families have rejected the Reformed faith, only to be baptized in the Eastern Orthodox religion? (See Those Mean People in the Church We Just Left for his typical response, and how RC shifts blame and refuses to accept responsibility for a problem of his own making) If the fruit of RC Sproul Jr's life were that he was competently teaching, both in word and in deed, and by example, the Reformed faith that he claims to so love, why then would well over half a dozen families have rejected the Reformed faith, and fled RC's already tiny church, to embrace Eastern Orthodoxy? Is that not in itself a clear indication that there is some very bad fruit to RC's "ministry"?

Those aren't sheep that have just wandered off. Rather, these are sheep that RC Jr drove off through repeated offense and hypocrisy. And what has RC done to win back those sheep? He "disciplines them". He "excommunicates" them and orders that they be shunned. No one but his true believers take his "excommunications" very seriously (how can a defrocked pastor legitimately excommunicate anyone?). The shunning, however, is taken seriously by all, and the effect of it is serious and usually devastating. And in RC Sproul Jr's "family integrated church" system, every member of the family gets shunned, including small children.

If RC Sproul Jr has trained his followers to do anything well at all it's in the art of shunning any who should fall out of his favor. What shunners fail to take into account, however, is that they too may wind up being shunned later on themselves. Or as the old adage goes, "What goes around comes around."

Shunning is just a small sample of the "fruit" of RC Sproul Jr's life, and he practices it with a vengeance (or rather, for vengeance).

And so we would say to you, KingEZ, examine the fruit, not just the talk, of RC Sproul Jr's "pastoring". Examine the fruit of how RC Sproul Jr has affected the lives of the sheep that have been under his care, but who, for various reasons, have left St. Peter Presbyterian Church. Are they better off today for having once been under RC's pastoral care?

Zed Daniels said...

A Personal Poem For RCJR

We share our truth lest we be cruel
Learned we have at least one rule
What err we want, found golden egg
All men are equal at the bottom of the keg

From kings to slaves and beggars too
Clamor for the joys of brew
The captain’s word stands firm as law
Whilst steer your ship “The Devil’s Claw”

A child cried out affirm me Dad
No time my son, you’re just a lad
The need is great, his nose in book,
Son left cold, rebellion cook

Who’s error my friend, who takes the blame
Dad missed season, that is plain
But man who now reverts to child
Lives sophomore dream, boys gone wild

RCJR no time to wait
Someone calls to lead your fate
HE never left, HE waits anew
He calls today, come take your cue

The call is clear, you hear it now
Your path unfolds forthwith your vow
To seek again HIS will be done
To close the door on things undone

Heaven’s hounds are on your trail
HE declares, You Shall Not Fail
Another chance HE calls you to
Trust in HIM HE still loves you

RC - Given to me by the Lord this day for you.

Zed Daniels

Confirming said...

I'll confirm that. I know of seven families that've left St. Peter Presbyterian Church to become Russian Orthodox, and another one became Greek Orthodox. The Russian Orthodox Church is grateful to R.C. Sproul Jr. for his assistance in their church growth plans.

Anonymous said...

Are rumors true about R C Sproul Jr moving to Orlando to run his father's Ligonier Ministries? If it's true what happens to Saint Peter Presbyterian Church and Highlands Study Center?

RBS said...

Yes, RC Sproul Jr is moving to Florida. At least that's his plan. His house has been on the market since this past summer. Once the house sells he'll move to Orlando and go to work for Ligonier Ministries. It's a money thing. With so many members leaving and so few new ones ever joining, the offerings at Saint Peter Presbyterian Church are way off. RC's not able to take very much out off the offering plate anymore (just not much there to siphon off for himself). The money he can make working for his dad is way better than the money he can make trying to pastor a church that's dying off. Once he leaves that may be the nail in the coffin for Saint Peter. No one expects Laurence Windham to have any chance holding things together with RC gone. No one's all that edgy about it yet though because it could take RC years to sell his house. Mendota's not exactly a hot real estate market, and it's slower now than ever.

Ex St. Pete said...

"My impression about RC from reading Ligonier Tales is that he was horribly insecure and was constantly seeking attention and trying to impress his peers."

Whoever "Dabney" is he's hit the nail right on the head. Except for making it all past-tense. It should read, "My impression about RC from reading Ligonier Tales is that he IS horribly insecure and IS constantly seeking attention and trying to impress his peers."

Ligonier Tales isn't just about RC's past. It's about the present. Although he'd never admit it or be able to see it in himself, posting Ligonier Tales on the Highlands Study Center web site was a cry for help. RC is one of the most insecure men I've ever known. And that makes him dangerous as a pastor. St. Peter exists for one reason only, to stroke his massive ego. Most men go into the ministry to serve. RC went into the ministry to be served. To show you just how sick this man is he even has an "RC Fan Club" at St. Peter. And yes, that's what he really calls it. But to get in the RC Fan Club you first have to do something worshipful for him, like make some Heroes Of The Faith pillows. Seeing those things in person terrified me. It made me see for the first time, "Oh my God! We've joined a cult! These people are exalting and bowing down to a man!"

Go find some honest work, RC. Go be an insurance salesman, or anything other than a cult leader. Anything where there's not much risk of harming so many people.

Grateful To Not Be R.C. said...

I read Ligonier Tales a long time ago. It was still on the Highlands Study Center web site. It's good that R.C. finally took it down. So I’m not sure if we should be grateful for your resurrecting Ligonier Tales from oblivion. I'm worried a lot of people will read it. What if children read it? Please consider at least adding an NC-17 rating.

There's only one possible benefit that could come from reading Ligonier Tales. I'll compare it to watching Jerry Springer.

People like to watch shows like that when their lives are going really bad. Watching Jerry Springer can make you grateful that your life isn’t nearly as bad as the guests he brings on his show.

Reading Ligonier Tales can make you grateful that you’re not R.C. Next time you’re down and depressed read Ligonier Tales. It’ll make you grateful. Your life could always be worse. You could be R.C. Sproul Jr.

Disappointed said...

Yes, RC Sproul Jr has moved to Orlando, and yes he's being groomed to take over the reigns at Ligonier. The cover story by the Ligonier board of directors, meaning RC Sproul and Vesta Sproul is this:

"While Dr. Sproul remains healthy and vibrant, we have invited a new generation of teachers to help the ministry remain true to its founding purpose. The board knew it would be impossible to find one man to whom the torch could be passed. The reality is that Dr. Sproul is a unique gift from the Lord. So we looked for men who were trustworthy, able-in-their-field, and wise. It’s my great delight to tell you that at the beginning of 2010, Drs. Robert Godfrey, Sinclair Ferguson, Steven Lawson, and R.C. Sproul Jr. became Teaching Fellows at Ligonier Ministries. These four men will serve as advisors to Dr. Sproul, the board, and senior leadership, and will be active teachers in all the ministries at Ligonier."

But that's just the cover story.

I love RC Sproul, but I don't think much of his wisdom when it comes to getting his family involved in running his ministry. He should have learned more from the disasters that his son-in-law Tim Dick caused.

RC Jr has been a complete failure as a minister of the gospel of Christ. He's ruined his own church, and the lives of many families. He's ruined his Highlands Study Center. How does Dad respond? How has he always responded to his son's sins and failures? He rescues him. Now RC Jr will be given the opportunity to ruin Ligonier too. It's tragic.

Anonymous said...

I attended seminary with Jr. when Dad was teaching at RTS. Both were over the top, heavy drinkers, and very full of themselves. The first semester we lost 20 guys who were so put off by Daddy and Jr. picking students out and tearing them down in front of the class.
His Mom, Vida, was no prize either.
My young wife used to attend a few of my classes with me. At the time Jr. was unmarried and although he knew that she was my wife, he came on to her more than once.

I'm not surprised at what happened, nor am I surprised that Daddy is passing on "The Family Business" to his kid.

RC 2.0 said...

@Ex St. Pete, you were wise to recognize that St. Peter Presbyterian Church is a cult. Putting your pastor on a pedestal, up alongside the likes of Calvin and Luther, calling them "heroes" etc. is emblematic of a cult. We know from experience how difficult it is to admit to yourself that you've made one of the biggest mistakes of your life -- thinking you've joined a church when in reality it's a cult group. Tragically many St. Peter members, present and past, never could own up to that.

BTW the link you posted hasn't been valid for a long time. It's been updated to Hero Of The Faith RC Sproul Jr