Wednesday, June 05, 2019

RC Sproul Jr Accuses God Of Creating Sin, Weaponizes Calvinism

RC Sproul Jr God created sin

Evangelical Christians generally agree with one another on the fundamentals of the Christian faith. However, many Evangelicals also divide into two camps, Calvinist and Arminian. Those positions largely center on the sovereignty of God vs. the free will of man. Debates between Calvinists and Arminians have, for the most part, been cordial. Occasionally, however, along comes some combative guy eager to provoke a fight in the midst of otherwise civil discourse. Such is the case with RC Sproul Jr. Throughout his "ministry career" Sproul has been an agent provocateur. Sproul thrills in igniting a dispute  like a pyromaniac thrills in setting a building ablaze just to watch it burn to the ground. With his book Almighty Over All; Understanding the Sovereignty Of God, RC Sproul Jr managed to push the entire debate of God's sovereignty vs. man's free will over the cliff into what Arminians and Calvinists alike generally characterize as heresy.

If, as Arminians believe, man is a libertarian free-will agent how far does his freedom extend in light of an omnipotent God? Is fallen sinful man, in all his pride, even capable of seeing his need of a Savior? If, as Calvinists assert, God is sovereign and man and the entire universe is subject to God's will, how far does that sovereignty extend? Is God's sovereignty total and absolute or is His sovereignty limited in certain respects? How does the Calvinist lay claim to God's sovereignty in His creation and yet at the same time assert that man is fully accountable and responsible for his sins? If God is sovereign did He ordain the fall of man? If God did ordain the fall of man, is it not logical to assert God must have created the sin by which man fell?

Reformed theologians have universally agreed that God is not the author of sin and, therefore, God could not have created sin. However, there is one noteworthy exception, RC Sproul Jr:

"I am not accusing God of sinning; I am suggesting that He created sin."

RC Sproul Jr, Almighty Over All (p. 54) (1999)

As though it weren't  outrageous enough that RC Sproul Jr accuses God of creating sin, he goes on to tell us that he knows not just why God did it but also God's very motive for creating sin. In other words RC Sproul Jr believes he can read God's mind. How does Sproul divine the mind of God? Not by wise and competent application of God's Word. Any scriptural references in Almighty Over All are few and far between, and that's also the case here. Sproul presumes to know the mind of God by relying almost exclusively on his own seriously flawed reasoning. Amazingly enough he does this in spite of issuing the warning, "Beware of trying to read God's mind." (p. 94) No surprise there though -- RC Sproul Jr is renowned for ignoring his own advice.

In light of what scripture has to say we find it incredibly arrogant and presumptuous of Sproul to think himself qualified at reading God's mind: "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" (Romans 11:34), and "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God." (1 Cor 2:11)

Given who his father is it's remarkable how RC Sproul Jr could have strayed so far from the doctrines of the Reformed faith. Reformed Calvinist scholar and theologian Dr. RC Sproul Sr stated the following:
"Herein lies the problem. Before a person can commit an act of sin he must first have a desire to perform that act. The Bible tells us that evil actions flow from evil desires. But the presence of an evil desire is already sin. We sin because we are sinners. We were born with a sin nature. We are fallen creatures. But Adam and Eve were not created fallen. They had no sin nature. They were good creatures with a free will. Yet they chose to sin. Why? I don’t know. Nor have I found anyone yet who does know." Chosen By God (p. 30, 1994)
These are complex issues and, we must admit, we feel ourselves less than qualified to address them as expertly as they deserve. The problem is that only a couple of scholars have directly confronted Almighty Over All and their efforts received limited attention. Few people took notice of RC Sproul Jr's book Almighty Over All when it came out some twenty years ago. Since that time Almighty Over All managed to largely avoid the critical review such a provocative publication otherwise warrants. We hope to change that. That said, this article isn't so much a book review as it is an exposé.

Wiser men, far more learned and formally schooled in theology than we are, have wrestled for centuries over these weighty issues. Their answers aren't always as satisfying as we might like. As J. Gresham Machen put it: "For both, the problem remains. How could a holy God, if he is all-powerful, have permitted the existence of sin? What shall we do with the problem? I am afraid we shall have to do with it something that is not very pleasing to our pride; I am afraid we shall just have to say that it is insoluble."

While Calvinists (and Arminians too, for that matter) don't argue that God permitted sin to enter the world, Calvinists flatly deny that God Himself was responsible for sin, let alone for creating sin. Calvinists claim God's absolute sovereignty while at the same time asserting He isn't responsible for sin. When demands are made to explain this seeming contradiction the standard reply is, "It's a mystery -- just another one of those topics that man in his finite knowledge can never fully comprehend or adequately explain about an infinite God." Arminians might call this a cop out, but the reality is Arminians are forced into giving the same explanation for the Trinity -- it's a mystery. Not everything about the nature of God can be explained by logic alone. Say what you will about Calvinists; one thing they're unwilling to do is accuse God of being the author of sin. They're willing to leave the issue a mystery.

However RC Sproul Jr isn't your stereotypical Calvinist. Nor is he his father's son. In his book Almighty Over All; Understanding the Sovereignty Of God RC Sproul Jr presumes to have solved the insoluble. In it Sproul makes some shocking claims, even abhorrent. Of those that have read it some have called Sproul's book heretical. Some even go so far as to label it blasphemous. Such criticism, however, has seldom been leveled by the Reformed, not because they agree with it but because they're probably embarrassed and would rather not draw attention to it.

In 2008 Paul Copan posted Taking Calvinism Too Far: R.C. Sproul Jr.’s Evil-Creating Deity. The article provoked some discussion, resulting in 245 reader comments. Unfortunately was subsequently abandoned and taken down. Then in 2010 Kenneth Keathley in his book Salvation and Sovereignty: A Molinist Approach devoted several pages of critical examination to Almighty Over All. That examination, like this one, focused primarily on chapter 3, "Who Dunit," since it contains the most objectionable content of the entire book. 

Ironically enough Sproul received a smattering of praise from Arminians for Almighty Over All. Quite obviously they don't agree with Calvinism. What they do agree with is RC Sproul Jr's weaponized version of Calvinism. They commended Sproul for his eagerness to swing the pendulum of Calvinism to the extreme, something many Arminians have gleefully done themselves. RC Sproul Jr claims to be a Calvinist. Why would he use the same arguments for Calvinism that a good number of Arminians have used against Calvinism, arguments which Calvinist scholars argue is just reductio ad absurdum?

RC Sproul Jr makes God the author of sin, whereas scripture makes it abundantly clear that God is not the author of sin (James 1:13, 1 John 1:5). Sproul Jr's claims also contradict the Westminster Confession of Faith: "God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass (Rom 9:15, 18; 11:33; Eph 1:11; Heb 6:17); yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin (James 1:13, 17; 1 John 1:5), nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established (Prov 16:33; Mat 17:12; John 19:11; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28)." (WCF 3.1)

RC Sproul Jr's sin-creating deity conjecture also flies in the face of what his own father taught. In Chosen By God Dr. RC Sproul Sr wrote, "In spite of this excruciating problem we still must affirm that God is not the author of sin. The Bible does not reveal the answers to all our questions. It does reveal the nature and character of God. One thing is absolutely unthinkable, that God could be the author or doer of sin." (p 31)

How does RC Sproul Jr manage to go where angels fear to tread by accusing God of creating sin, making God the author of sin? To get there he first must set scripture aside. RC Jr's book is remarkably lacking in scriptural support, particularly in the creation account of Genesis. What little scripture he cites is often taken out of context. Instead of putting on a theologian's hat he puts on the hat of a crime detective as he attempts to deduce "Who Dunit?" Sproul Jr acknowledges he was heavily influenced by the Sherlock Holmes stories. "A crime is committed. A list of suspects is introduced, and then slowly that list is narrowed until the culprit is found. With careful logic Holmes investigates who had a motive, who had opportunity, and who had the means." (p. 43) Though inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, RC Jr falls far short of the sagacity of a Sherlock Holmes. Almighty Over All reads far more like a clumsily-written dime store crime fiction than a skillful work of theology.

In tackling such a heady subject RC Sproul Jr also relies on the 18th century philosopher and preacher Jonathan Edwards (1703 - 1758). "Edwards' most enduring and influential work was his lengthy essay, 'The Freedom of the Will.' The argument he makes in this essay can be used to prove conclusively that Eve could not be the culprit, for she had not the means. The argument is surprisingly simple, Edwards wrote that all men everywhere always act according to their strongest inclination at a given time... Edwards was right; we always choose according to our strongest inclination given our choices." (p. 46, 47)

Jonathan Edwards was anything but your run-of-the-mill Calvinist. He was heavily influenced by Enlightenment philosophers. Edwards' views were idiosyncratic. Edwards was a "causal determinist" and some might go as far as to say he showed indications of being a "logical determinist." Edwards is most famous for his sermon Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God. It would appear Edwards' causal determinism had a significant influence in shaping RC Sproul Jr's thinking.

There is nothing inherently problematic about determinism in itself. Calvinists are determinists. But there are varying degrees of determinism, everything from biblical worldview Calvinists to humanists whose worldview is rooted exclusively in the laws of nature and human logic. Logical determinism goes much further than simple determinism in that it places logical necessity and the laws of nature in the preeminent role of deciphering the issues of life. Logical determinists would say God (if they believe in a deity at all) cannot act contrary to logical necessity. In the practical outworking of logical determinism everything, including scripture, is subordinate to logical necessity. In logical determinism there is no mystery because logic always provides the answer, even if that answer appears contrary to what we know of the divine attributes of God as articulated in scripture.

In Almighty Over All Sproul takes up Edwards' causal determinism and dismisses Eve from the "suspect list" of who is responsible for sin and the fall. "Remember God had earlier made a declaration concerning Eve: 'Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good' (Gen. 1:31) If Eve was good, this must mean that her inclination was only good... To be good is to have only good inclination, to have a good nature. And can someone who is good do bad?... She could not have changed her own inclination any more than a leopard can change its spots or a good tree can bear bad fruit. We must excuse Eve from our investigation. Something outside of her must have been the agent of change, that which changed her inclinations from good to bad. Though she was the one who first to ate of the tree, she cannot be the one who introduced evil into the world." (pp. 47, 48, 49)

Using the same line of reasoning Sproul dismisses Adam as the culprit and "he slips quickly off the suspect list." But it gets even more interesting.

Sproul doesn't even blame Satan. "While it is true that he was at the scene of the crime and had opportunity and a motive, he cannot be the culprit. Though the devil, unlike the rocks and trees, is personal, he too hasn't the power to change the inclination of humans. Though incredibly powerful, he is yet a creature. Though he can and does tempt and seduce, he always does so by appealing to our already twisted inclinations." (p. 50) "Like Adam and Eve, the devil was created good. There was a time when his desires were only to obey God. Blaming the devil does not ultimately help us in solving the mystery. The devil, as an angel of light, before his fall, could not have had the inclination to do evil either." (p. 51)

Through this Holmesian process of elimination RC Sproul Jr crosses every creature off the list of suspects, leaving only the Creator as "the culprit." God first created sin. Then God changed the inclinations of Adam and Eve from good to evil so they desired to sin. Moreover they didn't just desire sin, their inclination to sin was irresistible. Adam and Eve had no real choice but to sin because they had to act according to their strongest inclination. God determined that man would fall into sin, God then created sin, and He then gave man the irresistible inclination to sin to ensure the fall would happen. Rather than relying on the Word of God, RC Sproul Jr uses causal determinism to make his case that God is "the culprit" and the cause, for all of it. 

The question necessarily arises why would God do such a thing? What might be God's motive? This is where RC Sproul Jr goes even further off the rails by attempting to read God's mind. He asserts that God did all this so He could demonstrate one of His most important character attributes -- wrath. "He is pleased with his wrath... God is as delighted with his wrath as he is with all of his attributes. Suppose he says, 'What I’ll do is create something worthy of my wrath, something on which I can exhibit the glory of my wrath'." (pp. 52, 53)

It's no exaggeration to say that RC Sproul Jr is enthralled with and obsessed by God's wrath, so much so that he calls it a thing of "beauty." "We don't recognize the beauty of his wrath and so miss the glory in the execution of his wrath." (p. 58) And how is this "beauty" manifested by God? By the torment of souls in hell: "We don't often think, for instance, of the glory God receives from the torment of souls in hell. We are willing to jump up and down praising God when he redeems a sinner, but when he damns one, we look away... Nevertheless, we ought to see the glory. We ought to jump up and down praising God for his strength, that he alone has the power and authority to change the inclination of moral agents." (p. 58)

If indeed God is as wrathful as Sproul makes Him out to be couldn't God have found some other way? According to Sproul God is incapable of restraining and containing his wrath. God has no choice but to manifest His wrath: "And like man, God always acts according to his strongest inclination." (p. 54) Furthermore, as Sproul asserts, wrath isn't something God could exhibit just within the Trinity. He had no other choice but to "create something worthy of my wrath." So God created Heaven and earth, populating Heaven with angels and the earth with man, making them all good with no inclination to sin. Some time later God created sin. Then God changed the inclinations of angels and man from good to evil. Following after their strongest inclination, they fell into sin. This was all done so God could pour out his wrath on them. Sproul believes this brings God "glory."

RC Sproul Jr's God has no genuine free will. He is powerless to act contrary to his strongest inclination  -- wrath. Sproul's God may be almighty over the works of His creation, but He is not almighty over all because He isn't almighty over Himself. He is a slave to His own inclinations. If He's feeling especially wrathful He has no choice but to put them on full blast.

In light of Edwards' Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God it becomes logically apparent why RC Sproul Jr came to these conclusions. The focus of Edwards' sermon is God's wrath and the torments of eternal hell fire. Edwards' God is characteristically wrathful.

Such a view is in stark contrast with the biblical account of a loving, forgiving, merciful and gracious Heavenly Father. It also contradicts RC Sproul Sr's position that God's most significant character attribute is holiness, a subject which he devoted much of his ministry to. In fact RC Sproul Sr, of his own admission, spoke on the subject of God's holiness far more often than he did any other topic. In the context of Isaiah's vision in the temple (Is 6) Dr. RC Sproul Sr says:
"The Bible doesn’t say that God is Holy. It doesn’t even say that God is holy, holy, but that He is holy, holy, holy. Scripture doesn’t say that he’s love, love, love, or mercy, mercy, mercy or wrath, wrath, wrath, but that he’s holy, holy, holy; exalting this character of God to the supreme degree. This is the song of the angels, adding to it that the whole earth is full of his glory."
However, according to RC Jr's view the seraphim might as well have been crying out, "Wrathful, wrathful, wrathful is the Lord of hosts." RC Sproul Jr's deity is best represented by Zeus, the mythological god of the Greeks who rages and hurls down his thunderbolts on those who displease him. RC Jr's deity is unjust, cruel, vindictive, tyrannical, and sadistic. Sproul Jr's God is not unlike a malicious little boy who delights in focusing his magnifying glass on ants in the hot summer sun so he can "glory" in seeing them burn up.

The creation plan of RC Jr's God wasn't to glorify and manifest Himself through His creation. Creation was merely a means to an end -- the end being that He have objects worthy of His wrath. After creating the world, and then resting on the seventh day, God couldn't just sit back and enjoy His creation, glorying in the beauty of His handiwork. What real glory could God receive in His fellowship with man and receiving man's adoration? Perhaps a little, but not much in comparison to the glory He could take in taking out His wrath on man. But how is God to pour out His wrath on good creatures? They'd first have to deserve His wrath, and that couldn't happen without their sinning. So God arranged everything to ensure they'd all merit His wrath. After having made everything good God decided to make it all bad.

Numerous Reformed Calvinist teachers and preachers have shared the podium with RC Jr at Ligonier Ministries conferences and elsewhere. RC Jr has even titled a few of his talks Almighty Over All (though he's never quoted from his own book the things we've exposed herein). More than likely a good portion of those Calvinist leaders have read Almighty Over All. Yet not one of them has ever publicly taken RC Jr to task for it. Would it be fair to assume they all privately agree with RC Sproul Jr but are too embarrassed to publicly admit it? Given what these men have all said about the sovereignty of God we're certain that would be a false assumption.

We're confident men such as John Piper, John MacArthur, Joel Beeke, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, Steven Lawson, Al Mohler, Burk Parsons, Derek Thomas et al disagree with many of the claims made by RC Sproul Jr's in his book. In John MacArthur's case he's specifically addressed God's sovereignty and the origin of sin, perhaps even in direct response to Sproul's book (although he, like the others, never makes specific mention of it). We can safely assume they all vehemently disagree with Sproul Jr's evil-creating deity theory. We might also safely assume they've all been too intimidated to take RC Jr to task for fear they won't be invited back to speak at Ligonier conferences and enjoy the privileges and perks that brings them. Now that RC Sproul Jr has become an Anabaptist they might feel emboldened to challenge him.

Some might now be thinking that by weaponizing Calvinism, as RC Sproul Jr effectively has done, it may have been Sproul's intention from the beginning to sabotage Calvinism. That of course would be purely speculative; but the fact of the matter is it would be hard to find any publication that has given as much ammunition to Arminians in attacking Calvinism as Almighty Over All has done. RC Sproul Jr makes for an extremely poor representative for Calvinism, and not just because of his criminal record and the numerous scandals he's caused throughout the course of his "ministry career." But honest Arminians must acknowledge there are multiple examples of disgraced Arminian pastors who've caused them much embarrassment, as well. The two doctrinal positions should not be judged by their most scandalized advocates, nor should they be judged by their advocates who have taken those doctrinal positions to absurd and heretical extremes. 

In our view Almighty Over All isn't just theologically errant. Almighty Over All is heretical. We would even go so far as to say Almighty Over All is slanderous. Slander of God is commonly referred to as "blasphemy." Blasphemy comes from the Greek blaptein, "to injure", and pheme, "reputation." By accusing God of the outrageous things he has RC Sproul Jr has slandered the righteous and perfect character of God.

Based on his track record we know RC Sproul Jr won't repent. Nevertheless scripture requires we call him to repentance (Matt 18:17), and so that is what we do here.

We call on RC Sproul Jr to repent of his heresy and slander against the Lord God. Your book is a matter of public record, RC, and so you are obligated to repent publicly.


Bill Randell said...

Holy cow! I'd seen the "God created sin" quote before and knew there had to be more behind it. I couldn't have imagined how bad it really was though. It's so much worse. I rarely ever accuse anyone of heresy, let alone blasphemy, but this stuff really is blasphemous. I've got a lot of questions about this but the only one that really matters right now is..... just how drunk was R.C. Jr. when he wrote that stuff?

Banyan said...

Here I thought there was nothing Spanky could do to surprise me. Then this. I know you guys had a lot of material you had to cover. Unfortunately your article may be a bit long for some readers. So please allow me to give the Readers Digest version:

● God is wrathful. God is some other stuff too but his most significant character trait is wrath.
● God's wrath is "glorious" and "beautiful."
● Prior to creation God had nothing he could demonstrate the glory and beauty of his wrath on.
● God creates the world to have something he could pour out his wrath on.
● Problem... God creates the world good. Nothing there is worthy of pouring out his wrath on.
● God needs sin to take out his wrath on, but none exists anywhere.
● God creates sin.
● No one sins, not even Satan, because their inclinations are only for good.
● God changes the inclinations of man and even Satan to desire to do sin.
● Their inclinations to sin are so powerful they really have no choice in the matter.
● Adam and Eve and Satan fall into sin.
● God gets to pour out his wrath on everyone and send them to eternal blazes.
● This gives God "glory."
● We should all "jump up and down" rejoicing when God sends sinners to hell.

Summation-- God made everything good but then decided to f**k it all up.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with RCJr about God and sin. I do not like Edwards. But two notes:

First, both RCSr and his mentor John Gerstner were Edwards disciples. It is hard to drive a wedge between Jr and Sr on Edwards.

Second, while you rightly quote the WCF on the decree, you do not quote the relevant passage on Providence (Chapter 5):

4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,and otherwise ordering,and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.

Deo Vindice said...

So glad to see someone giving this blasphemous book the attention it deserves. It really is amazing how it's escaped attention all these years. Your review is spot on. Reading it prompted me to post a book review on Amazon this morning. I should have done so months ago when I first bought the book used off ebay. No point in posting a review on ebay though. No one reads ebay reviews but a lot of people read Amazon reviews. Here's what I said.

(1 star) Perfect book for fence-sitting agnostics looking to turn full atheist

Normally I buy things based on their good reputation. This is the first time I've ever bought a book based on its bad reputation. Call it morbid curiosity. I wanted to see if it really was as terrible as I'd heard. Yes it really is, and even worse. I'd heard it was heretical. I'll take it a step further and say Almighty Over All is blasphemous. In it Sproul attempts to make a case that God created sin and then changed the inclinations of Adam and Eve and even Satan forcing them all to sin. God created a perfect world and then made it evil. Why would God do that? Because God's strongest inclination is wrath. Before creation God had nothing to demonstrate His wrath on. So he created the world to have something to dish out his wrath on. But he created the world good and couldn't very well hurl down his wrath on good creatures. So he changed their inclinations from good to evil. If you want the perfect example of how far a theologian can go off the rails in pursuit of blind determination to his dogma this is the book for you. If you're a fence-sitting agnostic looking for a good excuse to turn full atheist this is the perfect book for you.

RC 2.0 said...

@Bill Randell, unfortunately yours is not an unreasonable question. Long prior to 1999 RC Jr had developed an alcohol dependency problem. Some of those closest to him were concerned that he was a full blown alcoholic. Was his alcohol-soaked brain a factor in his writing of Almighty Over All? We would have to answer such a question with another question, How could it not have been a factor?

Assuming for the sake of argument RC Jr really has sobered up since his DUI felony conviction, as he and Lisa claim he has, does that mean he's changed his views on his sin-creating God? It would seem not. Sadly, just because an alcoholic sobers up doesn't mean they ever come to their senses.

RC 2.0 said...

@Banyan, right you are. We did indeed have a lot of material to cover. There is a great deal more errant stuff from the book we wanted to touch on. It was really difficult making a decision on where to stop. We did our best to cover what we believed were the most significant elements of the book without making the article excessively long.

Thanks for your synopsis. You covered it quite well.

NewLife said...

RC 2.0, a comment you made in the previous article was really helpful to me in understanding why RC Jr has the reputation of being a bully and ecclesiastical tyrant. If it's okay I'd like to quote you here.

"Knowing RC Jr's position on this does help us better understand his penchant for meting out wrath on those who displease him, and delighting in doing so. He's simply been following in the footsteps of the malevolent God he's imagined. God delights in pouring out his wrath on sinners, so RC Jr delights in pouring out wrath on those who displease him. God throws unrepentant sinners into eternal isolation and torment so RC Jr casts out as excommunicants any who defy his imperious will and orders the remainder of his flock to speak not a word to them (i.e. shunning). Here, however, RC Jr goes even far beyond the actions of the vengeful God he conjures -- God doesn't punish children for the sins of their parents, but Sproul does. He's repeatedly ordered the excommunication and shunning of entire families, including small children. His unjust excommunications and shunnings have caused many children to stumble and abandon the Christian faith altogether.

"RC Jr's hateful and malicious bullying and spiritual abuse resulted in RC Sproul Jr's defrocking in 2006. His Presbytery wisely deemed him disqualified from ministry per 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. So he ran off to his corrupt pal Doug Wilson for the CREC's imprimatur. Relations there chilled so he ran off to his pal James McDonald and got himself ordained in the CPC. But when it came time to marry Lisa the CPC wouldn't approve that union so he demitted his ordination altogether. RC Jr has had a long history of jumping from one ship to another. Now he's an Anabaptist without an ordination of any kind. Anabaptist ministerial standards make ordination comparatively easy, so it's likely he's pursuing ordination with them. But in the interim that isn't stopping him masquerading as "Rev" and "Pastor". God have mercy on those poor souls who fall under his influence if RC Jr ever is successful in his ministry pursuits."

NewLife said...

Banyan, in an earlier comment you referred to RC Jr as "Spanky." I've never heard him called that before. Is there some story behind that? Is that a reference to Spanky the short fat dumpy little kid from the Our Gang show many years ago?

Banyan said...

NewLife no. Some might see a strong resemblance between RC Sproul Jr and Spanky of The Little Rascals, he got his "Spanky Sproul" nickname otherwise.

RC Sproul Jr is one of the main leaders of the Christian Patriarchy movement. Some in that movement practice what they call Christian Domestic Discipline, code language for wife spanking. CDD is also code language for what most Christians would consider to be child abuse, i.e. parental violence against small children and infants. They believe no age is too young to start beating the kids with objects like plumbing hoses. No comfort is offered after the beating. The babies are expected to "self comfort." It's been alleged for quite a few years that RC Sproul Jr routinely spanked his first wife Denise and also "blanket trained" his infant children. It's hard to say which is worse, wife spanking or blanket training. They're both awful and I can't help but think they both inflict a lot of psychological damage. Advocates of CDD like Sproul claim it's all biblical.

You can read more details at The Christian Patriarchy Movement’s Dark Secret of Wife Spanking.

Jeremy said...

Okay so the whole wife spanking thing.. Fetish-y but still.. If it's consensual it's kinky but not abuse.. Right? So what's the problem? Maybe it's just spanking with a belt or a wood kitchen spoon.. Maybe not even full on 50 shades of gray whips and chains abuse? Married people can do what they want in the privacy of their own basements.. Right? Hopefully RCJR isn't spanking Lisa really hard.. Unless that's what she really wants.. Well I guess inflicting pain is technically abuse.. But some people get off on pain.. If its consensual what's the problem? I just don't want to hear about it at church.. I don't need to hear my pastor spanks his wife and I def don't need to hear the pastor's wife spanks the pastor.. That stuff just needs to be a secret.. RCJR should've been more careful keeping the wife spanking fetish a family secret.. Bad idea spanking the wife with guests in the house..

Kelsey said...

I just read the "RC Sproul Jr's Highlands Ministries" article. Something was mentioned there about blanket training. I'd never heard of that before, so I posted a comment there asking for more info. But I just realized that article was kind of old and no one may see my question for along time. Now I see the same thing is being brought up here (thank you Google). So I'll ask here too. Sorry to be so impatient but this really bothers me. Here's my question. Could someone please explain the whole blanket training thing? Please be specific. What's it about and how does it relate to RCJR?

RC 2.0 said...

Kelsey, we're glad it bothers you. Blanket training bothers us too. The blanket training question has come up often enough to where it made sense for us to address it in an article. See RC Sproul Jr and Child Abuse Allegations.

RC 2.0 said...

@Unknown, we appreciate your comments. Previously you'd commented, "I, too, knew Denise and spent time in her home in Vitginia. I agree with and confirm everything you have said. She was a lovely person." Please see our recent article Has RC Sproul Jr Gone Completely Insane? We'd welcome your feedback.

Former Lig Man said...

I appreciate why you're putting some distance between Dr. Sproul Snr. and RC Jr. But Dr. Sproul Snr. failed to do so himself, not just on this topic but quite a few others too. So it causes me to wonder if they really disagreed on much of anything. In the January 2000 edition of Tabletalk, a monthly magazine published by Ligonier Ministries, they gave Almighty Over All this endorsement:

"The questions RC Sproul Jr addresses are profound and difficult, but Almighty Over All makes an important contribution by showing who God is in a manner understandable to today's readers."