R.C. Sproul, Jr.
Robert Craig Sproul, better known as R.C. Sproul Jr., is the son of Robert Charles Sproul, the noted Reformed theologian and founder of Ligonier Ministries who can be heard daily on the Renewing Your Mind radio broadcast. R.C. Sproul Jr. is a minister, theologian, speaker and author just like his father. Sproul has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Literature from Grove City College (1986), a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary (1991), and a Doctor of Ministry degree in theology from Whitefield Theological Seminary (2001). The Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC) accepted Sproul as an ordained minister in good standing in 2006.
R.C. Sproul Jr. was first ordained in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP), but he was denied acceptance by the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) of which his father is a member. R.C. Sproul Sr. remarked, “the situation with regard to my son felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach with an iron boot. It came as an absolute shock.” The elder Sproul went on to say, “One of the stated concerns about R.C. Jr. was that he has taken public stands on controversial issues. I can’t imagine someone objecting to a minister of the gospel taking controversial stands. That standard would exclude Edwards, Calvin, Luther, Augustine, and Paul from the ministry.”
More specifically, the controversy seems to have surrounded Sproul Jr.’s views on public education. He is a homeschooling parent, and when asked if he believed it was a sin to send Christian children to government schools, he answered in the affirmative. Sproul’s father stated, “My son and I have essentially the same theology. Where we differ is that he has been much more diligent on raising his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, which is the area where he apparently got into trouble. His diligence in this matter shames me.”
R.C. Sproul Sr. further explained, “That’s not an issue that I crusade about. However, parents ultimately bear the responsibility to see to it that their children are educated in the fear of the Lord. Given the pagan nature of the public school system, I would think that any discerning parents would not place their children in such an environment. Knowingly to turn them over to such a pagan system would be sin. But it’s mostly a sin of ignorance. Most folks don’t know the true nature of the public schools. I agree with R.C. Jr.’s basic assessment, that Christian parents have a responsibility not to send their kids into that environment.”
In addition to being an advocate for home education, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. is a vocal supporter of traditional family roles, Biblical patriarchy, and limited government. As creator of the educational video series Economics for Everybody, Sproul is passionate about what the Bible has to say regarding economic theory, stewardship, inflation, and debt. He has traveled extensively as a conference speaker, and spoke at the Family Economics Conference on May 8-11. He will also be speaking at the 2013 Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Conventions.
Sproul is the founder and director of Highlands Ministries, a multi-faceted ministry based in the mountains of Bristol, Virginia, whose goal is to help Christians live more simple, separate and deliberate lives to the glory of God and for the building of His kingdom. He teaches a Bible study for the community and classes for homeschooled students, guides Highlands Ministries' resident students through their independent studies, and serves as executive editor of Every Thought Captive, a bimonthly magazine published by Highlands Ministries.
Sproul has authored a dozen books including Biblical Economics: A Commonsense Guide to Our Daily Bread, Almighty over All: Understanding the Sovereignty of God, Eternity in Our Hearts, Tearing Down Strongholds And Defending the Truth, Bound for Glory: A Practical Handbook For Raising a Victorious Family, Believing God: Twelve Biblical Promises Christians Struggle to Accept, The Call to Wonder: Loving God Like a Child, When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling, and Economics for Everybody. He has edited nine books including After Darkness, Light: Distinctives of Reformed Theology, and contributed to several others. He is a regular columnist for Tabletalk, a publication of Ligonier Ministries. He has also contributed numerous articles to publications such as Homeschool Digest, Homeschooling Today, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and World Magazine.
In 2009-2010, Sproul worked as a teacher for Veritas Press, which specializes in Christian educational texts. In 2010, Sproul was appointed as a Teaching Fellow with Ligonier Academy’s Doctor of Ministry program, as well as Associate Professor of philosophy and apologetics at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida. However, Sproul has stated that his principal vocation is being a homeschooling father to his children, especially now that their mother is gone. Sproul’s wife, Denise, died on December 18, 2011 at the age of 46 from complications of leukemia. Their children's names are: Darby, Campbell, Shannon, Delaney, Erin Claire, Maili, Reilly, and Donovan.
Sproul wrote on his blog: “Raising eight children is a jaw-dropping sized job for two healthy parents. Add in homeschooling and the challenge becomes more daunting. And now we go forward without my wife. What is the plan? The plan is to continue to honor both God’s Word and Denise’s legacy. We will continue to speak of Jesus and His kingdom when the children lie down and when they rise up. We will continue to homeschool the children. We will seek out more help around the house. I will seek to remove a few things from my plate, without sweeping its contents in the disposal. We will work hard and efficiently, still guided by the hand written lists and instructions Denise so loved to put together. I don’t, now that she is gone, need to build the transcontinental railroad. I just have to keep the train on the track my wife has so lovingly built.”
UPDATE: R.C. Sproul Jr.’s disabled daughter Shannon died on October 3, 2012. On the death of his daughter, he wrote: “My precious girl Shannon's mute tongue is now loosed, though once lame she now leaps for joy. She and her mom are held by our Lord.”
Johnson, Jerry. "The Saga of R. C. Sproul, Jr.," Presbyterian & Reformed News, vol. 5, no. 5, September–October 2000. pp. 8-9.
Visit R.C. Sproul Jr.'s website: http://rcsprouljr.com.
Follow R.C. Sproul Jr. on Twitter @RCSproulJr
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