R. C. Sproul

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This article is about the founder of Ligonier Ministries. For his son, see R. C. Sproul, Jr..
R. C. Sproul
R. C. Sproul (cropped).jpg
R. C. Sproul
Born (1939-02-13) February 13, 1939 (age 77)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania[1][2]
Theological work
Tradition or movement Reformed Christianity
Main interests Classical apologetics
Systematic theology
Biblical Inerrancy

Robert Charles Sproul (born February 13, 1939) is an American theologian, author, and pastor. He is the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries (named after the Ligonier Valley just outside Pittsburgh, where the ministry started as a study center for college and seminary students) and can be heard daily on the Renewing Your Mind radio broadcast in the United States and internationally. "Renewing Your Mind with Dr. R.C. Sproul" is also broadcast on Sirius and XM satellite radio.[3] In late July 2012, a new Christian internet radio station called RefNet (Reformation Network)[4] was also announced by Ligonier Ministries in an effort to reach "as many people as possible" where Internet access is available.[5]

Ligonier Ministries hosts several theological conferences each year, including the main conference held each year in Orlando, FL, at which Sproul is one of the primary speakers.[6]

Sproul was a passenger on the Amtrak train that derailed in the 1993 Big Bayou Canot train wreck and often gives firsthand accounts of the story.[7]

Education and career[edit]

Sproul holds degrees from Westminster College, Pennsylvania (BA, 1961), Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary (M.Div, 1964), the Free University of Amsterdam (Drs., 1969), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (PhD, 2001). He has taught at numerous colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and Jackson, Mississippi, and Knox Theological Seminary in Ft. Lauderdale.[1]

One of Sproul's mentors was John Gerstner, a professor of his at Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary. The two of them, along with another of Gerstner's students, Arthur Lindsley, co-authored the book Classical Apologetics in 1984. Dr. Sproul's ministry, Ligonier Ministries, made recordings of Dr. Gerstner teaching various courses on theology and the Bible.

Currently, Dr. Sproul is serves as co-pastor at Saint Andrew's Chapel, a congregation in Sanford, Florida.[1][8] He was ordained as an elder in the United Presbyterian Church in the USA in 1965, but left that denomination around 1975 and joined the Presbyterian Church in America. He is also a Council member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

Sproul has been an ardent advocate of Calvinism in his many print, audio, and video publications, and he is also known for his advocacy of the Thomistic (classical) approaches to Christian apologetics, less common among Reformed apologists, and his rejection of presuppositionalism in favor of Thomistic apologetics, often called "Classical Apologetics". A dominant theme in many of Sproul's Renewing Your Mind lessons is the holiness and sovereignty of God.

Sproul, a critic of the Roman Catholic Church and Catholic theology, denounced the 1994 ecumenical document Evangelicals and Catholics Together.[9]

In 2003, a Festschrift was published in his honor. After Darkness, Light: Essays in Honor of R. C. Sproul (ISBN 0875527043) included contributions from Robert Godfrey, Sinclair Ferguson, O. Palmer Robertson, Michael Horton, Douglas Wilson, John F. MacArthur, and Jay E. Adams.

On April 18, 2015, Sproul suffered a stroke, and was admitted to a hospital.[10] Five days later, on April 23, Dr. Sproul went home from the hospital, suffering no ill effects. He was, however, diagnosed with a diabetic condition "that will be addressed through diet and regular medical attention."[10]


Sproul's work The Holiness of God[11] is considered to be his seminal work on the subject of God's character, and his book Not a Chance: The Myth of Chance in Modern Science and Cosmology [12] was highly praised by those who reject the materialism advocated by some in the scientific community.[13]

Through Ligonier Ministries and the Renewing Your Mind radio program and conferences, Sproul has generated numerous audio and video lectures on the subjects of history of philosophy, theology, Bible study, apologetics, intelligent design, and Christian living. In addition, Sproul has written more than 60 books and many articles for evangelical publications. He signed the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which affirmed the traditional view of Biblical inerrancy, and he wrote a commentary on that document titled Explaining Inerrancy. He also served as the editor of the Reformation Study Bible (ISBN 0-87552-643-8), a six-year-long project, which has appeared in several editions and was also known as the New Geneva Study Bible.

In 2006 Ligonier Ministries launched Reformation Trust Publishing with an aim to promote the historic Reformed Protestant Christian faith by well known Reformed pastors, educators, and church leaders in the modern evangelical church.

Some of Sproul's other written works include:

  • The Donkey Who Carried a King, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2012 – 978-1-56769-269-3
  • The Barber Who Wanted to Pray, Crossway Books, 2011 – 978-1-4335-2703-6
  • The Priest with Dirty Clothes, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2011 – 978-1-56769-210-5
  • The Truth of the Cross Audio Book, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2011 – 978-1-56769-213-6
  • Mark (St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary), Reformation Trust Publishing, 2011 – 978-1-56769-265-5
  • 1&2 Peter (St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary), Crossway Books, 2011 – 978-1-4335-2289-5
  • Abortion: A Rational Look at An Emotional Issue, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2010 – 978-1-56769-209-9
  • Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, Angels and Demons, Christian Focus Publications, 2011 – 978-1-8-4550-682-7
  • What Does it Mean to Be Born Again?, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2010 – Crucial Questions series – 978-1-56769-206-8
  • What is Faith?, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2010 – Crucial Questions series – 978-1-56769-207-5
  • Can I Be Sure I'm Saved?, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2010 – Crucial Questions series – 978-1-56769-208-2
  • Holy, Holy, Holy: Proclaiming the Perfections of God, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2010 – 978-1-56769-205-1
  • Acts (St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary), Crossway Books, 2010 – 978-1-435-2273-4
  • John (St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary), Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009 – 978-1-56769-185-6
  • Romans (St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary), Crossway Books, 2009 – 978-1433506857
  • Who is Jesus?, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009 – Crucial Questions series – 978-1-56769-181-8
  • Can I Trust the Bible?, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009 – Crucial Questions series – 978-1-56769-182-5
  • How Should I Live in This World?, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009 – Crucial Questions series – 978-1-56769-180-1
  • Can I Know God's Will?, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009 – Crucial Questions series – 978-1-56769-179-5
  • Does Prayer Change Things?, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009 – Crucial Questions series – 978-1-56769-178-8
  • The Prayer of The Lord, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009 – 978-1-56769-118-4
  • The Prince's Poison Cup, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2008 – 978-1-56769-104-7
  • Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow, revised, expanded Reformation Trust Publishing, 2008 – 978-1-56769-103-0
  • The Truth of the Cross, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2007 – 978-1-56769-087-3
  • A Taste of Heaven, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2006 ISBN – 978-1-56769-076-7
  • The Lightlings, a children's title, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2007 ISBN 978-1-56769-078-1
  • Knowing Scripture, InterVarsity, 1977 (ISBN 0-87784-733-9)
  • If there is a God, why are there atheists?: A surprising look at the psychology of atheism, Bethany Fellowship, 1978 (ISBN 0-87123-238-3)
  • Reason to Believe: A Response to Common Objections to Christianity, Zondervan, 1982 (ISBN 0-310-44911-1)
  • Classical Apologetics with John Gerstner and Arthur Lindsley, Zondervan, 1984 (ISBN 0-310-44951-0)
  • Abortion: A Rational Look at an Emotional Issue, Navpress, 1990 (ISBN 0-89109-345-1)
  • Lifeviews: Make a Christian Impact on Culture and Society, Revell, 1990 (ISBN 0-8007-5357-7)
  • Chosen by God, Tyndale, 1994 (ISBN 0-8423-1335-4)
  • The Mystery of the Holy Spirit, Tyndale, 1994 (ISBN 0-8423-4378-4)
  • Pleasing God, Tyndale, 1994 (ISBN 0-8423-5024-1)
  • Now, That's a Good Question!, Tyndale, 1996 (ISBN 0-8423-4711-9)
  • Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology, Baker, 1997 (ISBN 0-8010-1121-3)
  • The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work for Good?, Word Books, 1997 (ISBN 0-8499-1207-5)
  • The Priest With Dirty Clothes A Timeless Story Of God's Love And Forgiveness with Liz Bonham (illustrator), Tommy Nelson, 1997 (ISBN 0-8499-1455-8)
  • Willing to Believe: The Controversy over Free Will, Baker, 1997 (ISBN 0-8010-6412-0)
  • Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, Tyndale, 1998 (ISBN 0-8423-2001-6)
  • Renewing Your Mind: Basic Christian Beliefs You Need to Know 3rd ed., Baker, 1998 (ISBN 0-8010-5815-5)
  • Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification, Baker, 1999 (ISBN 0-8010-5849-X)
  • Gospel of God: An Exposition of Romans, Christian Focus, 1999 (ISBN 1-85792-490-8)
  • The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts That Shaped Our World, Crossway, 2000 (ISBN 1-58134-172-5)
  • The King Without a Shadow with Liz Bonham (illustrator), P & R, 2000 (ISBN 0-87552-700-0)
  • The Last Days According to Jesus, Baker, 2000 (ISBN 0-8010-6340-X)
  • Loved By God, W Publishing Group, 2001 (ISBN 0-8499-1648-8)
  • The Purpose of God: An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus, 2002 (ISBN 1-85792-609-9)
  • Saved from What?, Crossway, 2002 (ISBN 1-58134-417-1)
  • The Dark Side of Islam with Abdul Saleeb, Crossway, 2003 (ISBN 1-58134-441-4)
  • Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics, Crossway, 2003 (ISBN 1-58134-519-4)
  • Getting the Gospel Right, Baker, 2003 (ISBN 0-8010-6447-3)
  • The Glory of Christ, P & R, 2003 (ISBN 0-87552-703-5)
  • The Intimate Marriage: A Practical Guide to Building a Great Marriage, P & R, 2003 (ISBN 0-87552-708-6)
  • What's in the Bible: A One-Volume Guidebook to God's Word with Robert Wolgemuth, W Publishing Group, 2003 (ISBN 0-8499-4460-0)
  • The Soul's Quest for God: Satisfying the Hunger for Spiritual Communioun with God, P&R Publishing, 2003 (ISBN 978-0-87552-706-2)
  • The Character of God: Discovering the God Who Is, Servant Publications, 2004 (ISBN 0-8307-3398-1)
  • Scripture Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine, P & R, 2005 (ISBN 1-59638-010-1)
  • What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding The Basics, Baker, 2005 (ISBN 0-8010-6559-3) – the author describes it as "a shorthand introduction to the crystallized essence of Reformation theology."


  1. ^ a b c "Dr. R.C. Sproul – The Founder and President of Ligonier Ministries.". Ligonier Ministries. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  2. ^ "Ligonier", Tabletalk Magazine, May 2008 
  3. ^ Duncan, John M (June 30, 2008). "Renewing Your Mind now on XM & Sirius Satellite Radio". New and Noteworthy (blog). Ligonier Ministries. Archived from the original on August 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  4. ^ Reformation network 
  5. ^ Larson, Chris (July 26, 2012). "Announcing RefNet: 24-hour Christian Internet Radio". Ligonier. 
  6. ^ "Conferences". Ligonier Ministries. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  7. ^ Train Wreck
  8. ^ "Dr. R.C. Sproul". Saint Andrew's Chapel. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  9. ^ "Books: Betraying the Reformation?", Christianity today, October 7, 1996 
  10. ^ a b "Postponed: A Google Hangout with John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul" (Press release). Ligonier Ministries. April 21, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  11. ^ Sproul, RC. The Holiness of God. ISBN 0-8423-3965-5. 
  12. ^ Sproul, RC. Not a Chance: The Myth of Chance in Modern Science and Cosmology. ISBN 0-8010-5852-X. 
  13. ^ "Not A Chance!". Lambert Dolphin's Library. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 

External links[edit]