Session 2 – Question and Answer (R.C. Sproul)
Departing from the published conference agenda, the second session Monday night is a question-and-answer session with Dr. Sproul. Questions are taken from the audience. Steve Lawson quipped that he would handle anything that Dr. Sproul stumbled on.
Please note that the use of “I” and “My” and the like below refers to the answers of Dr. Sproul.
Question: Thoughts on the legitimacy of lay preaching, those who are working in a profession and preaching “on the side”.
Answer: I have a bias for lay preaching. My father was a lay preacher. The legitimacy comes with the call – some are sent, some just went. Lay preaching should be done under the jurisdiction of the church.
Question: Biggest challenges to the Biblical church and reformed theology.
Answer: Doing the Lord’s work man’s way. To be seduced by method and technology. Pleasing man instead of pleasing Christ. “Redoing” church and “Reimagining” church. Degrading the symbols in the church (such as the redesign of the pulpit – think Plexiglas). Designing church services for unbelievers or to accommodate unbelievers.
Question: What is your most significant book?
Question: Has the church been adversely affected by thinking that preaching only occurs within the walls of the church?
Answer: Paul engaged people inside and outside the church. Some of the greatest preachers of all time were street preachers. The greater concern is the erosion of preaching inside the church.
Question: What about efforts to rescue the culture apart from the preaching of the gospel?
Answer: Revival does not necessarily change the culture. Babies don’t change the culture. Those that change the culture must first become adults in the faith – they must be transformed and not conformed. We do that by investing in the people of God by preaching the gospel.
Question: The difference between teaching and preaching.
Answer: Helping people to see how to apply the truths of scripture to their lives.
Question: The problem with the congregational attitude concerning the length of sermons.
Answer: People should sit for a sermon for as long as they will sit for a professional football game. But a preacher must earn the right to preach for 45 minutes. Most preachers don’t have enough to say to preach for 45 minutes. We should finish when the people want more, not when they’ve had too much.
Question: The response of the congregation to worship and preaching. What do you think needs to be done?
Answer: Since when did preaching and the response to the preaching become not part of worship?
Question: What impact does the absurdity of some “science” claims have on the church.
Answer: People swallow nonsense answers – for instance Stephen Hawking. Our congregation has not been taught that rationality applies to the seeking of truth. Our church culture has been taught that you can get to the heart without going through the mind.