Expositor’s Conference – Session 6 – Question and Answer (R.C. Sproul)
The sixth session of the conference was a question and answer session. Any reference to “I” or “My” in the answers is on the part of the speaker, not the writer.
Question: Is there a specific will of God revealed through His Holy Spirit?
Answer: The secret counsel of God for the individual is just that – secret. We should not spend time worrying over this. We should spend our time with working on the revealed will of God in the Bible and form our decisions based on the revealed will. The will of God is your sanctification. There is extraordinary providence – a leading of the God directly, but far less frequently than people suppose. When someone says God is calling me to do thus-and-so, ask “How do you know?”
Question: The resurgence of the popularity of reformed theology. What about the groups arising within the reformed camp? How inclusive should we be? How likely is division?
Answer: Evangelicalism was a small minority in Christendom years ago, but has exploded and has eroded. Reformed theology is now resurging, but there is already erosion. Negotiations on justification and imputation are already occurring. The camp is as broad as the non-negotiables of the faith.
Question: Reconciling God’s immutability and Christ’s kenosis.
Answer: They cannot be reconciled. All God’s attributes are immutable. The kenosis theory of emptying as we know it was developed by 19th century liberal theologians – that Christ laid aside his divine attributes. Reformed Christology recognizes that Jesus was, remained, as is, 100% God at all time. Chalcedon answered this question. Each nature retained its own attributes.
Question: What laws does God command a Gentile nation to obey?
Answer: Theonomy is a movement to create a Christian nation with the Old Testament civil laws. Rushdoony and North are the preeminent proponents of this movement. The New Testament in no way reflects the desire to maintain the Israelite civil state. However…the Old Testament does reveal God’s righteous and God’s justice. Laws may be based on Old Testament principles without attempting to resurrect the entire Old Testament civil code. The work of theonomists in showing how the Old Testament law impacts the New Testament has been excellent. North has a book which is dedicated to R.C. Sproul. The church also needs to impact government by being a prophetic voice.
Question: Pink addresses the wrath of God and gives a special note to preachers to preach the wrath of God.
Answer: Preachers are guilty of not declaring the whole counsel of the attributes of God. We fail to see that God is glorified in His justice as well as in His mercy.
Question: What about the cessation of spiritual gifts?
Answer: I believed miracles ceased at the end of the Apostolic age…because the function of the miracle was to authenticate agents of revelation. Miracles only appeared at significant epochs of Biblical history. We must also be specific about our definition of what a miracle is – an immediate intervention of God to do that which only God can do.
Question: Can God speak outside of scripture.
Answer: Of course He can. But does He? No. Not in the terms of new specific revelation.
Question: Thoughts on denominations in light of unity. Are they necessary? Are they desirable?
Answer: The zeal of denominations is admirable. There are issues that will never be resolved this side of eternity. We must practice the way we are convinced God would have us the way practice and not practice they way God is not pleased to have us practice. It is another matter to break fellowship over such an issue. Any doctrine left to the development by inference from scripture is subject to error (i.e., baptism).