Teaching Fellows Roundtable

Teaching Fellows Roundtable

Larson: Gentlemen, thank you for being
here with us, and some of you are freshly arrived, not just here in Orlando, but on
the East Coast. Dr. Mohler, you’re flying from Los Angeles
where you spoke last night at the Shepherd’s Conference, and so thankful that the Lord
allowed all of these travel logistics to work out to have us together. This time grew out of a meeting that we had
with the teaching fellows back in January where we had a conference and video call,
and we do these on occasion. And it was thought then that it would be good
in this moment, where we are missing R.C. but also thinking about the legacy that has
been entrusted to us and how the ministry moves forward, to be able to have the teaching
fellows to discuss among themselves some of the issues facing the church and how uniquely
equipped Ligonier is to be able to serve the church in our generation. But briefly, I don’t think a lot of these
folks know exactly some of your points of intersection with R.C., but just in brief
fashion, we have a lot of material to cover tonight in just a few minutes, but just briefly
explain why did you join this teaching fellowship? We’ll start all the way down there with the
Welshman, and we’ll work down the aisle, we will just go in order. Thomas: I came into contact with R.C. roughly
around 2000-2001. He had been just a huge figure, really from
the days of seminary, but certainly in the 1980s I was aware of him. I had read The Holiness of God and so on,
and then when I met him he was just such a down-to-earth person and fell in love with
him and realized that God raises up, from time to time, a unique set of gifts and a
voice and a person that addresses not just the literati, but addresses the church, but
addresses, you know, whoever this person is, but the ordinary person in the church. He had a gift of communication and was really,
really helping the church to grow and grow in its awareness and love and zeal for Reformed
theology, and I want to be a part of that, to help the church understand the Bible better. Ferguson: Well, I became a teaching fellow
because I was asked, it’s as simple as that and because when someone offers you a privilege,
you’re humbled and honored to accept it. I know exactly where I was geographically
when I first heard R.C.’s name. I was at the podium of a hotel at a ministers’
conference in Crieff, which is a small town in Scotland, and someone I knew who had come
back from the United States came to me. He said, “Have you ever heard the name R.C. Sproul?” This must’ve been in the middish-to-late 1970s
— 1970s that is — 19 not 1870s, okay? And he said to me, “He is said to be the greatest
communicator in the English Reformed world,” and I remember thinking, “This I must see.” And I think in 1984, it was either 1984 or
1985, I was speaking at the Pensacola Theological Institute, which those who are over sixty-five
will remember from the dim and distant past, and R.C. was one of the speakers. They had to hire somewhere else to a get an
auditorium big enough for the number of people who wanted to come, and I still remember my
first conversation with him. I remember being, many things, being drawn
into friendship by him and then thereafter getting invitations to do things with Ligonier. And it was, you know, I can’t tell you how
much I felt like out of my comfort zone as a young man with R.C. I remember a conference with John MacArthur,
other men you know that we all would look up to, but feeling that he had drawn me somehow
or another out of the like the outer circle into an inner circle of friends. So, it’s thirty odd years of friendship and
learning and actually in the process, behind the scenes, much fun, behind the scenes. Nichols: I think like most of you, I first
got to know R.C. through the printed page, and then attending conferences. This was in the early nineties, we were in
college and this was the old Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology and hearing
R.C. from the pulpit there at Tenth Presbyterian Church. And it would be really two decades later that
I sort of came back into the Ligonier and R.C. back in, and I’d have to say with Sinclair,
this was a very humbling and honoring experience to be invited and how could I not but say
yes, and it really is one of the singular joys of my life to be able to have gotten
to know R.C. and been with R.C. in what turned out then to be these twilight years of his
life. Mohler: Sinclair said it exactly right. I’m a teaching fellow because R.C. Sproul asked me to be one. And in my adult life and ministry, there have
been four men that I knew that I would say yes to if they asked me to do anything, four
men with a massive impact on my life, and three of them are now with the Lord. I actually had not really reflected on that
until just a few moments ago, but R.C. was at the very top of that list. I did not first come to know him by the printed
page. I first came to know him by the squeaky tape. Because as a teenager, I dare to say, before
you were a teenager, struggling with apologetic issues, I was looking for help and I found
help. When someone gave me the cassette tapes from
this teacher in Western Pennsylvania and we passed them around, it was like in the Soviet
Union, the samizdat, you kind of passed them around, you know. In fact I listened to a lot of his teachings
out of sequence, and we wore those tapes out until they (squeaking sound) but we could
still hear R.C. through and it was so compelling. And I can remember thinking as a teenager,
“I really want some day to meet this man,” and I’m so thankful that in God’s providence
I not only got to meet him and to know him, and what I want to say and Sinclair said it
in one way and others will say it in a different way, I just want to tell you that one of the
great affirmations, one of the great affirmative experiences we have in life is when we think
we know someone, and then we come to know them and they are all that we thought they
were and more. And so I just will say, one of the greatest
joys of my life was to find out that not only is R.C. Sproul everything I had heard on tape and
everything I had later read on books, but he was so much more, and he left an indelible
mark on my life, a debt that I know for the rest of my life and so when he asked me, I
said “Yes,” and that was a good rule to keep. Lawson: Yeah, I first came in contact with
R.C. through the printed page. I read The Holiness of God, and both the substance
and the style with which it was written was just entrancing. It was captivating, it was compelling, and
it was time for me to pursue a Doctor of Ministry degree, and I saw in the book jacket that
he was a professor at that time at Reformed Theological Seminary. And I actually had the thought, “If he was
teaching on the moon, I would get on a rocket ship and go to the moon. I have to be under this man’s influence.” And I’m so thankful, and I’ll never forget
the first day of class and we were all there early in our seats, waiting for R.C., the
apocalypse of R.C. to walk into the room, and he came walking in with Vesta, the president
of the seminary, and it was like a heavyweight prizefighter entering the ring. It was just a dramatic appearance. And in the classroom it was just spellbinding. I mean there was not a five-minute segment
of time that was not compelling and motivating and challenging, and I just still remember
so finely and vividly the morning sessions and the afternoon sessions, and we preached
in front of R.C. and he would critique our preaching and all of that, so I just fell
in love with R.C. And I was out of touch with him for a little
while and I remember I wrote a book and I think it was the second book that I wrote,
and I dedicated it to R.C. and I came to a Ligonier conference here in Orlando and I
just wanted to hand to my prized professor the book that I had dedicated to him and I
hadn’t seen him at that point in maybe eight years, ten years something like that, and
the affection that he showed towards me was very humbling and the interest. And I ran into him at a Shepherd’s Conference
after that, and we just re-bonded and reconnected, and he started asking me to preach at Ligonier
Conferences. And I will have to say this, no one was ever
more encouraging and affirming to me after I would preach than R.C., and that meant more
to me than anything. I remember even one sermon I preached, Chris
I don’t know if you remember, we met over at the Marriott Hotel, it was a pastors’ conference,
and there were like three hundred, four hundred pastors in there, and I preached a sermon
on Romans 11:36. And R.C. sitting in the back of the room — that’s
where he always was when we preached in class. He would get in a chair and just rock in that
chair while we would be preaching — and he was in the back row and I remember before
I could finish the sermon, he rose to his feet and just started clapping and I just,
I thought I’m good for the next thirty years. I don’t need any more encouragement for the
rest of my life. And so when he called and asked if I would
serve as a teaching fellow, I mean it’s like what Dr. Mohler just said, I mean there are
certain men when they ask you, the answer is “yes” before they finish the sentence. “Let me pray about it, yes.” And so for R.C. to ask was such a privilege,
so I am just so thankful for the imprint of his life and I’ve said in many ways, he still
sits on my shoulder and you know still in my ear, and I just process things and I know
you do Chris as well and Burk you do as well, and that’s a lasting positive influence, a
legacy. Godfrey: Well, I’m even feeling older than
usual, because I first met … I am older than usual, is that what you’re saying? Lawson: I just said, “Well, you are.” Godfrey: Because I first met R.C. before tapes
and before books. No, not before printing, but before he did
tapes and before he did books. I was a young seminarian, and he was a young
college professor, and the seminary and the college were on the same campus. And R.C. and Vesta had arrived, and R.C. was
a phenomenon as a teacher, as you can well imagine. And particularly, he will not mind me saying
this, particularly among the young women students. He was teaching theology and doing a phenomenal
job in making people think, making people see the importance and spiritual necessity
of theology, and really challenging Christian students to think. And you could see already in those days that
here was someone of phenomenal abilities, both as a thinker, both as someone who is
knowledgeable, and someone who was really a most extraordinary communicator. And I didn’t get to know him well in those
days but followed his career with great appreciation and enthusiasm and then got to know him better
through invitations from James Montgomery Boice to speak at conferences together, and
my appreciation for him grew and grew, again because of his learning, because of his marvelous
communication skill, and because of his really marvelous faithfulness. It’s hard to talk about R.C. without piling
up superlatives. So when he called and asked me to be a teaching
fellow, I was delighted. I felt so privileged. We, of course, had certain things in common
that most of the rest of you didn’t. He and I both were on certain level Dutch
wannabes, hanging out in Dutch circles. His Dutch was much better than mine, but I
could pretend in a group like this to be pretty good at Dutch, and of course he and I vied
for the title as to who was the greatest Reformed expert on Aimee Semple McPherson. It was clear that I was but he kept competing,
and I admired that that he kept trying to learn. Anyway he was a delightful person, and I think
part of what we all felt was the great authenticity of his life and a wonderful Christian. Parsons: Well the fundamental difference between
myself and all of you in our experiences is that R.C. told me, didn’t ask me, to become
a teaching fellow. But, you know, I could talk all night about
my experience with R.C. and knowing him and meeting him as we all could. But you know, R.C. was a father to me, like
a father and a mentor and my boss. But over the years in a strange way, he became,
by his own humility, he became a brother and a friend, and I have to even admit he became
a buddy of mine, you know, Chris for you as well, not just a friend, not just a father,
not just a mentor, not just a boss, but he became a buddy. I mean, I’ve not really spoken about it a
lot over the past couple of months, but as I reflect on my last many years, the truth
is that two of my closest friends are R.C. and Vesta Sproul. And I’m still not quite ready to talk about
it, but the truth is that I cared about the ministry and the mission of Ligonier Ministries
back in college when I first started learning from R.C., and the truth of the matter is
by God’s grace, got to work for Ligonier Ministries and care as much and more about the mission
and ministry of this ministry called Ligonier Ministries and the ministry that God entrusted
to R.C. and that R.C. himself said, “This ministry is beyond me, it’s bigger than me. It’s not about me, it’s about the Bible and
it’s about the doctrine of the Bible. It’s about the church, it’s about Christ.” And that mission and that ministry is what
excites me every day. Larson: I came to Ligonier in 2004, and
even then R.C. was talking about the future. He was talking about what Ligonier Ministries
would be after him. I thought, “Wow, he was in pretty good health
but still thinking about the future,” and he began to help us to understand at the staff
just exactly what Burk was saying, that Ligonier was bigger than him. And then when you go back and you look at
what happened there in western Pennsylvania, 1971 on and you read some of the literature,
it’s the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul, because it was R.C. Sproul plus teachers, other teachers. Now Dr. Sproul’s ministry was uniquely blessed
by the Lord, but it was really intended to be this band of brothers, even from the beginning,
so that fellowship idea is in our DNA. And so when 2010 came around, and when we
made the first announcement about the first teaching fellows to join us, it wasn’t a new
thing for us, it was just more formalizing what was really already happening through
a Ligonier conference or in the pages of Tabletalk magazine each month. And so to have the teaching fellowship formalized
was a way to help Ligonier move forward in a way that would be faithful. And that was R.C.’s heartbeat. What would Ligonier be doing in terms of publishing,
broadcasting events, the school, the various things; those are tactical measures for a
ministry. His foremost concern was theological fidelity
and integrity, and that is why he looked to you men, brothers in arms, people who have
been in the foxhole with him, who’ve fought some of the same theological battles. And the way this teaching fellowship works,
they are approved by the board of directors at Ligonier Ministries, and the idea is that
in coming years, we add to this company, and this company grows and be able to, in that
2 Timothy 2:2 fashion, “Commit these things to faithful men who will be able to teach
others also.” So when Ligonier Ministries was started there
in 1971, we were coming out of a tumultuous decade of the 60s. Truth was up for grabs, society was coming
unraveled, it sounds a lot like 2018. And I think what R.C. found is that the church
did not have an effective witness. It had lost its voice to be able to proclaim
the gospel with power to this secularizing culture, and so it was almost a two-front
war in which Ligonier found itself. So from the beginning, we’ve been facing the
culture, but we’ve also been facing the church and calling the church to be the church. How is that mission different today, what
are the prospects for the future, what makes the ministry of Ligonier distinct and perhaps
even unique in our day and age? Coming out of that context, that milieu out
of which we were born. Everybody doesn’t have to answer this one,
so we’ll move through a few others, but I’d just be interested to hear your thoughts in
terms of the context of Ligonier’s work and its prospects for ongoing service to the church. Godfrey: Well, I think R.C. established himself
early on as a key leader in the central challenges that came against Reformed theology. So Ligonier was formed in 1971 and in the
mid-70s, we have sort of the crisis of inerrancy, what’s happening in the broader American Protestant
evangelical movement. There were lots of voices being raised that
you can believe the Bible is the Word of God without getting caught up in all this silliness
and intricacy and detail of inerrancy. Little details don’t matter as long as you’re
affirming the Bible really is the Word of God. Well R.C. along with others saw clearly early
on that this is a game, this is a delusion, and became, as a fairly young man, one of
the key leaders in the assertion of the inerrancy of the Bible. And then later when justification became,
on several fronts, a key issue of the evangelical world, the Reformed world, R.C. was there
as a leader with clarity and insight to uphold the historic Protestant doctrine of justification. And one of the things that has always been
so admirable about R.C. and that I hope we’ll be able to carry on is that he was such a
good prioritizer. He could see what was the pressing issue of
the moment that needed to be addressed without needing to fight about everything. There are, you probably don’t know that, you’ve
probably never met anybody like this, but there are people in the Christian world, in
the conservative Protestant world who feel the need to fight with equal vigor about everything,
and R.C. had more wisdom than that, more insight. So one of the great challenges for us will
be, “What are the emerging issues?” Sometimes it’s hard to see what the emerging
issues are, but what are the emerging issues that are going to be particularly a widespread
challenge to the Reformed world, to the evangelical world, to the Bible-believing world, and that’s
what we want to try to do together, I think. Larson: What about the mission, the mission
of Ligonier, unchanged really, and to have a ministry that has been given this unchanging
mission to proclaim, to teach, and defend the holiness of God in all its fullness to
as many people as possible, to have been given this heritage of a mission that is unswerving,
unchanging, really from our beginning. That is a unique stewardship. So that mission today, why that mission, why
is it relevant, why is it pressing and important in our context? Mohler: I think there are several different
dimensions to this, but the most important is that what established R.C. in his mission
and the reason we are having this conversation and Ligonier Ministries was the understanding
that the church faces a battle of ideas, a battle of theologies, a battle of doctrines,
and R.C. was on the frontline and thus Ligonier has been on the frontline. Well just for the sake of time, let’s just
say the battles are not lesser now, the battles are greater, and that’s always what happens
when you have a time of theological confusion which, in a major way, we can follow directly
from the Reformation to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment and, by the way, no one
liked to trace this better than R.C. Sproul, and into the rise of Protestant liberalism
and into all the seductive ideologies and disastrous ideas of the twentieth century. And now, we’re facing even worse and so when
you talk about the mission, we could fold up and go home. We could say, “Hey, the battle’s won.” Everywhere we look we see biblical orthodoxy. Every channel we turn to, I know that’s anachronistic,
but you know what I mean, you know we hear nothing but to gospel and Bible. Looking at the academic discussions on theology,
we are in so much better shape than we were twenty years ago. That’s ridiculous! The battles are more important than ever,
the issues are more numerous than even they were. We should be very thankful, even just thinking
about a conference like this and thinking about the reach of Ligonier, even just Tabletalk
magazine, we should be thankful there are so many people who are part of this conversation
and so many people who want to stand with us in conviction, but the battles that represented
the initial summons have been followed by so many other battles still to be fought,
and that’s why this mission continues. Larson: So Ligonier as a parachurch ministry,
we exist quite plainly to not be the church. So, in what way does Ligonier come alongside
of the church and why is what we do not competition with the local church? You know how much R.C. loved the local church,
but it would be great to just hear the teaching fellows articulate our relationship to the
local church. Nichols: You know, just two comments on that. One is that it was remarkable to me to hear
how many pastors were so encouraged by R.C. over the course of their ministries. I remember one pastor in particular said,
whoever mentioned R.C. was the communicator and he said, “I first heard this guy is a
communicator, and I showed up to hear him and I said, ‘Oh boy, is he ever a communicator!'” But he said R.C. was saying the same thing
these Reformed ministers were, but the way R.C. said it and the courage and the boldness
with which he said it, this is what this pastor said, “It was like he put steel in our spines,
and I could stand up straight in the pulpit and I could preach these doctrines,” and that
was his testimony about R.C. and R.C.’s legacy, that over the thirty years of his ministry,
when he was first acquainted with R.C., R.C. emboldened him in his preaching of the gospel
and his leading of his flock. And so I think you have that story, which
is just a remarkable story. How many pastors have been touched and impacted? And I think secondly, we have to go back to
what R.C. was trying to do with Ligonier Valley Study Center in the first place was between
the Sunday school and the seminary, to offer that, as you say, sort of bring those cookies
down a little bit for those to partake in. But he was all about equipping equippers,
equipping those who would go on to teach Sunday school classes, equipping those who would
lead Bible studies in the local church. He was giving them the tools and fortifying
them for this task that they were called to do. I think that’s what was the beauty of Ligonier
Ministries, that it was a servant of the church for those decades and given the commitments
of these folks here, and by God’s grace we’ll continue to do that. Ferguson: Chris, I think this is one of Derek
and my favorite stories about R.C. Some of the people will know we ministered
in the same congregation at the same time, we were both theology professors for many
years, and R.C. came. It may have been almost the last conference
he did in our church, but he came up to us one weekend and he did a series especially
on the person of Christ. I think it was the Sunday morning sermon. He really focused on orthodox Christian theology,
the one person, the two natures, the hypostatic union, I mean he went through with that kind
of genius he had of getting to the heart of it and yet not … always, yes, you know,
putting the cookies down, but making the children stretch up a wee bit for them. So, you know, here you’ve got two teaching
fellows who are ministers in the same congregation, who are both professors of theology, and I
can’t remember which door of the church Derek was standing at, but somebody shakes his hand
and says to him, “It’s about time somebody was teaching theology in this congregation.” And you know, in other circumstances, that
could be a pretty painful thing to hear, but you know, to me it was a real kind of insight
into R.C.’s understanding that people needed not only more biblical exposition, of which
there is an abundance, but people need what I think of as Velcro strips, theological Velcro
strips that are there in the way in which they listen to the teaching of the Word of
God. Otherwise, it just kind of goes over their
head or around their ears, and they’ve nowhere to put what they’re learning about Christ
in the systematic exposition. And the way he was able to do that, I think,
encouraged ministers to simultaneously provide food for the children that made them stretch
and therefore strengthened them. You know, so much of his literature was like
that and to me one of the great things about the ministry was, unlike so many ministries,
its center was actually the center. So the thing in Ligonier Ministry was not
a thing, it was God Himself. And because it was God Himself, and of course
a special emphasis on the holiness of God, but if you look at the corpus, as they say,
or the oeuvre of the ministry, there isn’t an area of theology, and there’s not really
an area of ethics or practical Christian living or church history that it doesn’t actually
touch. And I think as it continues to build on that,
one of the ways in which you see especially serving pastors and the church is that it’s
equipping both to be ready for whatever comes, absolutely whatever comes. Because it’s only when you understand the
center and the whole that it doesn’t matter where the falsehood or the heresy or the deviation
or the attack comes from, you are actually ready for it. And that has been a great … I think we have
seen that in the last thirty years in the different issues that have arisen. It’s not that Ligonier has had to scurry off
to start doing the work necessary. It’s been able to draw on the resources and
apply them to the particular needs of the time and that’s a great, it’s not only a great
legacy, but it’s a great ministry to continue. Larson: Dr. Sproul was an ordained confessional
Presbyterian, Westminsterian Presbyterian, but the teaching fellowship represents a breadth,
and so what do we gain by coming together from various different denominational backgrounds
and traditions, what do we gain in the teaching fellowship by having this breadth in the ministry? Lawson: Well, I think it’s very healthy and
I think that it models for the church at large the way that Christians outside of their little
pocket should be working together. And I’ve always admired George Whitefield
in church history, and in many ways Ligonier has
been an extension of that spirit that was in Whitefield of willing to work with other
believers who hold certain truths in common. Now, we don’t link arms with everyone, but
on essential matters we have risen above sectarianism, which I think is a very, very unhealthy spirit,
and have been able to work with people who see certain things slightly different. But for me, those things are secondary and
we have agreed on what is primary, and I think it’s been a marvelous example and you mentioned
the Presbyterianism. I can just say, as someone who comes from
a Baptist background, that Ligonier really has been a place for Baptists to have a moment
of sanity, to find a home. I can’t believe I got a clap for that, but… Godfrey: It was the Presbyterians clapping. Lawson: It was the Presbyterians, and the
Dutch were asleep. But
for me it’s been a lifeline in many ways in years past to be able to connect with Ligonier
and to identify with Ligonier, and I know that there are more Baptists who take Tabletalk,
there are more Baptists who come to the Ligonier National Conference, and part of that is,
there are just more Baptists, period. So we do have that advantage, but it’s very
large-hearted, I think on Ligonier’s point, and what Bob said earlier, R.C. had a way
of prioritizing issues and not fighting over every single doctrinal issue that there is. And where you end up with a third, fourth,
fifth degree separation I think is just a spiritually unhealthy thing. And so I think what we gain by some measure
of diversity, though again that diversity is not in essential matters, we agree in the
substance of the gospel. For example, in mode of baptism, recipient
of baptism, that’s the sign of the gospel, but we agree on the substance of the gospel
and quite frankly, I’m not going to die a martyr’s death on the sign, but I’ll die a
martyr’s death for the substance, and that’s I think where we lock arms together and I
think it has been a good witness to the body of Christ in certain parts where there has
been, for want of a better term, just a lot of sectarianism. Larson: Do you think ministry in our day
presents unique opportunities and challenges, and do you see Ligonier taking advantage of
these moments of opportunity on into the future? Thomas: I do think that we are in a fairly
unique moment because of social media and how theology and theologizing is done in an
instant without peer review, and if I can just link back to the previous question, what
I think of when I think of Ligonier Ministries is a base where you can be sure you can find
some measure of stability and certainty about an issue. It’s what I admired so much about R.C., that
one of the conversations I had with him, just six or seven months before his passing, was
an issue on the doctrine of God, and we were having dinner and he was exercised, I mean
he was really exercised about it, and it was a fairly abstruse point. But I’m absolutely convinced that once I listened
to him, I thought well, “That’s the right opinion.” I could ask a dozen other people and there
would be opinions, but when I asked R.C., okay well that’s definitely the opinion that
we should have. And I think that’s what Ligonier Ministries
needs to be and I pray is in a world that is constantly shifting, and questions can
bubble up these days just instantly, and we need something that we can trust, a resource,
and what unites us is far, far more important than what divides us, a passion and a love
for Reformed theology. Godfrey: I was just going to say somewhat
on that line that one of the remarkable things that Ligonier has done in recent years is
to make its resources so much more available in so many different forms. My children would point out to, I don’t even
know what those forms are, but you know, we started off talking about tapes and reels
and books. Well not tapes so much anymore, but books
are still important, recordings in various forms are still important, but to be able
to access, as Ligonier is increasingly making available, so much information, so many answers
to questions, short answers, long answers, deep answers, it’s just becoming a remarkable
resource for the churches and for individual Christians to find reliable biblical, theological
answers to questions that would’ve taken a lot of research and a lot of time to get answers
to not so many years ago. Parsons: You asked a question earlier about
Ligonier being a parachurch ministry, and I’m just putting some of these things together. But you know, we talk a good bit about Ligonier
not being a parachurch ministry, coming alongside the church, but we are really a sub-church
ministry. We come under the church to serve the church
and provide resources to the church, and I think one of the significant things about
Ligonier and about this teaching fellowship is that the unity exists, not in spite of
our doctrinal differences, but out of respect for the different confessional heritages that
do exist and how each and every man adheres, not just with lip service to his confessional
heritage and to his church and to his tradition, but because he stands squarely within it and
defends it. And there’s a mutual respect that exists because
of that, and I think that’s why we’re here. It’s because we love the Word of God and we
love those who are committed to the Word of God in preaching the Word of God, even though
there are indeed differences and we’ll settle those in heaven and we’ll find out that of
course the Presbyterians were right, but it’s out of that mutual respect for our confessional
heritages and those differences. Larson: So whatever form or fashion this
is recorded and captured and preserved for future a generation of Ligonier Ministries’
teaching fellows, whether it’s YouTube or whatever else exists, so forty years from
now they fire up this little session, what do you want them to hear? What do you want them to remember? What is your mandate for them? Mohler: Speaking forty years to the future? Larson: Yes. Mohler: My heavens, I used to imagine I would
be there forty years in the future. It’s not statistically impossible, but it’s
improbable at this point. I think that what I would summarize, even
in terms of what we just talked about, is that what distinguishes Ligonier Ministries
is a defense of historic Protestantism. It is a defense of Protestant confessionalism. It is a defense of biblical orthodoxy. It is a defense precisely aimed, as I think
the Reformers would well understand and affirm, where the devil’s attack is coming most acutely. And I would hope and pray that that’s exactly
what, first of all, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is found doing forty years from
now and until Jesus comes. I hope that’s what the institution I lead
is doing and representing and teaching forty years from now and until Jesus comes. I hope that’s what those who are the churches
represented here tonight and would be represented forty years from now. I hope that that’s what animates them and
drives them, and I hope and am confident actually that there will been more need for Ligonier
Ministries then than even now, as there is now, from when this organization and ministry
was first started, but we’re going to do everything we can to make certain that the theology taught
and the doctrine preached and the ministries that are extended by Ligonier Ministries are
exactly what they were established to be in the beginning, which wasn’t to be something
new, but a continuation of that faith once for all delivered to the saints. So forty years from now, may it be so. Larson: Dr. Godfrey, would you close our
time in prayer? Godfrey: Sure. Can I just say very much on line with what
Al just said, we have lost a great and wise leader, but we haven’t lost our king, that’s
what R.C. would say to us. Forty years from now, may He still rule us
by His Word and Spirit, and I think that’s what we’re all dedicated to. Let’s pray together. Father, we’re so thankful to You to be privileged
to take part in this conference, to fellowship with God’s people together. We are so thankful for every memory of the
work of R.C. Sproul, who would want to say tonight that
he was a sinner saved by grace, and we pray O Lord that you will grant blessing and wisdom
to those who seek to carry on the work that he began to the glory of Christ, so that many
more might know the saving work of Jesus on the cross, that many more might be brought
into the fellowship of His church, that many more might be encouraged by the riches and
comforts and depths of His Word. And so, bless us all to carry on the work
of Jesus in this world until He comes again in glory when every eye will see Him, and
so preserve us to that great end and bless us, for we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Would someone please identify who these men are – including the moderator? A "Seated Left to Right:" format would be most appreciated.

  2. Missing Dr Sproul… but he is with our Lord now. The best place for all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ.

  3. March 15, 2018
    I believe that our big brother IN Christ, R.C. Sproul, kept really good company, and my husband and I are both very, very grateful that his band of brothers will continue on to teach us THE TRUTH of our LORD GOD'S Holy Word, which we can't live without! Thank YOU, LORD Jesus, for taking excellent care of YOUR sheep, even in our sufferings, trials, and pains! And, thank you, Ligonier, for being one of the tools that HE uses so well!


  4. We can thank the greatly missed RC for leaving the ministry God gave him to be carried on by faithful men of God's Word

  5. May God abundantly bless the ministry of Ligonier Ministries in the coming years for the glory of his name!

  6. Let's not forget RC's greatest mentor, the one who shaped his sense of zeal for the truth, that one in whom RC stood in awe of: Dr. John Gertsner.

  7. Although I had never met Dr. Sproul I felt as though I'd lost my dad when I learned of his passing.
    Through their poignant comments, these men affirmed what I so wanted to believe about R.C. Sproul; that he was as genuine a person off camera as he was in front of one.

  8. The host asked each one "why did you join this teaching fellowship", and the first man said "to help the church grow in it's love and zeal for reformed theology." The second man said "I was asked". The next four men just venerated RC. the seventh man FINALLY mentioned the Name of Jesus!!!!! WOW.. One man said that when RC asks, you say YES! Just a thought, but these men don't believe they can say YES to an invitation from The Lord! Did they have "FREE WILL" to say yes to RC, Or did RC predestine them before the foundation of the world to be TEACHING FELLOWS?????????????? The closing prayer was great!

  9. Best memory of my Dr Rc Sproul. .was not able to hold back and truly he was so Pastoral at heart..a lover and benefactor, friend and father of Brothers in Christ

  10. Is Ligonier a racist organization. Where are the Chinese, Black, Jew, Indian, Hispanic men that were under RC. Not only that, I dont know if they Love the LORD, or RC. What happened to, I joined because I love JESUS? This all White panel, dosen't look right.

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