9.07.2008

The Friend of My Friend

by R.C. Sproul, Jr.

"It was a big day in the life of a little magazine. I was serving as the editor of Tabletalk magazine, the publication of Ligonier Ministries. We had determined that we would consider Old Testament wisdom literature for the coming year in our daily studies. We then had to choose and scholar, and a pastor to each write a weekend study for every month. I wanted to use David Chilton, who had been a hero to me for over ten years. But there was a problem. Though it wasn’t written anywhere, Tabletalk tended to shy away from known theonomists. So I did the obvious thing and contacted the founder of the organization. “Hey,” I said, “we’re thinking of asking David Chilton to write a monthly column for us, but I wanted to get your approval first. Are you okay with that?” My father replied with his usual wisdom, “Is he Reformed?” “Yup” I said. “Then go right ahead.” Within days I received a phone call from a Ligonier board member giving me a piece of his mind. Dangerous was the word he kept using. I kept asking him to take up his concern with the chairman. David did an outstanding job for the magazine, and the conversation I had with my father set a precedent. We would use Reformed writers for what I still consider to be the premier Reformed magazine in the country. I tell this story to illustrate a point, which point is that I’m really a sweetheart of a guy. My standards are pretty simple. I believe evangelicals are my brothers and sisters in Christ, even when I have disagreements with them. I believe Reformed people are my closest relatives, even when I disagree with them. Theonomists are my kin. Reformed charismatics are my kin. Reformed Baptists are my kin, and their children are as well. The truly Reformed are my kin. I want to be friends with everybody, which may explain why so few people like me. My TR friends want me to spit three times in the direction of Moscow , to prove my loyalty to the cause. My Reformed Baptist friends want me to disavow my Reformed friends who won’t call Baptists of any stripe “Reformed.” The most frustrating thing about all my friends is they won’t be friends with me, as long as I’m friends with them. What’s a guy to do? My solution is elegantly simple- I just keep loving them all. My friend George Grant, who really is a friend, in a nice, reciprocal kind of way, has long done well at this. I aspire to do the same. If you want to know what “circles” I run in, they are Reformed circles. Yes, I’m committed to homeschooling. Many of my friends, however, are not. Yes, I’m in the CREC. Many of my friends are not. Yes, I believe husbands and fathers ought to lead their homes. Many of my friends do not. I believe in baptizing babies. Many of my friends do not. I believe in the victory of the gospel. Many of my friends do not. I don’t believe Old Testament civil law ought to be the law of the land. Many of my friends do so believe. There is no mystery here, no tea leaves to discern. I’m most comfortable with Reformed folk, and long for a day when more of them will be comfortable with me. There is a great deal of pressure in our little Reformed world to draw foolish lines in the sand. We ought to push back, by drawing bigger circles. But, if you think not, I’d still like to be your friend."

RC Sproul, Jr.

2 Comments:

At 7:19 AM, Blogger Margaret in VA said...

Amen! But MAN! is that hard! Praying for your family's enjoyment and rest on your vacation.

 
At 8:12 PM, Blogger Kenneth said...

Hi Steve,

Net etiquette and copyright law suggest that you should link to Mr. Sproul's article on his website, and then quote the parts you most like on yours.

Kind regards,
Ken

 

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