A Good Theologian or a Bad One? (Sproul)

Knowing Scripture These are some helpful words from R. C. Sproul in his 1977 publication, Knowing Scripture. It was true 40 years ago; it’s still true today:

“Countless times I have heard Christians say, ‘Why do I need to study doctrine or theology when all I need to know is Jesus?’  My immediate reply is this: ‘Who is Jesus?’  As soon as we begin to answer that question, we are involved in doctrine and theology.  No Christian can avoid theology.  Every Christian is a theologian.  Perhaps not a theologian in the technical or professional sense, but a theologian nevertheless.  The issue for Christians is not whether we are going to be theologians but whether we are going to be good theologians or bad ones.  A good theologian is one who is instructed by God.”

R. C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture (Downers Grove: IVP, 1977), 22.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015


3 comments on “A Good Theologian or a Bad One? (Sproul)

  1. Laura says:

    This is not about the post. I know this blog is Reformed/Calvinist. I dislike when either side misrepresents the other. I actually consider my self a bit in the middle, trying to live with the tensions of Scripture, but I lean towards Calvinism. My point is, I recently saw it explained/taught that Calvinists think God is a puppet master. Uh, no. I don’t think that is an accurate description. So, as a Calvinist, how might you defend or more accurately respond to such a claim that you think God is puppet master? Not looking for an academic response, or deeply detailed one – but just some type of explanation that would help the lay person better understand. Thanks. No rush.


    • That’s a good question, Laura! And it is hard to see someone misrepresent a position, whichever it is. We have to remember the 9th commandment to speak the truth (even when we’re summarizing an alternative view).

      As for the puppet master, that discussion is too detailed for a comment box! I’ll try to put a few quotes here in the next few weeks if I can find some that aren’t too long. Hope that will help.


      Liked by 1 person

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