top of page

Exposing R.C. Sproul of Ligonier Ministries; a Blasphemer and Ravening Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

The late R.C. Sproul (1939 – 2017) was an American Reformed theologian and ordained pastor in the apostate Presbyterian Church in America. He was the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries (named for the Ligonier Valley just outside Pittsburgh, where the ministry started as a study center for college and seminary students) and daily broadcast on the Renewing Your Mind radio in the USA and internationally. He was a staunch Calvinist and Reformer, even lifting up the murderous purveyor of a false works gospel John Calvin and "baptizing" babies. The sad fact he is described by some as "the greatest and most influential proponent of the recovery of Reformed theology in the last century" reveals the apostasy of our day.

God the Son warned:

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matt 7:15).

Those who embrace and endorse a blasphemous wolf prove themselves to be absent of spiritual discernment which means to be Spirit-less and rebels against Gods Word. The rhetorical question, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Am. 3:3) is answered for you.

Sproul was indeed a false teacher and did not walk in the light but in utter darkness, for a lot of reasons. Here are some of those.

1. He fully embraced and propagated the heresies and false gospel of Calvinism and Reformed Theology. Here are some links you can visit to read of the insidious heresies of Calvinism and Reformed Theology:

Not only was Sproul's gospel false because of Calvinism's TULIP "theology," it was further corrupted because of the infant baptism he embraced, which makes it a works "gospel." "Baptizing" (it wasn't even baptism, since sprinkling and pouring is NOT baptism) babies connects baptism with salvation, which the Westminster Confession professes and Sproul wholeheartedly embraced.

Michael Horton was the president of CURE/ACE. In his earlier works, Horton often hinted at his baptismal regeneration views, but it was always somewhat unclear as to where he was coming from. However, in his book, In The Face of God, Horton leaves no doubt as to his views on how one receives Christ. R.C. Sproul fully endorsed this book. Note the following quotes from the book (emphasis mine):

"It is one thing for an evangelical to believe that the Word is a means of grace. It is quite another to add that the sacraments are a further means of grace. Even the word "sacrament" sounds "Catholic" to many evangelical ears. In fact, it is a biblical concept." (p. 139).
"The sacraments serve the same purpose as the Word itself, not only offering or exhibiting God's promise, but actually conferring His saving grace by linking us, through faith, to Christ and His benefits" (p. 141).
"The Roman Church undermined the importance of God's ordained sacraments by adding sacraments of their own. The Anabaptist enthusiasts undermined them by reducing the efficacy of the two sacraments [Baptism and the Lord's Supper] Christ instituted" (p. 142).
"Furthermore, a sacrament not only reveals; it confers. Through Word and sacrament, God actually gives that which he promises in his gospel--forgiveness of sins, freedom from the tyranny of sin and eternal life. The sacraments not only testify to or signify divine activity in salvation, but are part of that divine redemptive activity" (p. 219).
"Nothing other than the Word, baptism, and the Lord's Supper are given this place by God as a means of grace" (p. 219).

This is a false gospel that doesn't save, but one which Sproul fully endorsed. In saying that baptism is a means of grace, Horton (and Sproul by endorsement) confuse God's grace and human works. Grace is defined Biblically as the demonstration of unmerited love and favour and mercy of God, that is unearned, undeserved, and unrepayable. God imputes merit where none previously existed and declares no debt to be where such had been before. Grace is not dispensed on the basis of good works, including the good work of baptism, even when baptism is true, that is by immersion.

Paul the Apostle says the following of men like Horton and Sproul:

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Gal 1:8-9)

2. Sproul “baptized” infants, a heretical false teaching derived from Roman Catholicism, thanks in part to the wolf Augustine, the mentor and father of John Calvin‘s faith post-humous. Any "baptism" outside of immersion is unscriptural but baptizing babies is unscriptural and heretical regardless of mode and in fact a damnable heresy since many that undergo this practice are given false assurance of salvation. Reformed theology teaches that baptism is a seal and a vehicle of conveying saving grace. As mentioned previous point, infant "baptism" is a false gospel.

3. In his book Pleasing God, Sproul endorses the psychological and unbiblical concepts of self-esteem and self-confidence (pp. 59, 115), "All Truth is God's Truth" (p. 69), homosexual "orientations" of some individuals (p. 80), the benefits of psychiatric help for the Christian (pp. 118, 186-187), self-forgiveness (pp. 131-133); and Freudian insights (p. 173).

4. Sproul was a psychoheretic, embracing the occult science of psychology, and uniting with and promoting men who embrace it on a continuous basis. Probably the most popular world-wide promoter of psychoheresy (integration) is psychologist Dr. James Dobson, and Sproul not only endorsed the general teachings of Dobson in the area of psychology, particularly his teachings on self-esteem/self-love/self-image, he has also published articles by Dobson in his ministry's Tabletalk publication, and even espoused Dobson's selfism philosophy (for which Dobson is famous) in his own writings as well (e.g. Oct 1989 issue of Tabletalk, "Who We Really Are," and the Oct 25, 1989 InterAct devotional). Sproul also fully endorsed the general teachings and counseling model of so-called Christian psychologist, Dr. Larry Crabb (another ravening wolf in sheep‘s clothing), and other psychoheretics such as Dr. John Coe, and Dr. Bill White. It was Sproul’s misuse, misapplication, and theological distortion of "All truth is God’s truth" that lead him to support the integrationist position.

At the "The Hunger For Significance" conference Feb 20-22, 1992 in Orlando, Florida sponsored by Ligonier Ministries— besides the general psychobabble and heresy in each man's message that taught including Sproul himself, Chuck Colson, Chuck Swindoll and J.I. Packer—it is the joint Q&A session that is of particular interest where Sproul's response to a question concerning how he would reconcile his belief that "All truth is God's truth" (thereby allowing the use of the principles of psychology in conjunction with the Bible) with what the Apostle Peter said under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:3, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue")? This was Sproul's response:

"If you mean for the saving of life . . . We talk about the sufficiency of the Scriptures to lead one to 'salvific' life, obviously, but for the whole structure of life, we need more than the Bible."

Wow, there you go. His blasphemous views couldn't be anymore clear than that! Sproul directly denied the sanctifying sufficiency of the Word of God alone. If he is correct (in his contention that "we need more than the Bible"), then the Holy Spirit, for nearly 2,000 years of Church history, somehow, either through ignorance or oversight, failed to include in the Scriptures the vital psychological tools necessary for sanctified godly living! One can come to only one of two conclusions. Either Sproul's so-called psychological truths are false, and that's why God left them out of Holy Writ, or somehow, the Bible is deficient. The further premise is that Sproul is in fact an unsaved wolf in sheep's clothing, which is what everything else also points to.

Sproul also believed the blasphemy that we should "forgive God," as evidenced by his endorsement of the James Dobson' book When God Doesn't Make Sense, which teaches this psychological concept.

All these psychoheretics, including Sproul, completely undermine the authority of God’s Word, while pretending to be Christian. They are simply popular heretics and wolves and all who read and endorse them are are seriously deceived. There are passages in Scripture that very clearly reflect these ungodly men:

"(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they arethe enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)" (Phil 3:18-19)
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Rom 16:17-18)

5. Perhaps the best overall indication of Sproul's complete sell-out to the false gospel of self is his 1983 book, In Search of Dignity. The statement from the book's inside jacket is an excellent indicator of the thoroughly humanistic philosophy espoused by Sproul throughout the book:

"It is because God has assigned worth to men and women that human dignity is established. From his creation to his redemption, man's dignity is preserved. His origin is significant. His destiny is significant. He is significant. The conviction that permeates each chapter is the importance of daily respect for the dignity of other people which requires a sensitivity to their self-esteem. We are also led to the realization that the most fragile mechanization on this planet is the human ego."

This is psychological heresy and it obviously reflects Sproul's heart (Lk. 6:43-45). It is clear by this statement alone that Sproul was an unconverted fake, since all truly saved people know that the human ego is the most evil mechanization on this planet, from whence comes “evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mk 7:21-23).

6. Sproul endorsed Bill Hybels' 1990 book Honest to God, saying,

"Bill Hybels has an exciting and contagious faith."

Yikes. Hybels is a thorough apostate and psychologizing wolf masquerading as a sheep and we’ve been seeing his corrupt immoral fruit coming to light, but he has always been a false teacher, the dog and pig returning to his vomit and mire (2 Pet. 2:1-3, 18-22). These heretics are disgusting, of the type that God vomits out of His mouth (Rev 3:16-18).

7. Sproul publicly endorsed Hugh Ross’s book, Creation and Time, which is a polemic for progressive creationism/theistic evolution, and thereby, is a denial of orthodox Christianity's literal, factual and historical interpretation of the first 11 chapters of the Book of Genesis. This NavPress published book also openly attacks the creation movement and the major people involved (Christian News, Feb 26, 1996). Among other things, Ross teaches that the Earth is billions of years old and that physical death fully existed long before Adam.

8. Sproul endorsed and fellowshipped with many heretics such as ones already mentioned (James Dobson, Michael Horton, Bill Hybels) and the ecumenical, Catholic-sympathizing heretic Chuck Colson, pop psychologizer and heretic for endless reasons Chuck Swindoll, neo-evangelical and Calvinist heretic J.I. Packer and was part of or in leadership at a number of extremely heretical man-centred colleges/seminaries. His veneration of heretics speaks volumes.

Sproul also had a love affair with Thomas Aquinas, who was a mystic Roman Catholic heretic (source), whose theology he claimed could be classified as Protestant or Reformed. Aquinas interpreted Scripture according to the God-rejector Aristotle but that was Biblical according to Sproul? Wow.

9. Sproul was probably best known in prophecy circles for his support of preterism, a false version of prophecy that denies many very important but unfulfilled prophecies. This teaching claims that most of the events of the book of Revelation occurred during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., yet there will be a future bodily return of Jesus Christ. A difficult, confusing model of Bible prophecy, based mostly on allegoricalism of scripture (a false interpretation methodology) few scholars accept this form of eschatology which has roots in covenant and reformation theology. He also, along with other scholars, authored the Reformation Study Bible, which is heretical for both textual and study notes reasons. Instead of believing God’s Word, he wrote extensively against the rapture.

10. Another serious indication of Sproul’s false and deluded spiritual condition was his belief and propagation of Replacement “Theology,” that the church has replaced Israel, which is also the byproduct of the heretical interpretation method of allegoricalism, the methodology of the unsaved since they are without the indwelling Spirit of God. This evil teaching together with his false gospel are all the evidence one needs to conclude Sproul was certainly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The easiest teaching in all of God's Word to understand is that of Israel, and all of Gods true people (those truly born again) understand this without a shadow of doubt. Here is a Refutation of Replacement Theology. The issue and confusion arises in unsaved people pretending to be something they are not, who do not understand the truth and cannot rightly divide the word of truth, both of which requires the indwelling Spirit of God given at conversion.

In conclusion, this is ONLY the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more that could be mentioned! Encyclopedia length of heresies. Men like Sproul have a wretched "reformed" state but not a "transformed" state. Indeed, anyone who thinks that Sproul is "unquestionably the top theologian of the past century" exposes a lost and spiritually reprobate estate (Ti. 1:9-16). Unsaved people have no spiritual discernment.

R.C. Sproul was a:

”gainsayer" and of the “vain talkers and deceivers, . . . Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. . . . alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." (Ti. 1:9-16)

Calvinism and Reformed Theology runs in complete opposite to true Biblical Christianity and nowhere do we see it more clearly with one of their most prominent modern voices, that of R. C. Sproul.

You should believe the Bible instead of lost heretics, and turn from these heresies and heretics and be truly converted. ”Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.” (Pr 9:6). It will do you better in this life, it would give you the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit, and it will do you a lot better in the life to come. Let not your pride and lack of fear of God prevent you from being genuinely converted. Read Proverbs 1:20-31 and see what God has to say about this.

Don't be confused or deceived. Judging righteous judgment (Jn 7:24) is judging according to Scripture, but you maybe don’t like judging — that also is reflective of an unregenerate nature (the following passages teach that saved people judge while unsaved people don’t and don’t like it: Lev. 19:15, 35-37; Pr. 21:15a; Pr. 21:3, 15; Ze. 8:16; Jn. 12:7; 1 Cor. 2:15-16; Phil. 1:9-10).

"To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. . . . It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity." (Pr 21:3, 15)
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Rom 16:17-18)


Unknown member
Mar 18

I underwent sprinkling by a Lutheran "pastor" when I was about three or four years of age, and then was "confirmed" in the Lutheran church when I was in my teens. Before I was out of my teens, I began to notice that some professing Christians (who were not Lutherans) at least showed some seriousness concerning their profession of Christianity. I soon dumped the label--"Lutheran"-- and began to answer the question of my religious affiliation as...Christian. This was a start in the right direction, though it was a lengthy journey for me until I finally began, in my mid-thirties, to see that Christ requires more than most people are ever willing to give Him (i.e., one's very life). Even then,…

Mar 18
Replying to

Thanks for sharing your testimony Russ. More and more I’m convinced that Lutheranism has always been corrupt and false right out of the starting blocks, led by the commander in chief, Martin Luther, who came out of Rome but Rome didn't come out of him, embracing multiple elements of a false works gospel amongst many other heresies and damnable heresies, whom we expose on our site, here: and here:

I likewise grew up in a false religion similar in some ways, and by God’s amazing grace and mercy was eventually converted, in spite of the false religion.

Indeed, God's mercy is immeasurable. There is a reason for marvellous chapters such as Psalm 136 in Scripture, where we find…

bottom of page