What is Reformed Theology? A Teaching Series by Dr. R.C. Sproul


by Daniel L. Sonnenberg

A series of lectures by R.C. Sproul defining the distinctives of Reformed theology. Includes videos and full message transcripts. Notice that while watching the videos, one can choose various speeds other than 1X, including 1.25X, 1.5X and 2X. Notice also, that one can select closed captions (cc) other than English, including Spanish, Portuguese and (I think) Chinese. Everything below comes from the Ligonier Ministries website.

Teaching series overview

There is something healthy about returning to one’s roots. When it comes to evangelical Christianity, its roots are found in the soil of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. Just as the Reformers protested the corrupt teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, so today evangelicalism itself is in need of a modern reformation. In What Is Reformed Theology?, Dr. R.C. Sproul offers a comprehensive introduction to Reformed theology. Simply put, it is the theology of the Protestant Reformers and the heart of historical evangelicalism. As C.H. Spurgeon once said, Reformed theology is nothing other than biblical Christianity.

1. Introduction

Liberal, Catholic, Dispensational, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Reformed… with so many different theologies out there, where do you start? Beginning this series about Reformed Theology, Dr. Sproul examines distinctive aspects of Reformed Theology which set it apart from the many theologies that have developed before and after the Protestant Reformation.

2. Catholic, Evangelical and Reformed

How do you define sovereignty and how do you apply that to your theology? The answer to that question will determine all else about what you think of God and how He relates to His creatures. Considering this, and how it applies to biblical theology, Dr. Sproul continues this series as he looks at the views of “Catholic, Evangelical, and Reformed.”

3. Scripture Alone

Christians ought to submit to the authority given them by Christ. But what happens when those in authority teach things contrary to the Word of God? Is there a higher court to which we can appeal? The answer is yes. The appeal was made in the sixteenth century and the motion still carries. Reformers call this Sola Scriptura. That’s the Latin slogan for Scripture alone. Dr. Sproul teaches us about this in the message entitled “Scripture Alone.”

4. Faith Alone (Part 1)

Regarding salvation, what is the fundamental difference between true Christianity and all the other religions of the world? Considering the question of salvation from the historical and theological framework of the Protestant Reformation, Dr. Sproul looks at “Faith Alone.”

5. Faith Alone (Part 2)

The book of Romans says that we are altogether unrighteous, therefore the grave awaits us. So what can we do? Is there a way to righteousness? How can someone be declared righteous by God? In this message, Dr. Sproul teaches us the most glorious and Christ honoring way, as he affirms that salvation is by “Faith Alone.”

6. Covenant

Are we as Christians saved by works, or by faith alone? The key to understanding what part works and faith play in the drama of redemption is to understand the biblical structure and role of covenants. Without a proper understanding of covenants we fail to grasp the grandeur of Christ’s life and work. In this message, Dr. Sproul gives us the covenantal framework of redemption that finds full resolution in the work of Christ.

7. Total Depravity (Part 1) (also called radical corruption)

Original sin has marred our nature. We are depraved. But how depraved are we? Are we simply less than perfect? What kind of improvements can we make within ourselves to change sin’s effect? In this message, Dr. Sproul looks at the distinctive doctrine of Reformed theology that is often misunderstood—”Total Depravity.”

8. Total Depravity (Part 2) (also called radical corruption)

We are all sinful. But how sinful are we? Other than our shortened life-spans and bad habits, what real effect did the Fall have on the average everyday sinner? What effect does sin have on our decision making process? With what power did you use to choose the gospel? Dr. Sproul takes us to the Scriptures to find out what Jesus has to say about our ability to choose as he continues to look at “Total Depravity.”

9. Unconditional Election (also called sovereign election)

Upon what condition did God elect sinners to salvation? Was your positive choice for the gospel the basis for your election before the foundation of the world? Was God’s choice based on your foreseen choice? Simply put, did God choose you because you first chose Him? Would God be unfair if He chose some to salvation and not others? In this message, Dr. Sproul helps us understand this hard, yet biblical doctrine as he looks at “Unconditional Election.”

10. Limited Atonement (also called definite redemption or definite atonement)

The most common view of the atonement of Jesus is that Jesus died for everyone—that is, all people from all places in all times, every single human being that ever existed. But in order to take advantage of the benefits of the cross, one must first believe to be saved. Such a view is attractive, until we take a closer look at it. Dr. Sproul will look at this view in light of Scripture in this message entitled “Limited Atonement.”

11. Irresistible Grace (also called effectual grace)

How is it that you who hated God so much now love him so much? What did you do to change your heart so radically? Do you remember resisting grace? Do you remember when you received it? Was it before or after you had faith in Jesus Christ for your salvation? In this message, Dr. Sproul considers these questions as he examines the doctrine of “Irresistible Grace.”

12. Perseverance of the Saints (also called preservation of the saints)

Can people who are saved lose their salvation? If not, then how do we explain those people who have fallen away? In this message, Dr. Sproul thinks about these questions as he looks at “Perseverance of the Saints.”



Categories: Articles, Reformed theology

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