R. C. Sproul and the Revival of Classical Theism

R. C. Sproul (1939-2017) was perhaps best known for his teaching on the holiness of God as exemplified in the publication of his classic text, The Holiness of God (1985). This workshop explores the broader context of R. C.’s education and training and the various threads that led to this particular emphasis in his teaching and writing. In addition to Scripture, R. C. drew from classical and Reformed theological sources, from classical and medieval philosophical sources, and from literary sources, such as Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. This exploration into the development of this idea demonstrates how much potential there is in a truly integrated and classical education. From the time of his bachelor’s thesis in college, R.C. labored to counter what he saw as “the shallow religious views” of both the American church and American culture. Instead, he taught in a compelling way who God is according to what God has revealed of himself. He stood squarely in the tradition of the classical philosophers, Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Edwards–and he did so at a time when few were paying attention to the richness of the classical tradition.

Stephen J. Nichols

Stephen J. Nichols is president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer at Ligonier Ministries. He holds a master's degrees in philosophy and theology and a Ph.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary. He has been teaching in higher education since 1997. Steve is the author of over twenty-five books, including his most recently published book, R. C. Sproul: A Life. He also coedits the theologians on the Christian life series for Crossway. He hosts the podcast 5 Minutes in Church History. Reformation Bible College, founded in 2011, offers theological higher education in the Reformed classical tradition, following a classical model of education that emphasizes theology, philosophy, languages, and a robust curriculum of Great Works courses. Since 2014, Dr. Nichols serves as the second president, after the founder and first president, R. C. Sproul.