R.C. Sproul: Dispensationalism Brought Us The ‘Carnal Christian,’ The ‘Sinner’s Prayer, And More Antinomianism

Some outcomes of Dispensationalism for the Christian life

“….You had the circle with the chair, and you had the cross outside the circle, and ‘S’ the self, was on the chair, and that’s the picture of the unregenerate person, the pagan. But then you have the next stage of those who are regenerated, where now, Christ is inside the circle, but not on the throne. Self is still on the throne. You’re saved you’re in a state of grace, you’re regenerated, you’re justified – but you have absolutely no fruit whatsoever because your life hasn’t changed – and that gave rise to the development of this concept of the “Carnal Christian.”

 

When you get the opportunity, I encourage you to listen and watch the video below featuring RC Sproul (and Jr.), Steve Lawson, Robert Godfrey and Sinclair Ferguson. While there is a discussion on various theological subjects, the heresies of dispensationalism is prominent, taking up the first 20 minutes of an 57 minute presentation.

Here is a partial transcription of RC Sproul Sr’s discussion on dispensationalism and its dangers.

RC. Sproul:

“They asked me, ‘R.C., what’s your problem with dispensationalism? And I said, You know, my biggest problem with dispensationalism is your historic doctrine of regeneration.’ And that was met with bewilderment. These professors said, ‘What are you talking about? What’s our problem with regeneration?’”

I said, “Well, classic dispensationalism teaches that when the Holy Spirit regenerates a person, that person does not experience a change in their nature. So that you can have the Spirit in you, and you be in a state of salvation, without any change in your life whatsoever. And that was popularized by the picture books that were spread out by Campus Crusade, where, you had the circle with the chair, and you had the cross outside the circle, and ‘S’ the self, was on the chair, and that’s the picture of the unregenerate person, the pagan. But then you have the next stage of those who are regenerated, where now, Christ is inside the circle, but not on the throne. Self is still on the throne. You’re saved you’re in a state of grace, you’re regenerated, you’re justified – but you have absolutely no fruit whatsoever because your life hasn’t changed – and that gave rise to the development of this concept of the “Carnal Christian” where a person could be saved without any manifestation of any change, and, that’s what I said, I said for us, regeneration involves a foundational change in the disposition of the human heart where that fallen person prior to his regeneration had no inclination to the things of God, no love for Jesus, and once that heart has been changed, through the immediate, transcendent power of God the Holy Spirit in regeneration, now that person has Christ in his life, and Christ is now his Lord. He’s not perfected, not fully sanctified, but the process of sanctification has certainly begun. And if it hasn’t, you have a profession of faith with no faith.

And so what’s so serious about this is that it invites a false sense of security for people believing that they are saved, because they signed a card or raised their hand or walked an aisle, and prayed a prayer, whatever, but have no evidence of the fruit of sanctification in their lives. Then their challenged and the whole thing about this antinomianism is the that Old Testament law has no bearing on the Christian life…that’s all future, and now comes the eschatology, where the kingdom of God is in no sense realized, it’s totally and completely future, now what do you do with that?”

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