The Godly Way To Eat a Hamburger, or Not

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After going months without seeing Carl Trueman, I get to see him two times this month.  Last Sunday he preached at my home church (Thanks for the sermon, Carl.) and in a bit he and I will be joining in with R C Sproul for a conference in Florida.  Since I spent a few hours shoveling snow this morning, you can bet I'm looking forward to the conference.  I'll be with Carl.  I'll be in Florida.  I get to give a talk on history.  And, here's the best, I'll be with Sproul.


Here's what I like about R C Sproul, besides the fact that he's friends with Eddie Van Halen--everybody makes a big deal about his friendships with Alice Cooper (which Sproul claims to be overblown) and Arnold Palmer, but the Van Halen connection does it for me.  "Might as well jump/Jump/Hey, you, who said that?/Baby, how you been?"--Okay, I'll stop now. 


What I like about Sproul is his clarity.  He has a remarkably singular focus on God, on Scripture, and on salvation.  For forty years, he's managed to avoid the snare of commenting on everything.  He's managed not to get bogged down by the headlines and the hot topics of current affairs.  When you listen to Sproul he talks about God, about Scripture, about salvation.


I think there is enormous pressure on people like Sproul to become the guru for all of life. People want to be told how to parent, how to go on vacation, what to eat, what car to drive, what alternative energy source to use.  Is there a godly way to eat a hamburger?  Is there!? They want to know, and they look to their leaders to tell them the answers. 


I firmly believe the gospel is for all of life.  I do.  I also believe our Christianity connects with what's happening, with culture.  But I also think there's a clarity, or there should be a clarity, to the ministry of the Word.  What I like about Sproul is that he's all about that clarity.  Of course, he comments and has commented on a wide variety of things.  ut he always comes to back to that clarity, back to God, back to God's Word, and back to God's work. 


I think of my own work.  It can be so easy to go off on tangents when I get to speak, or in my classroom, or on the printed page I roll out on occasion.  It's hard to have clarity, focus, especially consistently and over the long haul.  Where Sproul helps me best is to remind me that I can never go wrong talking about God, Scripture, and salvation.  Of course, I, as does Sproul, like to hear first what dead people have had to say about these things and then tell that to the living people I either speak or write to, but I, you, we, can never go wrong by having clarity. 


I think there is a temptation here for "platform people."  Let's call it the allure of the guru.  But, really, it's a temptation for us all.  It's the temptation to comment on everything, to have the gospel-approach to ______ (you fill in the blank).  Clarity can be such a good thing for us all.



Posted January 12, 2011 @ 2:30 PM by Stephen Nichols

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