Janaury/Febraury 2018 - Volume x Issue iv

Farewell to a Teacher

If you were to ask me who has been the most influential teacher and theologian in my spiritual growth, without a moment's thought, I would say R. C. Sproul. On December 14th, R. C. Sproul founder of Ligonier Ministries was called home to the Lord after serving and glorifying God in ministry for fifty-plus years. I can only imagine the great rewards that were waiting for his arrival. A hashtag that was used by many the days after his death was #GodusedRC


He used him in a mighty way in my life. I can't recall the exact date, but it was probably early 1996 when, as a new believer, in Christ, I would tune in to WYLL, a Christian radio station and listened to 'Renewing Your Mind.' A daily radio broadcast of teaching by of R. C. Sproul. R. C. was gifted in teaching 'what I believe and why I believe it' and the most significant void in my Christian knowledge was just that, and R. C. taught it in depth.
Since then R. C. Sproul and the ministry he founded, Ligonier Ministries has been foundational in the teachings of the many classes SOCPM has taught in both Dixon and Sheridan Correctional Centers.  R. C. once stated, “My passion has been to awaken people to the holiness of God.” His passion gave birth to my passion of bringing the Gospel to the jails and prison through sound teaching of doctrine and theology.

Our two passions have ignited a passion in many SOCPM students to become students of sound doctrine and theology.  When I first started teaching courses by R. C. Sproul on DVD, I was a bit concerned how the students would accept an older guy teaching topics most of them never even heard about, let alone receive it. That is where God has stepped in as many have shared how they genuinely enjoy R. C.

The primary objective behind all the lessons of Dr. Sproul is not to fill heads with a bunch of knowledge that remain head knowledge. But, to have the teachings of sound doctrine and theology become a characteristic of their hearts.

R. C. Sproul has blessed thousands, through his teachings to have a greater understanding of God's Word. For many SOCPM students, R. C.'s teaching has laid a path for them not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of their minds.

“You are required to believe, to preach, and to teach what the Bible says is true, not what you want the Bible to say is true.” R. C. Sproul

Indeed, #GodUsedRC

In The Classroom; Defending Your Faith

‘but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,’ {1 Peter 3:15 ESV}

Prisons can be and usually are a storehouse for all types of religions and the various forms of each. Christianity is the most prevalent but the false doctrines of Christianity. It can be quite a challenge to give a defense.


Most students encounter this challenge and will admit they want to equip and prepare themselves for all seasons {2 Timothy 3:17; 4:2}. So it was no surprise when I took an informal poll of SOCPM students at the end of the last term and asked their preferred topics, apologetics was the preferred topic by a good majority.

The course I chose was 'Defending Your Faith' (DTF) by R. C. Sproul of Ligonier Ministries. DYF consists of 32 DVD lectures. It covers a wide range of topics related to apologetics and takes two ten-week terms to present the full curriculum.

SOCPM will ask students to share questions others ask them, or how to respond to a false teaching offered by others while responding with truth and respect but also how to avoid senseless debates {2 Timothy 2:14-16}.  SOCPM will supply essays written by respected theologians of the past and current that address those issues. They will also receive a list of books to equip them further.

Three of those books are "Tactics" by Gregory Koukle, it gives practical examples on how to respond and approach various arguments often used by non-believers in their attempt to thwart Christians in their beliefs. "The God Delusion' by atheist Richard Dawkins will give students an insight to what atheist believe. To effectively counter those who oppose Christianity it is essential for the apologist to know what the opposition thinks, but to avoid falling for those positions "The Dawkins Delusion" by Alistar McGrath will give insight how to dismiss the teachings of Dawkins.

SOCPM seeks your prayers in the equipping of SOCPM students to glorify God in giving a sound defense.

Defendere Fidem (Defend the Faith)

Chalkboard V-09_I-01.jpg