Wednesday, September 2, 2015

2 September 2015

“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” [Ezekiel 33:6]

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12]

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Crenshaw Jury Verdict US$600,000 against Erskine College Overturned by Judge

R.C. Sproul Jr. Suspended from Ligonier Ministries for One Year over Brief 2014 Contact with Ashley Madison Website

Several Days after Filing for Divorce, and Several Weeks after Admitting to Adultery and Being Deposed from Being Senior Pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Tullian Tchividjian Hired as Director of Ministry Development at Willow Creek Church (PCA)


Crenshaw Jury Verdict US$600,000 against Erskine College Overturned by Judge

A 28 August 2015 report from ARPTalk reported that an email message was released that day from Erskine College President Kooistra’s office that stated:

“We are happy to report this information related to the William Crenshaw v. Erskine College lawsuit.

“On August 24, 2015, the Court granted Erskine’s motion to overturn a jury verdict in favor of Bill Crenshaw and to dismiss the case in its entirety. In doing so the Court vacated its prior order granting Erskine a new trial in the lawsuit. Prior to the end of trial the Court had dismissed all but one of Dr. Crenshaw’s legal claims against Erskine, and had dismissed all claims against Dr. Norman as an individual. Now, his final claim against Erskine has also been dismissed. Erskine is pleased with what it believes is a just result.

ARPTalk Blog, 864-882-6337,

Erskine College and Theological Seminary, 2 Washington Street, Due West, South Carolina 29639, 864-379-2131, Fax: 864-379-2167,

Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1 Cleveland Street Suite 110, Greenville, South Carolina, 29601, 864-232-8297, Fax: 864-271-3729

R.C. Sproul Jr. Suspended from Ligonier Ministries for One Year over Brief 2014 Contact with Ashley Madison Website

On 31 August 2015, the Rev. Dr. R.C.Sproul, Jr., a teaching fellow at Ligonier Ministries and rector and chair of philosophy and theology at Ligonier’s Reformation Bible College released the following statement on his blog, titled “
Judgment and Grace”:

“The message of God’s prophets in the Old Testament amounted to this- God is not pleased with what you are doing. Repent. We miss that prophets were agents of grace as were the judgments promised. The purpose, in both instances, was to be a goad to repentance, a wake-up call. The same is true today as God works in and through providence. For the believer, judgment is always a work of God’s grace, a goad to repentance. Many Christians have bemoaned the destruction wrought by the Ashley Madison hack. The truth of the matter is that just as Ashley Madison did not create unfaithful hearts, so this hack did not create damning exposure. Rather for some it was a means of His grace.

“In August 2014, in a moment of weakness, pain, and from an unhealthy curiosity, I visited Ashley Madison. My goal was not to gather research for critical commentary, but to fan the flames of my imagination. There I found two gracious judgments. First, I felt the grace of fear. Second, I felt the grace of shame. I was there long enough to leave an old email address. And within minutes I left, never to return. I did not sign up for their service or interact with any clients. I have always remained faithful to my wife even after her passing.

“The grace of God’s judgment bore its fruit, and by His grace I repented of my sin. By His grace, I have also received His forgiveness, the outworking of His love. Prophetic providence had done its good office. Jesus died for this sin, but there are still earthly consequences. With the revelation of the hack has come the revelation of my sin. I recently informed the board of Ligonier Ministries, which has handled the matter internally, having suspended me until July 1, 2016. I also informed my presbytery which is also handling the matter internally. And now the world is informed.

“My sin, sadly, has impacted those who are innocent- my colleagues, friends, and family. I have and will continue to seek their forgiveness. I covet your prayers.”

In a 22 July 2015 blog article titled “
Hacking Ashley Madison,” Sproul Jr. wrote that Ashley Madison was a website he had “…only recently learned about” and later in the article stated:

“My prayer is that we, even if we haven’t committed adultery, even if we haven’t flirted with committing adultery, even if we just learned about Ashley Madison, would just recognize and embrace the biblical truth that our sins will find us out.”

Dr. Sproul, Jr. later updated the article with the following statement:

“[I]n light of my public statement here, I believe I should have withheld comment on this matter.”

[Editor’s Note: In light of Matthew 5:27-28 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” and John 8:7b “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”, let us all proceed with humility and mercy toward our brother in Christ as he brings his transgressions before the Throne of Grace and his presbytery.]

R.C.Sproul, Jr. – Jesus Changes Everything

Ligonier Ministries, 400 Technology Park, Lake Mary, Florida 32746, 407-333-4244, Fax: 407-333-4233

Reformation Bible College, 465 Ligonier Court, Sanford, Florida 32771, 888-722-1517,

Covenant Presbyterian Church, Contact Form

Several Days after Filing for Divorce, and Several Weeks after Admitting to Adultery and Being Deposed from Being Senior Pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Tullian Tchividjian Hired as Director of Ministry Development at Willow Creek Church (PCA)

Several days following former senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)) Tullian Tchividjian filing for divorce, and several weeks after admitting to adultery and being deposed from his pastoral position by the PCA South Florida Presbytery, Tchividjian has been hired by Willow Creek Church (PCA) of Winter Springs, Florida for the nominally non-ministerial position of Director of Ministry Development.

Central Florida Presbytery (PCA) received the following correspondence from Willow Creek Church Senior Pastor Kevin Labby regarding the hiring of Tchividjian:

“Dear Fathers and Brothers –

“Our decision to invite Tullian Tchividjian to relocate to Orlando, join Willow Creek Church, and even serve as a member of our support staff was motivated by love for Christ, the peace and purity of His Church, and Tullian and his family.

“Our Session voted unanimously to extend these offers, confident that we were in a unique position to offer Tullian a safe haven to continue in his healing and repentance. Tullian attended Willow Creek during his seminary years; maintains encouraging friendships with members of our congregation and community; and will benefit from a church body that knows him and will endeavor to love him accordingly, in the grace and peace of Christ.

“As a member of the Presbyterian Church in America, I proactively reached out to the South Florida Presbytery through the chairman of the committee overseeing Tullian’s care and discipline process. I wanted to make sure that we were pursuing this course decently and in good order.

“We received an encouraging word that while Tullian was indeed deposed from the office of teaching elder, he was not excommunicated or given further censure. I was very clear in our intent, and nothing in the conversation led me to believe that we were circumventing the South Florida Presbytery’s decision. We proceeded in good faith. If we were mistaken, it was a joint error. However, and more importantly, I am confident that our system of government can accommodate the error and correct it in a manner that promotes Tullian’s growth in grace and the peace and purity of Christ’s Church - all with gentleness and respect.

“The position offered to Tullian is a non-ordained, support position. Recognizing his deposition from office, it does not involve any functions unique to the office of elder in general or teaching elder in particular. It provides him a community of grace in which to work and worship; the means to provide for his family; and an opportunity to display his repentance before the body of Christ. For these reasons, we are overjoyed and eager to welcome him into our church family.

“Please pray for us and all involved in caring for Tullian and his family.”

In Senior Pastor Kevin Labby’s biography on the Willow Chreek Church website, Tullian Tchividjian is listed as one of the “influential voices” in his life which include Tim Keller, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Paul Tripp.

Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001,

South Florida Presbytery, 950 University Drive, Coral Gables, Florida 33134, 305-323-7495, Contact Page

Central Florida Presbytery,