An affidavit surrounding the arrest of Reformed theologian, author, speaker and former Presbyterian elder Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. reveals that Sproul, who has repeatedly written on the subject of alcohol, was twice the legal blood alcohol limit, mumbling and unable to walk on his own when he was arrested last month after driving erratically with two of his children in the car.
The Christian Post, which obtained a copy of the affidavit, reports that at “about 8:28 p.m. on Nov. 29, Allen County Police Officer Paul Heffner observed the former minister driving left of the center line, failed to maintain his lane, drove off the roadway, struck a curb and was weaving.”
“When he was eventually stopped, the officer observed that he needed support to walk, he swayed, mumbled and had a moderate smell of alcohol on his breath. A chemical test later revealed his blood alcohol content as 0.175,” the outlet outlines.
Christian News Network confirmed this week that Sproul was then charged with four DUI accounts, including felony charges for being under the influence with a minor in the vehicle, and at twice the legal limit.
The case summary of “State of Indiana v. Robert C Sproul” in Allen Superior Court outlines that Sproul has been charged with “operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a passenger under 18,” and placing a “dependent in a situation that endangers the dependent,” as well as “operating a vehicle while intoxicated” and “operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent to .15 or more.”
He posted $5,000 bond and is free via a “monitored conditional release.” A court hearing is scheduled for February. Sproul faces possible fines or jail time if convicted.
As previously reported, Ligonier Ministries released a public statement about Sproul’s resignation last week, but only marked the departure as being for “personal reasons.”
“Last Friday, the board of directors of Ligonier Ministries and Reformation Bible College received and affirmed the resignation of Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. He is stepping away from his duties at the ministry and the college for personal reasons,” it wrote. “This was communicated by phone to his father, Dr. R.C. Sproul, the founder of Ligonier Ministries and chancellor of Reformation Bible College, and it was later communicated in writing to the entire board of directors of Ligonier Ministries.”
The statement added that the ministry supports the Sproul family and is thankful for Sproul’s work at Ligonier Ministries and Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida. He had served as the rector of theology and professor of apologetics at Reformation Bible College and also wrote on biblical topics for his father’s ministry.
“We believe he will be well cared for by his church during this time of transition, and we pray for him in his future endeavors,” Ligonier said.
He had been suspended from Ligonier Ministries last year after advising the board that he had visited the adultery site Ashley Madison during a “moment of weakness, pain, and from an unhealthy curiosity,” but did not sign up for an account or use its services. Sproul’s wife Denise passed away in 2011 following a battle with cancer. His suspension ended this past July, and he remarried last month just days before the arrest.
Sproul had written about his beliefs regarding alcohol on a number of occasions, including in 2003, when he wrote the forward to the book “Drinking With Calvin and Luther: A History of Alcohol in the Church,” stating, “[I]t’s not enough that we should drink, but that we ought to drink well.”
In 2005, he also stated in a blog post, “Would you please, so as not to cause me to stumble, stop suggesting that it is wrong to drink alcohol in moderation, or that drinking alcohol in moderation somehow is a failure to love my brothers?” In a separate post, Sproul remarked, “One of my favorite intellectual debates centers around this question: Is bad beer better than no beer? A corollary is this, ‘Is free bad beer better than good beer?'”
His “Basement Tapes” collection likewise included discussions on alcohol and tobacco, and in recent times, Sproul had been a repeated guest on the Reformed Pubcast, a broadcast that focuses on Reformed theology and beer.