2017 Commencement: The Next 500 Years Begins Today

Posted On May 23, 2017

Bridging the Gap

On May 5, 2017, an assembly gathered in St. Andrews Chapel for the 2017 commencement exercises of Reformation Bible College.

RBC was founded by Dr. R.C. Sproul as a manifestation of his vision to bridge the gap between seminary and Sunday school in order to train people from varying ages and vocations in the rich doctrines of the historic reformed faith. Since then, by the grace of God, we have seen much growth, including the recent groundbreaking for the new Student Learning Center.

At graduation, Rev. Dr. Peter Lillback, president of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, gave the commencement address, in which he emphasized the importance of preaching the Word as an expression of trust in its God-appointed power. The gospel, and nothing else, puts us in right standing before our Maker.

In the words of Martin Luther, “We are beggars, it is true.”

A New Reformation

Five centuries ago, a monk in an obscure part of the world found himself at the gates of paradise. Through the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:16–17, the chosen passage for RBC’s commencement, Martin Luther recognized the righteousness of God not as a condemning attribute but as a free gift given to the unrighteous by faith. As he put it, “Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.” This realization served as the catalyst that shaped what came to be known as the Protestant Reformation.

Today, we stand at the starting line for the Reformation of the next 500 years. What will the 1000 year celebration be like? It is no easy thing, as Dr. Lillback noted, to stand true in the midst of a world that hates God. Only the faithful proclamation of the gospel will stand the test of time, and it is for this that the men and women who graduated from RBC have dedicated time, resources, and labor. They go forth to varying callings—some to marriage, some to seminary, some to carpentry, history, or sports medicine—yet in the walls of this school, their hearts have been humbled and amazed by the same wonders that Luther discovered in the gospel of grace.

God promises to work in every generation through His people, and Reformation Bible College stands as a testament that He continues this work. In the course of the evening, Dr. Sproul stated the matter with his usual conciseness: “The men and women who are going forth from this place this evening are pioneers. And we hope pioneers of a new reformation.”