RC Sproul Jr to Speak at Ligonier Ministries Conference. AGAIN!

RC Sproul Jr at churchI’ve been an admirer of Dr. RC Sproul for years. God has obviously gifted and equipped the man, and he’s been faithful to “preach the Word in season and out of season.” However given the way that he’s responded to the defrocking of his son, RC Sproul Jr, I’ve grown increasingly disillusioned with Dr. Sproul and must now question the man’s wisdom (I’d much rather question his common sense than his integrity).If you’ve followed some of my other articles here you know that I’ve been amazed by the family nincompoops that Dr. Sproul has entrusted his ministry to, such as Ligionier Ministries President Tim Dick, who also happens to be Dr. Sproul’s son-in-law and RC Jr’s brother-in-law. But Tim Dick is hardly the only evidence of nepotistic buffoonery at Ligonier Ministries. Incompetent and unqualified family members are to be found running around (or sleeping on the desk) everywhere in Ligonier, often in key positions, and generally with little or no understanding or appreciation for the Reformed theology championed by Dr. Sproul.

It would seem that Dr. Sproul’s priorities for his ministry have been seriously compromised by his willingness to use Ligonier as a form of job security for family members. Salaries and “perks” for family members at Ligonier are lavish and multiple times above and beyond what people of such meager job skills and work ethics could hope to secure outside of Ligonier. Ligonier’s credibility has suffered as a result, but it hasn’t caused Dr. Sproul to change course.

Doubly compromising Ligonier’s credibility is the question of RC Sproul Jr’s defrocking. As a father of several sons myself I’ve really tried to be sypathetic to Dr. Sproul over the shame and humiliation that “Precious” has brought on his family, especially on his father. But I’ll have to admit I can’t be empathetic because none of my children have ever done a thing to cause me anything that even remotely approaches that kind of public scandal. It’s a tough situation that I wouldn’t wish on any father.

I’ve tried to put myself in Dr. Sproul’s shoes and I’ve wondered, “What would I do?” One thing I’m confident that I wouldn’t do is to jeopardize my internationally respected ministry by parading out on the stage and putting behind a minister’s pulpit my defrocked son. That should be especially the case given that RC Sproul Jr continues to show no signs of repentance or remorse. What’s called for in RC Jr’s case is some “tough love.” Dr. Sproul may love his son very deeply, but what “Precious” really needs is a good paddling, not just more coddling.

If you’ve followed my brief blogging career you know that my very first blog article came about as a direct result of RC Jr’s appearance at the 2006 Ligonier Ministries National Conference. I’d posted some comments on Tim Challies’ forum about that. It became a hot topic of discussion. In just a matter of days Challies logged over 4000 visitors to just that one thread that I started, far more than he’d ever experienced before in such a brief period of time. Shortly after that Challies jettisoned his forum altogether, offering at the time some very suspicious (and very lame) excuses.

It’s unlikely that I would have ever started this blog at all had it not been for Tim Challies. Thanks Tim! Ligonier has you to thank!

Apparently Dr. Sproul learned nothing from the last time that he invited his defrocked son to speak. Ligonier Ministries has announced their 2007 National Conference. As always the lineup of speakers is impressive, that is until we come to “Our Special Guest, R.C. Sproul, Jr.”

A lot of folks were upset before that Dr. Sproul put his son behind a pulpit so soon after he’d been defrocked. Ligonier lost credibility over that and many questioned Dr. Sproul’s wisdom. Dr. Sproul and Ligonier’s credibility can’t help but be damaged again by RC Jr speaking at the 2007 conference.

Has anything, anything at all, changed since March 2006 and the last Ligonier Conference? Has RC Sproul Jr repented publicly, or even privately, to all those Saint Peter Presbyterian Church members that he tyrannized? Not as far as anyone can tell. Has RC Sproul Jr even been reordained? No, he hasn’t, and it doesn’t look like he ever will be.

In fact RC Jr’s ministerial status is one of the strangest things about this entire debacle. RC Sproul Jr is defrocked, but according to the CREC and their goofy Report “he shall not be required to fulfill the process for ordination and shall be considered ordained within the CREC accordingly.” If anyone is capable of explaining that in terms that the average human being from planet earth could comprehend I’d really like to hear it. It’s not just incomprehensible it’s crazy and bizarre.

To paraphrase a comment I saw recently on another blog, everywhere else in the world RC Sproul Jr is defrocked. But in the loony world of Doug Wilson’s CREC he’s ‘considered ordained’. It’s like saying that everywhere in the world Idi Amin is a murderous dictatorial thug and rapist. But in Libya he’s a dignitary with a clean record.

Now, on top of everything else, it looks like Ligonier has gone and plagiarized the name of my blog, “Contending for the Truth.” Could this be a mere coincidence that they picked that name for their 2007 National Conference? Unlikely. I’d sure like to know who the genius is who came up with that cute idea. Tim Dick? Or maybe the Ligonier “Director of Conferences,” Tim Dick’s 22 year old son Ryan (aka “partyboy”)?

Rules For Posting Comments: Your comments are welcome. All comments are moderated. There are very few comments that I reject, unless they’re off-topic to the subject of the article, or if it’s an issue or a question that I’ve already answered elsewhere. However I especially don’t appreciate Anonymous posts because of the confusion they cause. Use your real name or use an alias, but use a name and continue using the same name if you post here again later.

47 Comments on “RC Sproul Jr to Speak at Ligonier Ministries Conference. AGAIN!”

  1. passerby says:


    Factual errors in your post :

    1.” Contending for the Truth” has been the title of the 2007 Ligonier Conference for two years now.

    2. Ryan is not the director of conferences, he is an assistant and doing a fine job.

    3. Tim has assembled a noble and able management team at Ligonier, which you routinely smear. You would not be qualified for a position at Ligonier.

    4. The compensation for managers at Ligonier is public record, it has been scrutinized by the government, by other ministries and a host of other governing bodies. There is no extravagance in any salaries there.

    Social errors in your post :

    1. No one is listening to you. You are all alone and sound exremely foolish.

    2. Who are you talking to ? You are giving yourself to menaingless and mindless ranting.

    Do you not work ?

    3. When you’re in a room and everyone else leaves, that’s a bad sign Frank.

    Moral failures in your post :

    1. Is this the kind of men you are teaching your sons to be ? May the Lord give them wisdom not to be the coward you are.

    2. There is nowhere in Scripture from which you can establish that your coinduct, on this blog, is Biblical or Christian.

    3. You are no “contender for truth.” You are a muckraker and a gossip.

    You will not post this, as you would not post my earlier post, because you are weak and petty.

    Try raising your own sons and let others raise theirs.


  2. vancetribe says:

    Thanks Tim, er, Passerby, for finally choosing a name to post under rather than ignoring my repeated requests to not post anonymously. Well, technically you’re still posting anonymously (interesting that you would call me the “coward”), but at least you’re no longer trying to confuse people by not using a name at all.

    In response to Tim Dick’s comments above, on 8/15 I emailed him the following:
    Thanks Tim.

    I always appreciate having your comments.

    Wasn’t last years conference entitled “Bought With A Price”?

    It’s interesting how “no one is listening” to me. Yet you keep showing up, both here and anywhere else where you’re being talked about, and even places where you’re not being talked about.

    Furthermore, my log stats clearly show that MANY people are in fact listening. Some like you don’t like what they hear. But obviously many others do, and they’re spreading the word.

    Oh, and Tim, actually I’m more than qualified for a job at Ligonier, say like for example being the President. I’m far more qualified than you are. There’s just one hurdle. I haven’t married into the family.

    Stop by any time.


    Tim’s “Do you not work ?” comment is like so many other of Tim’s comments, hypocritical, especially in light of Tim’s own reputation for having a pathetic work ethic. In fact in general Tim is known as not just an unethical man but a “shark.” For someone who thinks that no one is listening to me he sure shows up here a lot. I get hits every day from the Ligonier office.

    Tim please don’t insult everyone’s intelligence with talk of government scrutiny of Ligonier finances. Since when is the government competent to scrutinize any organization’s finances? Since when is the government qualified to determine if anyone operates honestly, ethically and efficiently? The accountability that comes even from various ministry watchdogs like ECFA is superficial at best. But even when it comes to those groups your ratings are poor.

    Take for example Ministry Watch. They gave you a “B” transparency rating. Even less impressive they gave you only two stars (out of 5) for efficiency. You come in 308 out of 447 rated organizations. Not impressive. What that means in part, Tim, is that you spend practically everything that comes in. You also squander huge sums on fund raising ($1,638,128) more than twice the percentage (14% of your total income) than the average Christian ministry spends on fund raising.

    Adding to you dismal efficiency rating you spend significantly more on administrative costs (salaries, etc.) as a percentage of your overall budget than the majority of other Christian ministries. That’s not to say that you’re at all generous in salaries to non-family members though. We all know that’s not true. But you are quite generous with family members.

    Tim, I’d made some reference to the Ligonier family “perks.” So let’s talk about just one example. Isn’t it true that you live in the Ligonier “mansion” bought and paid for by Ligonier’s donors? Do Ligonier donors understand that the monies they’ve contributed help to keep you bedded in such lavish digs? Weren’t you the one who made the decision to take donor monies and go and buy a mansion with it that you get to live in? Kind of reminiscent of the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker scandal, don’t you think? It’s just on a smaller scale. Face it Tim, when your former employees say, “Tim Dick spends money like a drunken sailor” they’ve got good cause for their concerns.

    Tim please don’t insult our intelligence by trying to convince us that you’d be capable of finding a job anywhere in the world that would be willing to pay you anywhere near the six-figures that Ligonier pays you. There’s only one reason that you make that kind of dough and live in a mansion — family connections. Without that you’d be living in an Arkansas double-wide.

    Oh, and Tim, when are you planning on releasing the Ligonier 2005 Annual Report? You’re pretty far behind schedule on that, aren’t you? One of your former employees emailed me and said that you’d gone through three CPA’s in a matter of a few months. That’s a real bad sign Tim.

  3. John Steinhausen says:

    Frank the folks at Ligonier just don’t seem to get it. They seem oblivious to how offensive this is to Reformed Christians. RC Jr is defrocked and the CREC’s sham Report doesn’t change anything. The CREC hasn’t taken RC Jr through any kind of formal process of restoration and reordination. He’s still defrocked. It’s a big black mark on his record that with some time and a whole lot of public repenting he might be able to see expunged, but where’s the evidence that he’s ever repented?

    Just like the CREC daddy Sproul wants to pretend like nothing’s happened at all. Worse yet daddy Sproul went on the record and said that all the charges against his son were fraudulent. Doesn’t daddy Sproul now owe the RPCGA a public apology?

    Now I’m wondering if daddy Sproul is even calling the shots anymore. Maybe Tim Dick as CEO is the decision maker on RC Jr speaking at the Ligonier conference? But that doesn’t seem real likely since it was Tim Dick who fired RC Jr as Editor of Table Talk. They’re probably not on real good terms. So it’s even more likely that RC Jr’s mama Vesta is calling the shots. Vesta is a member of the Board Of Directors. All that nepotism is just bound to cause a lot of foolish compromising.

    Regardless of who’s making the decisions the whole thing just stinks and it makes me very sad. Dr. Sproul should know better. Dr. Sproul DOES know better.

  4. Justus says:

    Frank, Just to set the record straight, I know for a fact that Tim Dick does not live in the Ligonier “mansion.” However I do know that it was purchased with Ligonier donor’s money. It is still vacant and I have no idea what the plans are for it. By th way, Tim Dick and family still live in RC’s Home with RC and Vesta.

  5. vancetribe says:

    Thanks Justus for the clarification. So Tim and wife are living with RC and Vesta in the other Ligonier mansion?

    So is the $12,978.00 per month in mortgage payments going to pay off the Ligonier mansion that no one is living in at all? Or is that what the mortgage costs to pay off Dr. Sproul’s mansion?

    Why is Ligonier in debt paying off a mansion that no one lives in? Doesn’t that just underscore the point that some former Ligonier Ministries employees have made that Tim Dick spends money like a drunken sailor?

  6. Carson Allen says:


    My blog is down, for some reason it just comes up as a black screan. Anyway, I wasn’t ignoring some of your post’s. I just hardley ever go on my blog anymore. I have been so busy with my sales jon and all the rest.

    Yep that’s right; we have to WORK for our money; unfortunatley we don’t have a dady-inlaw like R.C. S.R.

    How did you find out they pay over 12,000 a month in mortguages? I would like to know how to do this type of research.

    You know I used to work on staff at a huge Calvary Chapel before I became refored in theology. It was the same song and dance there too. Millions of dollars a month going through that church; and of course the pastor’s son-in-law, his daughter, his two son’s and every other family member and close friend was making bank. They drove nice cars, had very nice houses, and lot’s of travel perks.

    Of course when the local newspaper asked them to reveal there financial records they where told NO! Imagine that. I once saw a check stub back stage for a youth pastor. It was 1200$ for one week. That is after taxes. So the net was like 1500$; for one week. Your taling about a 22 year old youth pastor. Of course he was a close personal friend to the son-in-law.

    It’s a crying shame. I agree with Dr.Greg Bahnsen’s son. You shouldn’t ride the coat tails of your Daddy. Greg’s son built a fine financial planning business in Orange County on his own. Greg wouldn’t let him ride Dady’s coat tail.

  7. vancetribe says:

    Hello Carson. It’s good to hear from you. I didn’t know your blog had been down but it seems to be working again.

    Thanks Carson for sharing the story about David Bahnsen. It sounds like his father Greg Bahnsen was a very wise father. He instilled in his son a biblical work ethic and now David is a successful businessman who’s made a name for himself rather than having to ride his father’s coattails. We all know Dr. Greg Bahnsen was a very wise theologian (and what an incredible debater!), but as we see with Dr. RC Sproul not all wise theologians make for wise fathers. A wise father disciplines his children, teaching them the value of earning an honest living for themselves. A foolish yet “personally successful” father spoils his children teaching them to be lazy goldbricks and leach off the family family.

    As far as any figures I provided I wouldn’t exactly call any of it “research.” It’s public information that’s easy to find and takes very little time and effort to go through, especially in Ligonier’s case since they provide so little detail. In my little church our monthly budget report gives a whole lot more detail than Ligonier’s so-called audited financial statement gives. You can find some of it on the Ligonier web site. That’s not to say that Ligonier gives much in the way of detailed disclosure, which is one of the reasons they only get a B transparency rating from Ministry Watch.

    The $12,978 mortgage figure comes from page six of the Ligonier 2004 audited financial statement. There’s no information provided to say if this is for the mansion that RC Sproul lives in or for the Ligonier mansion that no one lives in.

    I agree with your assessment of Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. I’ve personally know several former Calvary Costa Mesa members, high-placed folks with insider information, who left after having been there for years, disgusted by among other things the lavish lifestyles lived by Chuck and his family members, all paid for courtesy of the tithes of Calvary members. From all accounts some of Chuck’s kids have turned out to have serious problems with booze and wild parties. But they masquerade as Christian ministers where they know they can make an easy buck riding on dad’s coattails (sounds a lot like RC Jr). Chuck sets the example that other Calvary Chapel pastors around the country follow as well. One such man is Skip Heitzig of Calvary Chapel Albuquerque who’s been raiding his church coffers for years to gratify his own flesh to live the celebrity preacher lifestyle like Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, including a $3.25 million mansion.

    For whatever criticisms people might make of Billy Graham one thing no one has ever been able to say of him is that he personally enriched himself at the expense of his ministry supporters. Even though he could have easily paid himself lavishly he’s only taken a meager $40,000 salary with no perks and no mansion. He lives in a very modest home. He’s a humble man with humble tastes. A true servant.

    The same is the case of James Dobson. Probably following a bit in the example of Billy Graham he lives in a small condo with his wife in Colorado Springs and takes only a $40,000 salary. Dobson is especially noteworthy because he earns millions every year in book royalties. Yet he turns over every dime of it to Focus On The Family.

    I can’t help but admire men like that, men who are clearly sacrificial servants, men who so clearly evidence that they’re building Christ’s Kingdom and not their own personal little empires.

    But when I see “celebrity ministers” living in mansions, squandering the financial resources of their faithful donors to gratify their own flesh I can’t help but question their motives and agendas. Such men are an embarrassment to the church and bring shame and reproach to the name of Christ. I’m not saying that ministers must live a life of poverty like Mother Teresa, but it disgusts me to see preachers living the life of the rich and famous. They’re supposed to be honoring Christ, not their own flesh.

    What’s even more shameful is to see men handpicked for key ministry leadership positions who have no other qualifications but that they’re a member of the family. Tim Dick comes to mind. It’d be one thing if Tim Dick had come to Ligonier from a corporate exec position with a proven leadership track record having had made six figures before. So what’s Tim’s background? Can anyone find a copy of his bio anywhere? That all seems to be quite a mystery. What is it about Tim’s experience and expertise that justifies paying him the salary of a successful and highly competent executive? Certainly not the fact that he’s a successful and highly competent executive, because he’s anything but that.

    So what’s Tim’s background? About all that can be found about the guy is that he was a head hunter (job recruiter), not exactly the sort of qualifications that would deem a man fit to run an important ministry: “Prior to working at Ligonier, Mr. Dick was a technical recruiter for eleven years with his own company, the R.K. Michaels Corporation, a specialized executive search firm working in the plastics and molding industry. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.”

    So who’s “R.K. Michaels”? In all likelihood probably no one. It’s a common gimmick of guys who have the character of Tim Dick to name “his own company” after, well, no one at all to, well, deceive the public. They want to make it sound like some big impressive firm. After all it wouldn’t sound very impressive of Tim to be head hunting on the phone by calling saying, “Hello, this is Tim Dick of the Tim Dick Corporation.” Better to say, “Hello, this is Tim Dick of the R.K. Michaels Corporation.” Pretty impressive, huh?

    There’s only one reason that Tim Dick got the top position at Ligonier and is getting paid the kind of dough that’s befitting only of a competent and experienced exec — Tim is family. Speaking of family Tim’s wife and kids also work at Ligonier, and not surprisingly they have even fewer qualifications than Tim has.

  8. Justus says:

    Frank, My guess is that R.K. Michaels is (R for Tim’s son Ryan), (K for Tim’s daughter Kaki) and (M for Tim’s adopted son Michael).

  9. Carson Allen says:


    I noticed you posted my e-mail; which is no problem because I didn’t ask you not to. I thank you for the nice comments about my integrity. Yes; my Pasotor is a humble caring man; and a good shepard.

    What I meant in my original e-mail about wanting to have a cup of coffe with j.r. is this: I just want to hear his side of the sory; that’s all. I don’t want to believe that anything you have documented is true. I would like for J.R. himself to come forth and clear his own name; but I won’t hold my breath waiting. If it where me that’s what I would do. The fact that he is just carrying on as if nothing hapened shows his arrogance.

    Does he think that this will just “go away”. I am sure that’s what he is hopping. Why does he not Publicley come forth and answer these accusations. Why? because he was using the A.R.P. Tax I.D. number fully knowing the fraud he was commiting.

    That Pastor named “Shawn” who wrote the post “clearing r.c.J.R. made it sound as if he where using the tax i.d. number without knowing it. I say “Balderdash” How the heck could he not have known about it. J.R. only called the A.R.P. right away because I am sure the guy who was called in to go through the audit warned him of the severe penelty of such a crime.

    Keep doing what you are doing Frank. It is obvious that you are getting someones attention. It’s not every day that somone like Mr. Dick send’s you an e-mail. He is pretty arrogant if you ask me. I just wonder if he has said anything to S.R. Probably dosen’t have the Ball’s. Who knows what S.R. would do to him if he found out he was going on Blogs and making post’s


  10. vancetribe says:

    Thanks again Carson.

    Interestingly enough I heard again just this past week from Tim. The guy just can’t seem to resist wanting to talk to me. Once again Tim Dick has honored me.

    I have every intention of continuing to apply the pressure, especially to Tim Dick. Ligonier would be far better off without him. The ideal situation would be for Tim to resign, but that’s extremely unlikely to happen, just as unlikely as it would be for the Sprouls to fire him.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t things I can do to bring some correction to Tim’s duplicitous ways. As long as there are things I can still do, I will do them.

    For example something that Tim Dick perpetrated a couple years ago was just brought to my attention (keep those emails coming folks). This is VERY significant news that only confirms that Tim Dick has earned his reputation for being a “shark.” This past Friday Tim and I dialogued via email about it. I told Tim about what I now know about how he defrauded a minister. The incident is extraordinarily troubling and if publicly exposed would be devastating not just to Tim Dick personally, but to the entire Ligonier organization. I don’t want to see Ligonier harmed. Just the opposite. But I can’t in good conscience just stand by and not blow the whistle on a lying thieving con artist like Tim Dick.

    I’ve communicated my concerns to Mr. Dick along with a proposed resolution. He hasn’t got much time. If Tim fixes it then I’ve committed to not say anything more about it. But I don’t give Tim much credit for common sense so don’t be surprised if he leaves me with no other choice but to expose it all here. We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned.

  11. Hammerman says:

    What a life of intrigue we bloggers lead, eh Mr. Vance? You’ve been doing a great job of covering this Tim Dick chicanery. Keep up the good work Frank. You’re not likely to make many friends but you’re doing the right thing. That’s what counts.

    I’m just dying to know what this latest with Tim Dick is all about. If you need some exposure assistance count me in. I’m confident there are many others who’ll want in too. All I ask is that if it turns out that it needs to be exposed that you try and figure out a way of doing it so that Ligonier and Dr. Sproul don’t get hurt too bad. Ligonier is a good ministry that’s done a lot of good things. It’d be a shame to see any harm come to it. If Tim Dick is the responsible party for whatever evil that was done everyone should really try and lay the blame squarely at his feet.

  12. Carson Allen says:

    Ex-Ligonier employees KEEP it up. I pray to God that this would be exposed so R.C. can continue the great work he has done for so long.

    As an ex-employee of a huge calvary chapel; I can tell you horror stories of the things I saw. If all of the ex-employees I know of now would have just come forward and exposed what we knew; it would have brought this ministry to the ground whare it deserves to be.

    But it’s kind of hard to when you are threatened with loosing your job.

    I pray that all things will be brought to light in this Ligonier sitiuation. R.C. Sproul has been such a blessing for so manny of us. If you haven’t yet heard his message on Justification that was given at the 2006 Together For the Gospel conference. you should


  13. Anonymous says:

    Folks, I just do not get it. Why do you want to protect Ligonier and Sr? He is the leader, the shepherd of that ministry and all of this is going on under his leadership.

    You are giving him too much of a pass. He has already proven he will go to great lenghts to protect his son in many ways…not the least puttig him on a stage to TEACH. What more do you need?

    Sr has quite a bit of credibility saved up and has powerful friends who back him even now. I can understand how that would make one leery of taking it on. But, Biblically, he is responsible for what goes on in his ministry. Ignorance is no excuse.

  14. vancetribe says:

    Ordinarily I won’t permit anonymous posts. However I’ll make an exception here. Please don’t do it again though (pick a name, any name).

    Your criticism over my apprehension to directly take on Dr. Sproul is probably quite valid. However it’s not because I’m in any way leery because of Sproul’s alleged powerful connections. That’s not what concerns me. If I’m leery it’s only because I’ve got a tender spot in my heart for Dr. Sproul. The man has been a huge blessing in my studies of the Reformed faith.

    But as you’ve correctly pointed out his behavior in defending his defrocked son has been disgraceful. Also the fact that he keeps a con artist like Tim Dick as Ligonier’s President is inexcusable. Ultimately Dr. Sproul must accept responsibility for everything.

  15. Pablo says:

    I long for the truth of the Soli Deo Gloria Ministries buy out to become common knowledge

  16. TheIronHare says:

    Perhaps RCharles-father-of-RCraig is counting on the soft spot people have for him. Many of us have benefitted greatly over the years from the teaching ministry of Dr. Spare-the-rod. That shouldn’t serve as some form of armor for him. And remember how Swaggart wouldn’t step down even temporarily because he thought he was so irreplacable? NO, I’m not saying Dr. Indulge-the-brats is Swaggart. And I didn’t say whether or not I think he should step down. I just mean we needn’t fear the consequences of him being called to account. And we shouldn’t be blinded by gratitude to a mere mortal. Even if he seems like a nice, old man. Of course, nice, old men don’t slander denominations for ridding themselves of tyrannical elders. Nor do they allow such corruption in their ministries as are coming to light in regard to KinWork(?)Here Kinistries. – Dennis

  17. vancetribe says:

    Pablo if you’re one of those folks who’s already been in contact with me re: SDG then thanks for the valuable information you’ve provided. If not please email me. I’ve already got quite a bit of detail, but I’m looking for more on this horrific story before I take it public. I don’t divulge my sources Pablo, but if you’re concerned about that you can always set up an email account under an alias and communicate with me that way.

    Tim Dick is now trying to stall, so I’m in the process of writing the full story with the intention of going public by next week. I was really hoping that it wouldn’t come down to this but with each passing day I grow more convinced that Tim Dick won’t resolve and correct the fraud that he perpetrated two years ago.

    I gave Tim ten days to resolve things and that was on 8-18. That gives him until this Monday. Tim’s not the kind of guy to do the right thing. He’s only about saving his own neck, and I’m convinced that he’s too stupid to even recognize that it’s his neck that’s on the line over this. So regardless of the consequences to Ligonier (which will be devastating) I don’t see that I have any other choice but to go public.

    Tim, it’s all on you now buddy. The ball is in your court. Don’t send me any more emails like the one you did yesterday trying to toss the ball back into my court. Being that you’re a con artist I don’t trust you any further than I can throw your fat butt. Attempting to toss the ball back into my court isn’t going to work.

    Monday is the deadline Tim, and I don’t particularly care about your “time constraints.” Your “full schedule this week” isn’t my problem. You’ll have to do a lot better than that. Don’t try and stall me again or I’m likely to just go ahead and release the story sooner. The only kind of email I want to get from you Tim is “Okay, you win. You’re right. What I did was wrong. I’m working on it and it’ll all be resolved by _________.”

  18. TheIronHare says:


    “Okay, you win. You’re right. What I did was wrong. I’m working on it and it’ll all be resolved by _________.” That, of course, could simply be the result, if he does thus reply, of him deciding how much more he needs to stall! Didn’t his wonderful brother-in-law “repent” so as to avoid going to trial within the RPCGA? And then he screamed about not getting a trial, etc. I’m sure you’re trying to be fair. But, hey, it’s TIM “TRICKY” DICK, right? And it sounds like he’s going to have SDGgate to deal with…soon? – Dennis

  19. Hammerman says:

    This story just gets more intriguing by the day. It sounds like it’s shaping up to be an even bigger scandal than the RC Jr defrocking story. That’s really sad because I just don’t see how if it comes out that it’ll just effect Tim Dick. It seems to me that it’s likely to also be devastating to Ligonier Ministries. The lifeblood of any Christian ministry is the financial support of its donors. If or when the details of this ugly story get out Ligonier’s donations are bound to plummet.

    I think you’re right about Tim Dick. You’ve obviously become the expert Frank on all things Tim Dick. The guy is has got to be the biggest idiot to ever head up a respected Christian ministry, and if he’s guilty of fraud and knows that he’s about to be exposed, even if he had the common sense to recognize that his only out is to rectify his fraud, he’s probably too stupid to know how to go about rectifying it. Any idiot can steal but it takes an intelligent man to rectify a mess of his own creation.

    Frank I’ve been giving more thought to all of this and my apprehensions about seeing Ligonier and Dr. Sproul get harmed by all this. Let’s just say that I’m starting to lose some of those apprehensions. Here’s why. It seems to me that it’s real unlikely that Dr. Sproul didn’t know about this fraud a long time ago. Maybe he didn’t have anything to do with instigating it. I certainly hope he didn’t. Maybe it was all Tim’s doing. But it just wouldn’t add up that in two years since the fraud that Dr. Sproul wouldn’t have found out. If Dr. Sproul knows about it why wouldn’t he have stepped in to correct it a long time ago? That would reflect very poorly on his character. Am I off here in my assumptions Frank?

  20. vancetribe says:

    Dennis, here’s some rhetorical questions (no response necessary).
    1. Do I detect some cynicism in your voice?
    2. Are you a man of experience who’s had to deal with a “ministry” con artist yourself? 😉
    3. Are you inferring that perhaps con artistry seems to run in a certain family?

    Thanks for the warning Dennis. Believe me I’m anticipating Tim Dick’s every move (not that I don’t appreciate the warning, I really do). Given that Tim Dick already tried to stall once I fully expect him to try it again.

    As I see it Tim only has one of two options.
    1. He can be proactive and correct the fraud that he perpetrated.
    2. He can sit on his fat butt and do nothing about it and then be reactive when I expose him.

    If he went with option #1 that would get him off the hook entirely, saving he and Ligonier the shame and humiliation of a huge public scandal. If he were proactive he wouldn’t even have to admit fraud and repent for it. He could just claim that it was all a big misunderstanding. A stupid clerical error. Everyone would believe it because everyone knows that Tim’s stupid enough to be capable of making a colossal “clerical error.” It he did that then I wouldn’t have a story anymore, and if I did try and make a story of it I’d just wind up with egg on my face. But going with option #1 would also be giving Tim credit for having some common sense, so no one should count on him doing the smart thing.

    The stupid and arrogant thing would be option #2, so everyone should anticipate that’s what he’ll do. Tim is just arrogant and cocky enough to believe that he’s capable of spinning a convincing story, “See, I’ve got a signed contract right here. Fraud? What fraud?” Tim Dick isn’t just Tim “Tricky” Dick (thanks for that one Dennis. BTW I loved your RC Jr songs). He’s also Tim “Egomaniac” Dick. He thinks he’s a lot smarter than he really is. He’s just arrogant enough to believe that he can pull off a cheesy scam and actually get away with it. So I’m fully expecting him to go with option #2.

    Tim Dick has a lot more in common with RC Jr than just being brothers in law. RC Jr was just arrogant enough to believe that he too could successfully spin his tales and come out smelling like a rose, and just like Tim Dick, RC Sproul Jr isn’t nearly as smart as he gives himself credit for. Tim Dick should take note of the demise of his brother in law. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov. 16:18

  21. vancetribe says:

    “Any idiot can steal but it takes an intelligent man to rectify a mess of his own creation.” In this case Tim’s bigger liability is his pride, not his stupidity. I say this because this is actually a very simple issue to resolve that doesn’t require much intelligence. It’s just a matter of reversal (reversion) — putting things back the way they were before. The fraud was perpetrated via a contract. Another contract can easily be executed to reverse the original contract. Tim was smart enough to arrange the first contract so he’s smart enough to arrange the second one.

  22. Carson Allen says:

    MAN!; I can’t stay away from this blog. So Vance; if Tim comes up with a second contract to make it look like nothing hapened; what are you going to do?

    You must REALY have something on him else he wouldn’t be sending e-mails begging for more time. If he is trying to kill time then I am willing to bet dollars to donuts that he is trying to con his way out of the mess. May the God of all Glory bring his sovereign will to pass. What would be nice is if Dr.Sproul fired him and publicly posted on this blog asking for repentance and agreed to discipline his son.

  23. vancetribe says:

    Carson, if Tim takes corrective action then this will cease to be a story, and so I won’t have anything more to say about it. That would suit me fine. In fact I might even just take down the comments in this thread altogether. The objective isn’t to create a public scandal that seriously damages Ligonier Ministries (I’d like to be able to avoid that, if possible). The objective is to right the wrong. But make no mistake, if Tim Dick fails to right the wrong then I’ll use all the resources at my disposal to expose this as far and wide as I’m able.

    I have every expectation that right now Tim Dick is “trying to con his way out of the mess.” It’s not going to work though. There’s only one way out of this mess for Tim Dick, and it’s not by perpetrating more cons.

    It’s a shame that some people have to be forced into doing the right thing, but that’s what I’ve come to expect from Tim Dick.

  24. TheIronHare says:

    Frank (and to some extent H-man and…whomever),

    Glad you enjoyed the songs! Was the one you linked your favorite?

    Now…it seems you are rooting for (in the sense of strongly preferring) the Trickster successfully covering his rump via option #1 (even if it includes “clerical error” ruse) over LIGIONIER suffering the consequences of him going with option #2. The tender spot for Ligionier I guess.

    My question is, how much corruption needs to permeate Ligonier before one should be willing to see its collapse as anything like a good thing? Sure, we all would prefer Ligonier to turn around and thrive in the aftermath of the MASSIVE repentance and fruits thereof called for by the present situation. And while such a thing is possible it is hard for me to see it as very likely.

    I hope people aren’t too in love with a particular ministry and/or minister. If Ligonier goes down God won’t be wringing His holy, omnipotent hands in anxiety. I’m hopefully not being hardhearted (and not overly cynical 😉 ) and I’m sorry if it seems that way. I’m just trying to be frank. Please don’t hit me with a hammer, man. (Cruel and unusual pun-ishment) Seriously, we need to try to be at least somewhat objective. The kingdom is a lot bigger than Ligonier and Daddy Sproul ain’t no spring chicken anyway. Plus his health. Who is a viable successor to him anyway?

    I feel like I’m dumping buckets of cold water on people. What if Trickster takes your counsel, Frank, and thus he and the rest of the mob survive to commit even more mischief (as Ligonier employees shudder)? I know you don’t think he will. To make it clear, I want massive Sproul/Dick mob repentance and Ligonier renewal but I’m trying to be…well, realistic. Maybe if L goes down other potential abusers will take heed and restrain themselves. God only knows what would (will?) come about. I just don’t think we need to be so worried.

    Remember the Swaggart thing as I referred to it (see that previous post). – Dennis

  25. vancetribe says:

    Wow! Dennis, what can I say? Everything you’ve mentioned are issues that I’ve already been contemplating. I’m not losing any sleep and I’m committed to going all the way with this. But still it’s a tough issue and a not particularly pleasant task to have to take on. Keep me in your prayers, and pray especially for Tim Dick’s repentance, and if Tim continues to harden his heart pray that the Lord would see fit to remove him from the scene altogether.

  26. Hammerman says:

    You’re obviously onto something very big and also probably very tragic. After everything that came out over the RC Sproul Jr defrocking scandal I wouldn’t be surprised about anything anymore that goes on in Klan Sproul. But I’m still probably going to find myself terribly disappointed, especially if Dr. Sproul himself had anything at all to do with this, or if he’s just looked the other way and done nothing to fix it after he found out about it.

    You know Frank ever since word of this impending scandal started trickling out I’ve found myself having to confront that “tender spot” that Dennis mentioned. I’m not “too in love” with Dr. Sproul and Ligonier but I’ll have to admit that maybe I’ve held them in way too high esteem. If a cynic like me holds them in too high esteem then probably a whole lot of other people do too. That’s not healthy and it’s not biblical. Dr. Sproul is just a man and probably a very fallible one too.

    We serve a jealous God who has a way of abasing what man sets up. We don’t need to look any further than what just happened to RC Jr to see the evidence of that! Who knows but that what you’re about to expose isn’t part of God’s plan to take Dr. Sproul off that throne of his that his adorers put him on. If it turns out that’s what needs to be done then so be it.

    I spoke earlier with Harry Seabrook about this. He’s in agreement that if you decide to go public with the full story that he’ll assist in any way he can. Little Geneva averages over 3000 unique visitors a day. With that kind of exposure this story will get spread far and wide quickly.

  27. vancetribe says:

    Thanks Hammerman. I know I can count on you and Mr. Seabrook and others out there to help get this out. I also really appreciate all the positive input and wise counsel that I’ve been getting on this.

    As far as the decision to go public with the story (which I’ve already written) that decision is actually now Tim Dick’s to make. Right now it appears that Tim wants me to post it, and here’s why. Tim has yet to communicate with me anything specific about what he plans to do about correcting the fraud that he perpetrated two years ago. Worse yet Tim is stalling and pleading ignorance. So right now it’s looking like Tim has already made his decision that I hit the “Publish Post” button Tuesday.

  28. Carson Allen says:

    I will be glued to this blog Tuesday. Heck; I already am. You know Frank; I misjudged you. I figured you had been crossed by J.R. in the past and out to get him. However; now I precieve that you have alot in common with me. We are just members of local Churches that wish to Glorify God.

    On another note; If you have to expose this scandal; I have an Idea that would bring mass expousure to manny people. It will require a small investment. I am willing to contribute financialy to this investment. It’s about 2,000 $(it can be done non-profit) to get it kicked off; but if we all pulled our resources together we could make it happen. I will wait untill Tuesday before I let you know the details.

    After all my career is sales and marketing. I know how to get the word out. Belive me; this Idea will bring MASS exposure.


  29. donsands says:

    Where did you hear that Billy Graham takes only $40,000?

    I know that has to be bogus. I wrote to his ministry, and way back when he was taking $70,000.

    I agree this is a modest salary. And I greatly admire the man for his integrity.
    But you seem to have faulty information.

    Did you do your homework?

  30. vancetribe says:

    Here’s what I said of Billy Graham, “Even though he could have easily paid himself lavishly he’s only taken a meager $40,000 salary with no perks and no mansion. He lives in a very modest home. He’s a humble man with humble tastes. A true servant.” I stand by every word of that statement Don, including the $40,000 salary. Don are you sure you really want to further pursue comparisons? Fine with me.

    Billy’s BGEA salary is, as I said, $40,000. But you’re right about his total personal income being higher than that. He does take a small percentage of the book royalties due him. Billy doesn’t write theological works on the level of RC Sproul, but his books unlike RC’s books often sell millions of copies. Billy could be a multi-millionaire if that’s what he wanted, and he certainly doesn’t need a salary of any kind. He takes one probably only to hold himself accountable to his ministry and Board of Directors. Most of his book royalties he hands over to BGEA (Jim Dobson does the same thing by handing over millions in book royalties to Focus). Billy’s total personal income is just over $100,000. Not a lavish sum by any stretch of the imagination for the Founder of an organization that brings in over $130 million annually. RC Sproul runs a ministry with annual revenues less than 4% of what the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association brings in. What RC brings in on book sales is a pittance compared to what Billy brings in. Yet RC Sproul pays himself more than twice as much as Billy, and he lives in a mansion bought and paid for by Ligonier donors. Billy Graham still lives in the same modest 10 room log home that he and his wife built themselves in the 60’s in Montreat, North Carolina.

    There are a lot of other comparisons that could be made, but hopefully this is adequate for you to get the point.

  31. Hammerman says:


    Your blog must be getting some serious traffic and a lot of other sites must be linking to you. I just googled on “Ligonier Ministries” and your blog comes up #9. That’s very respectable placement. Anytime you can get on the first Google page you’re doing well. Congratulations!

  32. Anonymous says:

    I’m curious to get more info on the so-called “buyout” of SDG ministries mentioned in one person’s post. A buyout means that money changed hands. This is the first time I’ve heard this suggested. One 501 (C)3 cannot sell itself, since it is a public trust, to another 501 (C)3.

    What is it that people think happened?

  33. vancetribe says:

    I generally reject Anonymous postings so please don’t do that again. When posting select “Other” and use a name. I don’t care what kind of name you use but use a name. I’m permitting your comment only because it’s very significant.

    Pablo did use the term “buy out.” I didn’t call him on it but I probably should have. That kind of term leaves a false impression. The proper term is “acquisition” and that’s the term that Ligonier and everyone else has used.

    Thanks for raising that point because it’s something that should be clarified in my story (still no word from Tim Dick so my assumption is that he wants me to go forward with posting my story Tuesday).

  34. vancetribe says:

    The more I think about this the more it upsets me. I’ve been more than fair to Tim Dick, including the deadline I issued, which he’s just completely blown me off. I’d previously said that if Tim didn’t get back to me by Monday with a promise that he’d right this despicable wrong of his that I’d post my article Tuesday. Well I see no point in waiting until Tuesday. The deadline is Monday so he’s got until Monday and if I don’t hear from him Monday bright and early I’ll be posting the article Monday — bright and early.

    I can promise you that this will be very big news.

  35. Rosie says:

    I do not know what the big news is, of course, but I am curious as to your motivation for letting them off the hook besides a respect for SR?

    If there is a scandal then we know where their hearts are. And that says it all. Their donors have a right to know. It should have the light of day shined on it.

    How can SR be the head of Ligonier and not know what is going on? His wife is on the board, right? It is a family affair so to speak.

    My guess is that no matter what it is, it will get very little attention outside of the blogdom. We have already seen what little attention the defrocking got from well known leaders in Christendom. They ignored it. And Challies shut down a forum over it!! (Note he is live blogging for all the biggies)At least Slice posted on it but other than that…silence.

    And we have seen a very astute spin coming from them. They say, their detractors are ignorant of all the facts…yada, yada, yada. This will be the same spin.

    Here is what I think of Sproul: Isaiah 2:22

  36. Susan says:

    Are you in contact with Tim over the change in your timing beyond just what you are posting here? Just in case he’s not reading?

  37. vancetribe says:

    Yes Susan, Tim Dick and I are in contact, and Tim is definitely reading this thread. Here’s his most recent email to me:

    From: “Tim Dick” tdick@ligonier.org
    To: “Frank Vance” advancemyten@yahoo.com
    Subject: FW: Please review ‘The more I think about this the more it upsets me’
    Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 23:53:20

    You seem to be getting nervous, are you loosing confidence in your “sources”? That would be the first good decision you made.

    I won’t be able to respond after Saturday night at 12:00 p.m., until sometime Monday, assuming there is internet access where I’ll be through Tuesday. You’re call, here is a response to your last post(#34 to the 8/14/06 blog on your site), which you have permission to post all or nothing, as to quoting my response without editing, regardless of what you think about publishing privileges. Don’t be a pansy, if you intend to cast threats and claims of fraud, in the name of Christ, holding me and Dr. Sproul accountable, post everything, because I will.


    Tim, I’m a little surprised by the “pansy” comment. After everything that’s happened between us do you really take me for a man who needs to be provoked with such a juvenile comment?

    So as everyone can see Tim is now provoking me post the story. He seems to feel confident that he’ll have a credible response. I look forward to seeing it. But does that really make any sense? I’ve made some very strong allegations against Tim in several emails to him. He has yet to answer a single charge. He hasn’t so much as pleaded ignorance. He’s just evaded the issue altogether. So from all appearances Tim actually wants this story to come out. I’m told that others want it to come out too. It looks like everyone’s in agreement, including Tim Dick. Glad that’s all settled.

  38. Carson Allen says:

    Let er Rip Frank

    I will send you a private e-mail after you publish the story detailing my idea that will bring mass exposure. Trust me; this could be huge and the ministry that would help pull this off is not bought out by Ligoner like World Mag.

  39. SFB says:

    Hey Tim, it’s “losing” one’s confidence, not “loosing”. Also, “your call”, not “you’re call”.

    You would think someone who is the big-shot at a Reformed ministry would have a better grasp of the English language.

    All these big “ministries”, despite all the work they do, eventually become a blight on the harvest we are all trying to bring in. Money changes everything.

  40. I’m so glad the Lord forbade us from having the Internet until now. Your website makes me pray, “Lord, please take this all from us and humble those shallow men who want to be muckrakers rather than lovers of truth.” I hope you don’t get what you deserve.

  41. Jamey you have to be one of the biggest hypocrites I’ve ever seen on the internet. You are the personification of judgmental holier than thou self-righteousness. You were the former editor of Razormouth, an appropriate name if ever there was one, which you marketed it as “Cutting Edge Christianity.” Cutting indeed. “The teenage and twentysomethings love us because we’re deliciously irreverent and boldly subversive.” “Crack open a bible and mix a martini.” Sound familiar Jamey? Thank God that Joel Miller finally came to his senses and took down all that irreverent, irrelevant and foolish drivel.

    So have you ever publicly repented Jamey? “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” Matt. 7:2

    Oh and Jamey, it doesn’t help your credibility when you refer to yourself as a “Doug Wilson groupie.” Grow up Jamey. “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” 1Cor. 13:11

  42. Josey Crenshaw says:

    I know no one has posted a comment on this story for a few months, therefore, nobody may ever read this. The statement in this article, “It would seem that Dr. Sproul’s priorities for his ministry have been seriously compromised by his willingness to use Ligonier as a form of job security for family members” is simply not true. Why is R.C. Sproul, Jr. no longer the editior for Table Talk? Tim Dick told me directly at a Ligonier Conference that Sproul Jr. was fired because of his association with those who hold to Federal Vision theology. THAT’S RIGHT – HE USED THE WORD FIRED!
    (I thought it was interesting right after Sproul Jr. was let go that articles by Doug Wilson, James Jordan and Steve Wilkins dissappeared.)

    Can anyone verify this? If Ligonier fired Sproul Jr. and Sproul Sr. is the head, then he must have been involved with firing his son (or at least be aware of it.) Why then did he get so bent out of shape with the folks who defrocked his son? Were they not simply follwoing his lead?

  43. steve codling says:

    Unless there’s something I’m missing, according to
    Billy Graham makes $400,000. I’ve read elsewhere that half of that is for health care, but it’s a lot different than the $40,000 figure.

    Also, according to the above link and the following link for Samaritan’s Purse
    Billy Graham’s son is also making $400,000.

    How is this acceptable when I know of people who have been encouraged by Samaritan’s Purse to give up their full-time jobs and try to raise enough money in order to make enough to scrape by on so they can work for the ministry full-time?

  44. Diane says:

    I’m glad to see a Ligonier related post again – even if it isn’t a new one. I’m disappointed (but not surprised) that Jr. is a “special guest” at the March 2007 conference. I’m also wondering why he’s listed as an Assoc. Pastor at St. Peter’s … is he?

  45. Frank Vance says:

    Steve you’re right about what’s happened with Billy Graham. In the last several years his salary has ballooned. I agree it’s inappropriate. However in his defense I’ll point out that his salary isn’t $400,000. It’s actually about half that. Graham’s annual medical expenses are quite high and his ministry picks up the tab for that (almost $200,000 in 2004). No one considers medical benefits to be part of a “salary.” Nevertheless I’m still disappointed.

    I’m even more disappointed in Franklin Graham whose actual salary is something like twice that of his father’s.

  46. Wendy says:


    R.C. Sproul, Jr. calls himself “Associate Pastor” of St. Peter Presbyterian Church. He was defrocked by the RPCGA but that doesn’t seem to make any difference to him. He just went to his pal Doug Wilson and got admitted to the CREC. In their Report it says that in the CREC R.C. Sproul, Jr. “is considered ordained.” Being defrocked doesn’t mean anything to the CREC either.

    R.C. Sproul, Jr. and the CREC. A perfect match.

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