Editor’s Note: If I were in need of wisdom and could only do one thing (besides praying, of course—James 1:5), I would call Dr. Ralph Turk, as I did as a young pastor and seminary student. There are no phone calls to heaven, where Dr. Turk has resided since 2002, but we can still draw on the wisdom that he left for us. His widow, Jeanne, has noted that one goal that was left unfinished in her late husband’s very accomplished life was that of publishing more of his work in written form. What an honor, then, to do so on his behalf through our Revived Classics Series. We are blessed to include Dr. Turk among its inaugural class. —PJS
Ten Principles for Life and Living
- The whole duty of this life is to give glory to God (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
- The sole goal of this life is to prepare for the next life (John 3:10-21).
- The Word of God is the only truth that matters (2 Pet. 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
- Character defines a man, not what he does (1 Tim. 3:1-7).
- Without the Lord, I can do nothing (John 15:5).
- Don’t ever trust yourself (Rom. 7:18).
- Your stand for truth and righteousness will cost you (Phil. 3:8).
- If it is worth believing, it is worth dying for (Gal. 2:20-21).
- If I am going to be wrong, I would rather err on the side of right (Rom. 14:23).
- Marrying the right woman is the key to personal life and ministry (Prov. 18:22).
Great peace have those who love Your law,
And nothing causes them to stumble (Ps. 119:165).
- Bible Translations
I am loyal to the Word of God, making use of the original languages and all good translations—King James Version, New American Standard Bible, New International Version. I am on no crusade regarding any good translation.
- Biblical Inerrancy
The Bible is without error in the original writings in both fact and teaching regardless of subject.
- Tongues and the Charismatic Movement
I am opposed to speaking in tongues and the excesses of the charismatic movement. I endorse nor support neither.
I subscribe to the TULIP with the exception of limited atonement. I do not consider myself a Calvinist; rather, a Biblicist.
I believe in instantaneous creation in six literal 24-hour days. I hold to no view of evolution—theistic or atheistic.
- Church Officers
I believe there are only two Biblical church officers: pastors (elders/bishops) and deacons.
- Church Government
I believe in a theocratic, congregational form of church government under the rule of pastors.
- Church Ordinances
I believe in the two ordinances—communion and believer’s baptism by immersion. Neither conveys grace, but they both express grace.
- Call of God to Service
I believe the call of God to Christian service is a unique call evidenced through the Word of God (objectively) and through our relationship with God, His Word, His people and circumstances (subjectively).
- Lordship Salvation
I believe that when one accepts Christ, he accepts Him as Lord and Savior, but that the Lordship is largely a matter of the continuing growth in grace, not a demand or reality that determines salvation.
I am a Ryrie dispensationalist. The key issue is a consistent literalism and a continuing distinction between Israel and the church.
- Ecumenical Evangelism
All Biblical fellowship and cooperation must be between brothers in Christ and must be solidly based on Scripture, not pragmatics.
- New Evangelicalism
In order to maintain a Biblical purity and expression, we must be limited in formal fellowship and service to those who adhere solidly to Biblical faith and practice.
- Social Sins
Holiness is at root motivational. Once I have established a desire for Biblical holiness, I will not engage in unholy practices. I refrain from all mentioned (plus a few!) for these reasons.
God hates divorce and so do I. It is never a solution, and I would never recommend it. God can forgive those who have fallen and use them in the future, but the consequences remain and limit service.
- Contemporary Music
Like all church music, there are two issues:
A. Are the lyrics Biblical?
B. Is the music format conducive to presenting the lyrics to the glory of God?
With these questions in mind, the generation of music is irrelevant.
- My Salvation
I was saved at eight years of age under my dad’s ministry (he was a Baptist pastor) and baptized when I was nine. Salvation was solely of grace through no merits of mine then or now. I had eternal life then; I am just waiting for my experience to catch up (heaven).
- Future Goals/Plans
I am 66 years of age. My goals are to continue in ministry as long as I have life, breath and opportunity. I would like to teach, preach, write and disciple as time and energy allow.
- Philosophy of Education
God’s Word, the Bible, is the absolute truth against which all other data is to be compared, accepted or rejected. All education should be directed toward the Scriptures, and all behavior should be determined by them.
Dr. Ralph G. Turk (1930-2002) was an experienced pastor—having served numerous congregations over more than four decades of ministry—and a college and seminary professor at Denver Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, San Diego Christian College and Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary. Although he was a capable teacher in all areas of Bible and theology, he came to have a unique focus on preaching and practical theology—and truly became a pastor to pastors. We are privileged to list him as a member of the inaugural class of Revived Classics authors for Dispensational Publishing House.
Copyright © 2002 by Dr. Ralph G. Turk. All rights reserved.
The article is reprinted here by permission of Mrs. Jeanne Turk.
Other material copyright © 2016 Dispensational Publishing House, Inc.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.