It’s hard to put into words the impact that R.C. Sproul, who died today, has had on my life. I was introduced to Dr. Sproul’s ministry more than 30 years ago when Dr. John Shively gave me one of Dr. Sproul’s teaching series on cassette tape. I believe it was titled Objections Answered, though I can’t be 100% sure. We listened to the messages on those tapes in the car on the way back from Lafayette, Indiana. I was amazed. Here was someone who took difficult theological concepts and communicated them in a way that I could understand them. From cassette tapes to CD’s to digital podcasts, that was one of R.C.’s greatest gifts.
The first of R.C.’s books that I read was his 1985 classic The Holiness of God. That book had a profound impact on me. I was hooked. Since then, the Lord has used R.C.’s ministry in a powerful way in my life. We began subscribing to TABLETALK magazine, and saw him speak many times in conferences, the first being in Wheaton, Illinois in the 1980’s. We attended Ligonier Ministries Regional conferences in St. Louis, Missouri, Lexington, Kentucky and Grand Rapids, Michigan and Detroit, Michigan. Since 1997, we rarely missed Ligonier’s National Conference in Orlando. Attending the National Conference always felt like experiencing a little taste of Heaven for me. I most enjoyed the “Question and Answer” sessions at those conferences. R.C. was gifted with an incredible mind and he used it to defend the Gospel from false teaching and the heresy of the hour. I also loved his stories, some of which I’ve heard dozens of times, as well as his laugh.
At almost every conference we attended, I would stand in line and have R.C. sign his latest book for me. A few times I mentioned how much I appreciated his ministry. It was clear that he was uncomfortable with what could be perceived as hero worship, and wanted all glory to go to God. And that’s how I will end this tribute, by giving all glory to God for equipping R.C. Sproul, and positively impacting me, my wife and hundreds of thousands of others who will miss him, his ministry and teaching deeply. We are happy that he is now in the presence of his Savior, greeted with “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
Let’s remember Dr. Sproul by watching this two-minute video of him preaching the Gospel throughout the years.