One of R.C. Sproul's Last Letters

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Ligonier Ministries made the announcement yesterday, December 14, 2017, that Dr. R.C. Sproul died after battling medical complications related to emphysema.[1] Although we rejoice that he is now absent from the body and present with the Lord (cf. 2 Cor. 5:8), we also grieve the loss of one of this generation's pillars of the faith. As an internationally-recognized pastor, theologian, philosopher, and teacher, R.C. Sproul likely served as a major impact in your life. Mine too.

When I wrote Expository Parenting, I introduced each of the ten chapters with a quote from someone who has greatly helped me along in my Christian walk. For example, in the chapter regarding evangelism, I led with a quote from Paul Washer. In the chapter regarding home discipleship, I began by quoting Voddie Baucham. And in the chapter regarding systematic theology and catechism, I quoted—as you can imagine—R.C. Sproul.

Although his health was in noticeable decline in recent years, that didn't stop him from continuing to devote himself to Gospel ministry. Whether it was teaching and preaching at Saint Andrew's Chapel, participating in evangelism at the local abortion mill, or partnering with his friend John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul was a man who embodied passages like 2 Peter 1:13-14 and 2 Timothy 4:6-7. He was a man committed to serving the Lord until his final moments. This became evident to me in a remarkable way, when I received a personal letter from him just weeks before his death.

After writing Expository Parenting, I sent Dr. Sproul a copy of the book, thanking him for the contributions he made to my understanding of Scripture—contributions that made their way not only into the book, but into the way I determined to raise my family. Knowing the innumerable other commitments he had, and the sheer volume of mail he undoubtedly received, I didn't expect him to respond. I was wrong.

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To say that his gracious response was an encouragement to me would be an understatement. This letter, being among his final correspondence, is something I will treasure my entire life. How much of Expository Parenting did he end up getting to read? I don't know. But it doesn't matter, because, after all, he helped me write it. In the final analysis, some of the rewards I lay at the feet of Jesus will be labeled, "Courtesy of R.C. Sproul."


References:

[1] Stephen Nichols, "Remembering R.C. Sproul, 1939-2017," Ligonier Ministries, accessed December 14, 2017, https://www.ligonier.org/blog/remembering-rc-sproul.