Dr. R.C. Sproul
February 13, 1939 – December 14, 2017
A Personal Reflection
Heinz G. Dschankilic
The year was 1986. In the Autumn of that year, scarcely 12 months after the Lord graciously saved me, I was invited to attend a weekly Bible Study at Mount Pleasant Road Baptist Church. The study series was six weeks in length and consisted of 6-23 minute taped video sessions on VHS followed by discussion questions and coffee. The series was The Holiness of God and the speaker obviously was R.C. Sproul.
I had never heard of such things as video Christian teaching sessions at that time and the name R.C. Sproul may just as well have been John Smith. I had no idea of who he was or what he did. But here I was, a new believer in Christ, sitting in front of a television set in the basement of a damp church building, listening to some stranger speak about God.
Truth be told, I was unimpressed as the tape began to play. I found his voice irritating, his mannerisms strangely erratic not to mention distracting his suit ill colored. Then a remarkable thing happened. I don’t recall at what point in the message a palpable transformation occurred but by the twenty-third minute, I was captivated with Robert Charles Sproul.
Through this one series, R.C. taught me a foundational lesson that has shaped my life and ministry ever since. That lesson, was the most formidable weapon that God uses as earthly means is a sanctified intellect. A redeemed human being, informed by Scripture, emboldened by the Holy Spirit and who takes seriously the New Testament to Love the Lord with all his heart, mind and soul (emphasis on the mind) can do tremendous things for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians need not take an intellectual back seat to anyone. R.C. Sproul was a robust example of what it means to be a thinking Christian.
Over the years, I have listened to many of his lectures and absorbed a good number of his books. It was a great joy and true privilege to be invited to work for what was Ligonier Ministries of Canada back in 1999. It was like a childhood dream come true. This man who single handedly mentored and shaped my formative years as a young adult believer would now be the man I would assist, bringing Reformed Theology to Canada. I had the joy of meeting him and his wife Vesta on a number of occasions. He was always gracious, winsome, warm and funny.
R.C. impacted my life on so many levels. As I reflect on his passing the perspective of history comes to mind. He is and was a giant of the Faith. For many of us he was the modern equivalent of Luther and Calvin. He now is part of that “great cloud of witnesses” described in Hebrews 11. Only when the Lord finally returns and the books opened and all things are made new, will we truly see the legacy and impact of Robert Charles Sproul.
Thank you R.C from the bottom of my heart.