I had the privilege of working with R. C. and his executive team on the radio program “Renewing Your Mind” while planting an ARP church in south Orlando. During my last consulting meeting with the Ligonier staff and R. C., I handed him a stuffed animal to help him visualize what he needed to do to be effective on radio. It was the Disney character Dumbo.
The elephant’s large floppy ears were to remind R. C. that as he taught God’s Word through the medium of radio all he had to work with was sound. The waving of his hands, the writing of Latin phrases on the chalkboard, and his classic passionate leaning into the pulpit toward the audience could not be visually conveyed over the radio. His mannerisms had to be translated into audio only.
R. C. mastered the medium of radio in record time and his program has since reached millions of people all over the world. A few weeks after our sessions, the radio show was in full production. I visited a recording session to see how things were going. And, perched on the podium was Dumbo. R. C. told me that Dumbo was his favorite stuffed animal as a child. Truth be told, the Dumbo belonged to my second daughter and I had to purchase her another one.
As a thank you gift, R. C. asked how he could repay me for helping him and his media team. I asked him to preach the gospel at the opening service of the church I was planting. He arrived with Vesta his wife and a few of the executive staff. It was a wonderful service and a powerful way to begin a new congregation.
The memorial service for R. C. features a number of well known Bible teachers whom he has influenced. R. C. has also been a significant influence on my teaching ministry too. Over the past few years, we have experienced the loss of several great men (including D. James Kennedy and James Boice) and we can expect to lose several more who have laid the foundation for ministries we have grown to depend on.
Who will take up the torch of the gospel in their stead? R. C. is one of a kind. He can’t be replaced. Yet, you and I are called by the same God who called Isaiah to preach to a nation filled with stubborn hearts. We must speak. We must continue to engage our culture with the gospel. We must remain faithful to our calling and ask God for a vision that, if he is not in it, it will be doomed to fail. Dr. Sinclair Ferguson communicates this so well at R. C.’s memorial service.
May we say as Isaiah said, though he was and we are lacking in so many things, “Here I am Lord, send me.”
Dr. R. C. Sproul went to be with the LORD on December 14, 2017. His memorial service was held at the church he planted, St. Andrews Chapel in Stanford, Florida, this past Wednesday. If you would like to view R. C. Sproul’s Memorial Service, you can click on the link here.
We may miss having Dr. R. C. Sproul with us, but none of us would wish him to leave the God he loved as he now stands “Coram Deo” before the face of the One he served and loved. May God bless his family, Ligonier Ministries, and Saint Andrew’s Chapel as they grieve his passing and rejoice in his victory over death.