“Fools rush in, where Angel’s fear to tread”
This was the opinion of that English Poet Alexander Pope. I could very well consider myself the target of this opinion, by presuming to write a tribute on a figure so beyond my years and wisdom, yet I simply mourn yet celebrate the life of one I so loved and admired. Or the Poet’s words could target such critics who found fault with the Ligonier theologian.All and sundry must surely be joined in this consensus,his candle burnt out long before his legend ever will,to paraphrase the words of Sir Elton Johns.In the very words of Holy Scripture ,and in view of his lasting works left behind “though dead,yet he speaketh”-Hebrews 11:4
They say when an old man dies,a library burns down.If this is so, what would be said about that gift of God to the Church, a titan we would have wished lingered much longer? Had we not been firm believers in the Sovereignty he so eloquently urged upon our Theological heart beat, and been so persuaded that by the closing of his yes here below, he opened them in the balconies of glory,past the pearly gates, and beyond the crystal river, we would make a protest to the Lord.
But we know now he wakes up among kindred spirits, he says good morning to fellow laborers. In one of the sessions at the 2008 Ligonier Conference ,Dr. Sinclair Fergusson joked how R.C Sproul would engage Paul in a protracted Theological discussion, engage the good Apostle in Latin on this and the other issue. The conference delegates laughed with delighted humor. less than ten years later, this joke has become a poignant reality both to us here below and to the victorious saint who climbed the chariots of fire yesterday and galloped into the presence of His master, our master.
I wish I could say I knew the good doctor personally, yet in some strange ways I could make that claim to myself and feel that it is true. I wish I had attended just one of his lectures,just a flash moment of the Ligonier conferences,yet I feel I like was there. If only i had been a fly on the wall of St. Andrews Chapel! If only I could say I attended Reformation Bible college, and came under the direct tutelage of the collosus who now joins the “spirits of just men made perfect”, alas! Providence did not see it fit.
So I read his books,listened to his old and new tapes and watched his videos,followed his blogs and sites and drunk from the cisterns of God’s Grace bountifully given to one Robert Charles Sproul . Thus I was schooled in the theology of R.C and impressed with a legacy of sustained productivity. Few are blessed with such a brilliant scholarly mind,even fewer with an ability to make scholarly issues warm and practical devotions. Dr. Sproul could lose you in the philosophical postulations only to recover you in their Theological implications; at once you knew all true wisdom at the end meets with solid Biblical truth at the junction of true spirituality.
He feared no stretching of his mind, his was a trail blazing life. R.C Sproul deployed his mind to the studies which would enrich the Church of Christ. In this he played his role not just as a shepherd of God’s flock and a teacher of the Church, but also as a true friend of the bridegroom he sought to present the bride as a “chaste virgin”.Who would soon forget his masterful exploration of the Protestant history and heritage? Who would not be so moved with his deeply moving series on the cross of Christ? They are richer who have read his many books and wiser who have tapped into his incredible gift of thought.
In the end It felt like Dr. R.C Sproul lived ten lives, such work,such impact, such a legacy! Ten men,living full lives would scarcely match it.It would seem Impossible to imagine that God would bless one with so much,yet in the life of Dr. Sproul this is a fact we saw and rejoiced in.
As he hears those words “welcome though good and faithful servant” in the terraces of glory, he lives with us his footprints upon the Sands of time.
Until we meet finally face to face brother Robert , We thank you for your faithful labor, in your life has the saying come to pass
“…Death has been swallowed up in victory.”Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”.