Denise Sproul is at home with the Lord

Posted by Bob Mattes

Ligonier’s site has a brief statement posted here.

I’ve been following this situation for a while on R.C. Jr.’s blog and praying. For those that don’t know, Denise, Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.’s dear wife and mother of their children, was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent extensive treatment. It seemed back in April that she might beat the disease. However, earlier this month the situation wasn’t looking good. I used R.C., Jr.’s post, Terminal, in my Sunday school class just last week as an example of how we can face extreme adversity in life by the power of the Spirit and with full confidence in our Father’s plan for us. R.C. Jr. closed that post with this paragraph:

It is a good and proper thing that I should, and you as well if you are willing, pray that God would make Denise well, that He would allow us to grow old together. It is, however, a better thing to pray that I would be a faithful husband to my love, and a faithful father to the children He has blessed us with. It is less important that He believe me and my conviction, that the kingdom would be better with her here. It is more important that I believe Him and His promise that the gates of hell will not prevail (Matthew 16:18), and that He who has begun a good work in us will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 6:10). This train is bound for glory.

R.C. Jr. has commented on this blog from time to time. He and his entire family need our prayers as they travel a very difficult road in the coming days, weeks, and months. May our faithful God grant them all His peace and strength for the journey.

Posted by Bob Mattes


  1. Warren said,

    December 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I dedicate this blog post to Denise Sproul, her husband, R.C. Sproul Jr., to their kids, and to all who have been affected by Denise’s demise.

  2. Brad B said,

    December 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    God be praised, and in my innermost being, I plead for His presence in mercy to be with R.C. Jr. and his family, that He hold them together in the way that only He can. In sorrow, even so we rejoice for her, not grieving as those who have no hope.

  3. Reed Here said,

    December 19, 2011 at 7:37 am

    So sorry for the family’s loss. Rejoicing with them in Denise’s gain.

  4. rcjr said,

    December 24, 2011 at 6:18 am


    How about “Denise Sproul, who from her youth professed her dependence on the finished work of Christ alone, who lived a life of godliness and sacrifice that evidenced that faith, whose elders found her faith to be credible, died. It would be arrogant to suggest we could know where she is.” Is that what Bob should have written?

  5. Jeff Hutchinson said,

    December 24, 2011 at 7:11 am


    We are all thinking of you and your wonderful children [sure hope I didn’t offend by expressing with such certainty and arrogance that your children are wonderful].

    We are. And praying too. Knowing Christ more deeply, not just in the power of His resurrection, but also in the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings….this is our prayer. This earthly pilgrimage is so short….

    We drove by the sign for Sycamore Shoals State Park two days ago, and remembered that good and fun day our families spent together. God will surely bless you and your children with His presence and a deeper knowledge of Him.

  6. paigebritton said,

    December 24, 2011 at 7:25 am

    So sorry not to have been awake early enough to have screened Dozie’s comment there for poor taste — this thread was obviously not intended for theological wrangling, even if the question was an honest one: Dozie take note.

    So sorry also for your loss, and your real grief that coexists now with your hope of heaven. My son Caleb was in a Veritas science class with your Campbell last year, so we have been praying for your family since we learned of Denise’s illness in the spring. Our hearts go out to you!

  7. todd said,

    December 24, 2011 at 11:28 am


    You may have won the award for the most tasteless blog post of 2011, and that is not an easy thing to do. As to your question, it’s called the judgment of charity, that we regard all who profess faith and give a good testimony of their faith as believers, and thus with the Lord when they pass. Read the Epistles to see how the Apostles speak to those in the church; they are addressed as believers.

  8. todd said,

    December 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm


    Though some of your points in general are valid, and I did not know the deceased, your timing and public comment couldn’t have been more inappropriate and unchristian. Let’s just leave it at Merry Christmas.

  9. paigebritton said,

    December 25, 2011 at 9:18 am

    I do hope you meant to write “repeal.”

  10. Brad B said,

    December 25, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    “I only know that her husband’s family has remained obstinately opposed to the Church of Christ.”

    Dozie, I’m sufficiently shocked to see your comments, [quite a piece of work, you must have some axe to grind] that I cant help but respond to you. Your laxity to sit in judgement while feeling immune from the log in the eye syndrome strikes me as very odd behavior being displayed in a sensitive thread as this. I have a feeling your systematic theology is as incoherent as your few words here. Dependence on the finished work of Christ is not a barren concept, being derived from a historic orthodox Christian understanding of the scriptures it is defensible. I wish that you’d have held your thoughts to yourself.

  11. jedpaschall said,

    December 26, 2011 at 2:33 am


    Your statement is not only stated at the wrong place at the wrong time, it is mere foolishness under the guise of theological interest. Your comments remind me of those spoken by Job’s friends, who brought their own distorted intellectual musings to a godly man who was in real pain as he suffered under God’s providential care. I cannot imagine the pain of loosing a spouse, and the fact that I could celebrate another Lord’s Day and Christmas with my wife is something I hope I never take for granted. What RC Jr. is facing is many of our worst nightmares, and we hope and pray that God will strengthen him with grace, strength, and peace to not mourn as one without hope, but trust God’s goodness in the face of even the most painful providence.

    Since RC Jr’s wife has made a credible profession of faith, and on all accounts has lived her life before the Lord faithfully, we have no right to expect that she is anywhere else but in God’s presence. Parsing one’s place in Christ beyond where Scripture is clear is something we are never permitted to do, as Christ himself restrains his servants from hastily assuming who is “in” and who is “out” (Matt. 13:24-30). As Reformed Christians, we have clear confessional boundaries that afford elders the opportunity to evaluate the sincerity of one’s faith. Beyond this we have absolutely no right or warrant to question those whom the church has bound (Matt. 18:18).

    I would urge you to withdraw your foolish statement and offer your apologies to RC Jr. They were neither prudent or charitable. You owe your brothers in Christ more than insults in the midst of grief. Maybe you could take Paul’s cue:

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2 Cor. 1: 3-5)

    Just as Christ wept at the grave of his friend of Lazarus over the abominable outrage of death and the wounds it inflicts upon us, so also we can grieve and pray for RC Jr. We can pray that he will find comfort in a God who does not stand aloof but knows from experience the grief we face as we stand at the grave of someone we love. And we can take comfort in the same Lord who conquered the grave and gives us abiding hope beyond it.

  12. Reed Here said,

    December 26, 2011 at 7:57 am

    This IS NOT a post intended for theological comment. If you wish to express respectful condolences to Denise Sproul’s family, please do so. Comments of any other kind are inappropriate here.

  13. agewait said,

    January 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of your families loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you all. My heart goes out to you all.

    Adrian Wait, England.

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