R.C. Sproul (1939–2017) was one of the most influential theologians of the past generation. He was a brilliant thinker and a gifted teacher, as he had the ability to simplify difficult concepts and make them understandable for all. He had a passion for Christian education, teaching in a variety of contexts and becoming a pastor in his later years.
Dr. Sproul's influence can be attributed in no small part to his use of technology. Dr. Sproul not only wrote books and articles, but he also recorded his lectures for distribution and eventually put them on the internet at Ligonier.org.
Dr. Sproul was in part loved because of his jovial character and contagious laughter. Rarely is there a lesson where he failed to make a joke and crack a big smile.
I've never met anyone who disliked the man, but that does not mean Dr. Sproul failed to take a stand on controversial issues. On the contrary, he was a staunch defender of the Reformation teachings of sola scriptura (the Bible is our ultimate authority) and sola fide (justification by faith alone), as well as God's sovereignty and biblical inerrancy.
Dr. Sproul was a big reason I decided to attend Reformed Theological Seminary, as he formerly taught at the Jackson campus (where I attended) and later helped start the Orlando campus. I would likely have met Dr. Sproul at a conference in 2010, but he was unable to attend due to his declining health. However, though I never met him, I feel like I knew Dr. Sproul through his books and video lessons.
He will be sorely missed. But thanks to technology, his legacy and influence can live on. I therefore want to recommend some of Dr. Sproul's works. First and foremost, you should go to Ligonier.org and click on the "Learn" button at the top. They have free daily videos and a massive collection of teaching series. Some cost a small fee, but their audio material is free, such as the series "Meaning for Men" (which is excellent) or "Roman Catholicism."
In the line of books, there are many to choose from. Here are some of my favorites:
The Holiness of God – This is Dr. Sproul's classic work, where he explains what it means that God is holy and how we should live in light of this truth.
Chosen By God – This is a popular book by Dr. Sproul defending God's unconditional election (or "predestination") of Christians for salvation.
What is Reformed Theology? – This is a great introduction to Reformed theology, including the five solas, covenant theology, and the five points of Calvinism.
Knowing Scripture – This is an excellent introductory work on how to read and study the Bible.
Now, That's a Good Question! – This is a collection of over 300 difficult questions about the Bible and theology, with brief but satisfactory answers by Dr. Sproul.
The Last Days According to Jesus – Dr. Sproul argues in this work that most of Jesus' predictions in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) were referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D, or what is called "partial preterism."
The Consequences of Ideas – This is a survey of philosophy from a Christian perspective.