Growing Up (with) R.C. by R.C. Sproul Jr.: A Book Review
R.C. Sproul Jr. is a very controversial figure. I actually wasn’t even aware of this when I asked to review his book. I just knew that I loved his dad and had benefited greatly from his ministry and Jr.’s book intrigued me because I learn about what it was like to be Sproul Senior’s son. You can find plenty of details regarding the controversies if you wish, but that is not the aim of this review. My aim is to review the book that R.C. Jr. has written and take it for it is.
That being said, Tullian Tchividjian wrote the foreword to this book and I have to think that was a poor choice. He has been surrounded by his own controversies and probably isn’t the person you want endorsing your book. That gives Growing Up (with) R.C. a rough start out of the gate. I do wish Sproul Jr. had chosen someone different to write the foreword even if it had been someone with an unrecognizable name. His wife, Lisa, wrote the afterword and honestly, she would have been a better choice for the foreword as well.
Continuing on though, Growing Up (with) R.C. is a good book. Given the title, it makes perfect sense that this book is not only about R.C. Sproul Sr., but also highlights much of the life and learning that R.C. Jr. experienced and gleaned with his dad as well. If you come into this book thinking it’s all about R.C. Sr., you will be disappointed. R.C. Jr. says of the book, “What follows then is not by any stretch a biography. that will be handled by far more competent hands than mine. Rather, what follows is more a remembrance, a looking back at the lessons I learned in the backyard, in the car, in the woods, and at the dining table” (5). He completely delivers on this thesis.
My main complaint with this book is that I hoped for more. I wanted to hear more stories about R.C. Sr. I’m truly being selfish as R.C. Jr. does share 25 different stories in here. I was most fascinated by the ones where his dad was his professor. I imagine it would be hard growing up in your dad’s shadow, but R.C. seems to handle it as gracefully as anyone could.
Most of us will never grow up in the same house as someone who reaches celebrity status. It is interesting to hear the stories that R.C. Jr. tells and he allows us a small glimpse into the world he grew up in. He gives us a picture of R.C. Sr. that we would never know otherwise. It’s obvious that his dad was his hero and I for one, am grateful to have been able to hear some of the stories that R.C. Jr. shares.