Few people have shaped evangelicalism more in the past 100 years than John R.W. Stott, and this morning he departed to glory with a legacy that will far outlast his lifetime. I never had a chance to meet John Stott, but I felt that I came to know him through his writings in the many ways he came to meet me in the journey of my Christian faith.
In the early days of my studies, I benefited greatly from his classic book Basic Christianity, which I often kept several copies in my car to give away. In the formative days of my preaching, his book Between Two Worlds was foundational to understanding and communicating God’s Word. When I wrestled with the nature, extent, and purpose of Christ’s work on the cross, his book The Cross of Christ rocked my world and plunged me deeper into the glories of Calvary that I had ever been. As I began to consider how to apply what I had been learning to the world around me, his book The Contemporary Christian was a faithful guide.
When I moved onto seminary, my first major topic of interest was understanding evangelical anti-intellectualism, what would you know, but John Stott had written a book on it (actually they are lectures put into a book). In the following years, I began wrestling with evangelical mission, in particular the relationship of evangelism with social action. Stott had two books that I referenced regularly, namely Christian Mission in the Modern World and Our Guilty Silence. Though it is presented as a commentary, John Stott’s commentary on the book of Acts is incredibly helpful and insightful for the mission of the church, and from my reading of Tim Keller very instrumental in his thinking as well.
The are other books by Stott that I enjoyed, but these served almost biographically in my journey over the past ten years and proved to impact me in numerous ways. I’m confident that I’m not alone in saying that God has used John Stott in big ways and small as a trustworthy guide in matters related to the gospel, the church, and the mission entrusted to us. Stott was a faithful steward, and I pray that my generation will carry that baton in the shadow of this churchman, scholar, and missionary statesman for generations to come. Thank you John Stott, for the way God used you to impact my life.
Below is a tribute from Langham Partnership, the ministry outreach of John Stott that has just been made available.