John Stott Remembered

August 8, 2011 at 11:11 am | Posted in Books and Movies, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

John R. W. Stott passed away two weeks ago, though I just found out about it today.  He was one of the great spokesmen of Evangelical Christianity in the late 20th Century.  He had a big impact on me through both his speaking and his writing.  I first encountered Stott through some of his IVP devotional/teaching booklets in college, and I picked up a few of his other books then too.  I have since read Men Made New, The Baptism and Fullness of the Holy Spirit, Basic Christianity, Your Mind Matters, and The Cross of Christ (one of his best works, but it was so long ago I’d like to read it again, unfortunately I only had a borrowed copy).  His masterpiece called Between Two Worlds has been the most influential book on preaching I’ve read.  And, finally, I have used and mostly read a number of his commentaries including Acts, 2 Timothy and 1 John.

Here is a personal story, and then a great quote.

I was privileged to hear him speak as he led the daily Bible studies at the Urbana Missionary Conference in 1979.  He expounded on Romans 5 (from his book Men Made New), and we students were delighted to hear him talk about the “roth” of God with his wonderful British accent.  I approached him after the morning lesson one day to ask if I could accompany him back to his room, and by some miracle he agreed!  While we walked, I asked him what he did to spend time in God’s Word, and though I don’t recall much that he said about his methods, I was impressed how much he emphasized the necessity of just doing it.  Take time in God’s Word, only then will you be on solid ground in your relationship with God; only then will you be what God wants you to be; only then will you have something to minister to others.

And finally a great quote for a preaching pastor:

When a man of God stands before the people of God with the Word of God in his hand and the Spirit of God in his heart, you have a unique opportunity for communication.  I fully agree with Martyn Lloyd-Jones that the decadent periods in the history of the church have always been those periods marked by preaching in decline.  That is a negative statement.  The positive counterpart is that churches grow to maturity when the Word of God is faithfully and sensitively expounded to them.  If it is true that a human being cannot live by bread only, but by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God, then it also is true of churches.  Churches live, grow, and thrive in response to the Word of God.  I have seen congregations come alive by the faithful and systematic unfolding of the Word of God.

— John R. W. Stott, from in interview with Albert Mohler in Preaching magazine

Thanks for a life well lived, and for a positive influence on this younger man.

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