Thank God for John Stott (1921–2011)

The internet has quickly spread the news: John R. W. Stott, at the age of 90, went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, July 27th. He was a dedicated pastor, a fine author (over 50 books, several classics) and a gifted conference Bible teacher. In 2005, he was honored by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

Dr Stott, through the exposition of Scripture found in his books, shaped my early understanding of Christianity. My wife connects her conversion to having read Stott’s little book, Basic Christianity. I first heard him in person at an Urbana Missions Convention teaching through portions of Romans. (I also was known in our college fellowship for doing my own impersonations of JRWS!). I was later privileged to meet him during my years in seminary. I greatly thank God for this man.

Dr Stott wrote so many important books and useful and commentaries (I highly commend “the Bible Speaks Today series he edited for IVP). His bestselling book was one of his earliest (written in 1958 when he was 37 years old), Basic Christianity, which has sold over 2.5 million copies. It is one of the BEST evangelistic introductions to Jesus and the Christian faith. He also wrote an outstanding book on preaching, Between Two Worlds in 1982, which I read my first year in seminary. His book, The Contemporary Christian, is a useful introduction to the “Christian & Culture” issues we face.

Certainly, as Taylor writes, “his most substantial book is probably The Cross of Christ (1986), about which J. I. Packer says, “No other treatment of this supreme subject says so much so truly and so well.” I’ve read that more than once, and commend it to everyone.

Justin Taylor’s blog has more to say on a wonderful page of information and tributes.

Christianity Today had a full obituary yesterday, with these details at the top:

Editor’s Note: John Stott died today at 3:15 London time (about 9:15 a.m. CST), according to John Stott Ministries President Benjamin Homan. Homan said that Stott’s death came after complications related to old age and that he has been in discomfort for the last several weeks. Family and close friends gathered with Stott today as they listened to Handel’s Messiah. Homan said that John Stott Ministries has been preparing for his death for the past 15 years. “I think he set an impeccable example for leaders of ministries of handing things over to other leaders,” Homan said. “He imparted to many a love for the global church and imparted a passion for biblical fidelity and a love for the Savior.” This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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