1. The Rev. Russell Levenson, Jr. wrote:
Faithful pastor, mentor, friend, preacher to countless numbers of people around the world. One of my ‘last visits’ with one who is known to many worldwide as “Uncle John” was in his room at this retirement village, November of last year. We had a great time of discussion and prayer. As an evangelical within a deeply troubled American Episcopal Church…his exact words to me were “Stay…don’t leave…stay put and preach faithfully the Gospel.” He then asked me to pray that he ‘finish’ his last book, “Radical Discipleship,” (published earlier this year). We prayed together, embraced and he smiled that wonderful smile he has shared with thousands of those he has mentored over the years. He will be missed…He is being greeted in that Kingdom prepared for Him since the foundation of the earth….
Russell Levenson, Jr.
July 27, 5:57 pm | [comment link]
Rector, St. Martin’s
2. macpat wrote:
As a new christian in the mid-70’s I was given a book by a friend, Basic Christianity. It really laid a solid foundation for the rest of my walk with Jesus.
Fr. Patrick Malone
July 27, 6:12 pm | [comment link]
3. Karen B. wrote:
Certainly John Stott’s books, especially Basic Christianity, and the Cross of Christ have made an impact in my life.
More recently however, I had the joy & privilege of attending the 3rd Lausanne Congress, held in Capetown last October. Those of us who were there were so aware that we were standing on the shoulders of giants, and greatly indebted to John Stott and Billy Graham for their vision and legacy of organizing the first two Lausanne gatherings.
Also, John Stott and JI Packer were largely responsible for my staying within the Anglican fold all these years. Having grown up in the Diocese of Newark under Bp. Spong and been disgusted with the Episcopal church, it is likely that I would have left for evangelical non-denominational circles had I not discovered Stott and Packer and realized that it truly WAS and STILL IS possible to be both evangelical and Anglican.
July 27, 7:30 pm | [comment link]
4. wismered wrote:
John Stott was very much a father-in-God for me. I had the barely-credible privilege of being his study assistant for two years. During my time with him in London, he exemplified patience, humility, and graciousness. I will always remember how kind he was to my parents when they came for a visit. I remember his courage in breaking up a fist fight outside on the sidewalk by the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, bravely entering into the fray to be a very real peace-maker! I was able to see the very real integrity of a man who sought to be as like his Saviour as possible. He will be dearly missed. May God raise up others of such caliber to be his ambassador to our age, with equal candor, passion and determination.
July 27, 8:45 pm | [comment link]
5. Pageantmaster [KJS to Coventry] wrote:
I wrote this earlier today to a friend:
It’s odd, sitting at my desk just now I had to fight back the tears. How strange and surprising - it has brought back things from long ago and far away. It was listening to him on the radio in 1971 which first started my God-search. It led to Him finding me, and I was confirmed in the Cathedral later that year aged 11.
I got rather vexed after listening to him on the radio, and asked my mother, a committed Christian, how I could find out if God was there. She suggested I read his book [Basic Christianity], and gave me a copy. I read it overnight in my bed, and having got to Chapter 10, gave the requested prayer asking God to reveal himself if he was there. The room went warm and yellow, and an electric shock of warmth and love spread through me and I had a sense of the words: Be still, and know that I am God. Then great peace, and excitement, and I realised what they call the Peace of God which passes all understanding is real.
Thereafter, the excitement came back regularly as I was reading scripture, and although I have been aware of the power of the Holy Spirit periodically in my life, it has never been as shocking and as powerful as that first time, when I became aware that God really did exist.
I am thankful for the gift of the ministry of Uncle John in my life.
July 27, 9:25 pm | [comment link]
6. Pageantmaster [KJS to Coventry] wrote:
Btw, his ministry continues. If I am trying to understand a passage, I quite often go onto the All Soul’s website and do a passage search for a sermon of his. It usually is clear and helpful, and the sermon archive of all his sermons going back to the 1960’s is available by registering with an email and password. The link is here
July 27, 9:33 pm | [comment link]
7. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) wrote:
Birds. So basic. So real. So personal.
July 28, 7:19 am | [comment link]
8. Dan Crawford wrote:
In the light of the antics of 500+ fools in Washington demonstrating their complete contempt for the common welfare of our society, I am reminded of the John Stott’s response at a public gathering to one of my seminary professors who asked him whether he thought the downfall of the Soviet Union was the definitive sign of God’s blessing on
July 28, 7:43 am | [comment link]
the United States. Stott’s reply: “Capitalism is as much an idol as communism”. Too bad politicians who claim they’re Christian rarely have such insight.
9. Kendall Harmon wrote:
I am giving this entry priority on the blog for today because I believe it is one of the best ways to honor the way the Lord used John Stott.
July 28, 8:33 am | [comment link]
10. the roman wrote:
John Stott requiescat in pace. I read Basic Christianity this past year with my ecumenical Men’s Group and came away richer for it.
July 28, 9:11 am | [comment link]
11. New Reformation Advocate wrote:
I was introduced to Stott’s writings as a freshman at Wheaton College, when his early book, Christ the Controversialist, was an assigned textbook for a class. It had a deep impact on me, and is still one of my favorite books by him. That led me to read his simple (but not simplistic) summary of the basic Christian message in his classic Basic Christianity. But in the end, I think the book that has had the deepest and longest-lasting influence on me was his later masterpiece, The Cross of Christ.
Besides his writings, I was also privileged to hear John Stott preach in person several times, both at Wheaton, and at the 1976 Urbana missionary convention sponsored by InterVarsity. To my delight, he was just as lucid and compelling in person as he was in print.
To me, perhaps Stott’s greatest gift was his almost unmatched ability to communicate profound biblical truths so clearly and persuasively, in simple, forceful terms that virtually everyone who knows English can understand. In that regard he was similar to C. S. Lewis, the other mid 20th-century Anglican master at communicating Christian truth to the masses. Both men were unsurpassed in the art of making the Christian message very clear and attractive, while avoiding undue oversimplifications and distortions, or downplaying the stern challenges presented by the gospel.
Now ironically, it was at Wheaton, that I also came under the influence of Bob Webber, and thus was introduced to the writings of the great early fathers of the Church, and the whole catholic wing of Anglicanism. I was also a charismatic, and thus disappointed by Stott’s little book on The Baptism and Fullness of the Holy Spirit, which was distinctly cool, if not hostile, to the charismatic movement. And thus I ended up becoming the “3-D” Christian I am today, evangelical, catholic, and charismatic, whereas I perceive John Stott as pretty much one dimensional, i.e., evangelical in a classic Protestant way that shied away from the cathlic and charismatic dimensions that are equally important to me. But I still honor this superb Anglican pastor and teacher.
I don’t think it’s been mentioned yet on this thread, but it’s well known that John Stott was more than once offered the chance to become a bishop, including I think the opportunity to be the Archbishop of Sydney. But he always refused such offers, believing that his call to teach would be too restricted by the administrative burdens of the episcopate. Thank God for his faithful life and witness. Would that more of us could bear half as much fruit for the Savior! Nay even a quarter of it…
July 28, 9:19 am | [comment link]
12. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:
Sadly, I don’t know much about John Stott, which is pitiful on my part because I’d met the man some years ago when I was visiting All Souls-Langham Place. I didn’t realize who he was at the time. I’ve since read some of his articles and a few of his books, but, sadly, I still don’t know much about him or his theology.
July 28, 10:52 am | [comment link]
13. Jeremy Bonner wrote:
As I mentioned in an earlier thread, this might be helpful.
July 28, 11:16 am | [comment link]
14. Jim the Puritan wrote:
Back in my early twenties, when I went through the new members class at the first Christ-centered church I had ever attended, we used Stott’s Basic Christianity as our text.
In my present Sunday morning class at church, we are using Stott’s Through the Bible, Through the Year devotional as the text on which to base our discussions. So that’s more than 30 years that Stott has been part of my Christian walk, right up until today.
So Stott is like an anchor that is always there for Christians, although he was low-key enough that many people don’t recognize what an impact he has had. Along with C.S. Lewis and J.I. Packer, he expressed the best of Anglicanism. Sadly, I don’t think you will see those kinds of Christians in the Anglican tradition any more (perhaps Nicky Gumbel is an exception to that, but I can’t think of others offhand).
July 28, 2:08 pm | [comment link]
15. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:
I was just glancing on the Wikipedia article about Stott, and it references a work he wrote in 2008 entitled, “The Anglican Evangelical Doctrine of Infant Baptism.” Has anyone read this?
July 28, 2:19 pm | [comment link]
16. FrVan wrote:
Like many of evangelicals of my generation, I was influenced at a relatively young age by Dr. Stott’s writing. In College he gave me the background, along with J.I. Packer, to hold my own against the liberal, and at best agnostic, intellectual elite of college, and even into theological and seminary studies later. I don’t mean he made me a better debater, but a deeper person of faith. Dr. Stott’s depth was especially evident when I had the honor to meet him when he spoke at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi (where I was taking courses for my own improvement at the time). He was ignored by the local “establishment” Episcopalians, while there, and I must admit to being shocked how few even really knew who he was. I was very taken by the graciousness of his spirit, and willingness to share knowledge, yet how humble he seemed. What dignity he had about himself, a certain refinement—-what we might have called years ago a “Christian Gentleman.” He represented what was, I pray may still be, best about being Anglican.
July 28, 2:38 pm | [comment link]
17. Karen B. wrote:
Sadly, Jim the Puritan’s surprising first line in #14 makes perfect sense to me:
Back in my early twenties, when I went through the new members class at the first Christ-centered church I had ever attended, we used Stott’s Basic Christianity as our text. (emphasis mine)
Yes, I too have been to non-Christ-centered churches, (as oxymoronish as this sounds!) Growing up in the Dio. of Newark under Bp. Spong, they were sadly the norm.
July 28, 3:32 pm | [comment link]
18. pastorchuckie wrote:
When I learned for the first time who John Stott was, a little more than 25 years ago, and the impact he was having, I certainly respected him. But I felt a distance between my catholic soul and what seemed to me his very dry (“one-dimensional”?) brand of English evangelicalism. What Dave (#11 above) wrote about Dr. Stott’s being “distinctly cool, if not hostile, to the charismatic movement” sounds a lot like my impression.
But the clarity of Basic Christianity and The Cross of Christ are refreshing and illuminating no matter how often I read them. I can’t say I ever personally met Dr. Stott, but while in seminary I did get to hear him lecture on Paul’s letter to the Romans. It seemed to me the next best thing to hearing Paul himself.
Hulls Cove, Maine
In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.
July 28, 5:19 pm | [comment link]
19. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:
The gentleman+ was a gift because he was just that, and also kind, devout, steadfast and unwavering. An example to be emulated…God rest and keep his soul…
July 28, 10:13 pm | [comment link]
20. David Wilson wrote:
I always thought of Dr. Stott and the Rev. Dr. J.I. Packer as the two greatest Anglican bible scholars of my generation and the two “patron saints” of Trinity School for Ministry, the seminary which trained me for the ordained ministry.
Before ordination however three of Dr. Stott’s book really helped form me theologically: The first book of his I read was “Our Guilty Silence” an apologetic for evangelism. The image of a “rabbit-hole Christian” still is fresh in my mind—we as Christians scurry from one Christian enclave to another like frightened rabbits fearful to engage the world around us. Second, I grasped the meaning of grace when I read “Man Made New: an exposition of Romans 5-8”. Third, I read the “Cross of Christ”. That book and “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer really are the two books that shaped my thinking more than any others. I heard John Stott preach twice and met him once when he visited Trinity in the mid 1990s as a Simeon Lecturer.
July 28, 10:36 pm | [comment link]
21. The Northener wrote:
I too was deeply moved and saddened to hear of the loss of John Stott, but it was not long before that was replaced by a smile I as tried to picture what it would be like as John Stott entered through the gates of heaven to take his place and the warm welcome and embrace he would receive…who knows..standing ovation maybe..as the words “Well done good and faithful servant…” ring out across heaven…
“Well done…” almost seems a bit of an understatment..
However there is one book for me which has not yet been mentioned and which, for personal reasons, towers above his other great works.
The seminal “Issues Facing Christians Today” almost singlehandedly prevented the Church of England, especially its evangelical wing, from abandoning altogether the imperative to both believe biblically and to act socialy and politically too.
I was a student and President of my CU studying Economics and Politics at the time and it had a profound effect on me. As Rowan Williams has pointed out in his warm tribute, he would challenge thos in his own fold and tackle very difficult areas where others maybe feared to tread.
One issue he covered in the book which, may not mean much to others but would mean a lot to me later in my life was the issue of nuclear power from a Christian perspective.
Since reading the book many years ago, I have spent a large proportion of my career working for the department which regulates the UK nuclear industry, somewhere I never thought I would end up whilst at college reading IFCT.
Like a couple of earlier contributors, I was slightly disappointed that he was not able to embrace some of the charismatic side of evangelical life, or maybe encourage those of us who had done so, but the charismatic movement was a lot less mature than it is now and some of its adherents in the earlier years I struggled with too.
I personally never met him, but from what I have read and heard he was a true ambassador for Christ, whose presence he is in now, and which “is better by far” as Paul would say.
Hey…there’s a thought…the Apostle Paul and John Stott having a divine chat…oh to be a fly on the heavenly wall.
July 29, 11:16 am | [comment link]
22. New Reformation Advocate wrote:
Thanks for pointing out that article listed in Wikipedia. I too would be interested in reading Stott’s defense of infant baptism, if anyone can point out a way to get a hold of it (the online link is inactive).
But in the meantime, I strongly suspect that Stott’s approach would be similar to that of CoE evangelicals +Colin Buchanan and Canon Michael Green. Buchanan’s 32-page Grove booklet from 1973, “A Case for Infant Baptism,” and Green’s popular style little book from 1987, Baptism: It’s Purpose, Practice, and Power, have been standard and representative of the low-church Anglican view. That is, they tend ultimately to be based in Reformed covenant theology that emphasizes the continuity between the OT and the NT, taking for granted the notion of family solidarity as carrying over into the NT, and making much of the supposed parallel between infant baptism and infant circumcision.
However, I’d be happy to be proven wrong, and shown that Stott had moved away from that seriously flawed basis for defending infant baptism. Obviously, IOW, I myself would defend the practice of infant baptism on the grounds of catholic sacramental theology rather than Reformed Protestant covenant theology, i.e., frankly on the basis of post-biblical Tradition rather than on a putative biblical basis that doesn’t really hold water. But that’s clearly a debate for a different thread.
Anyway, I hope that helps, Archer. Blessings to you in Brookings.
August 1, 10:10 am | [comment link]
David Handy+ (Sioux Falls native)