Archive for the ‘John Stott’ Category

50 and Out

October 11, 2007

‘Living Church’ is John Stott’s fiftieth and final book. He writes it as the convictions of a life-long pastor. For those familiar with Stott’s books there is much that is familiar and much that you will taste elsewhere- which is no doubt fitting for someone summing up 60 years in ministry. The book is full of typical Stott virtues- humility, careful textual reading, reflection on church and culture. And of course a call for BBC- Biblically Balanced Christianity.

I suppose one of the surprising themes for me is just how much Stott’s book is suffused with Anglicanism, including an apologia for it in an appendix. It strikes me that his view of Anglicanism owes more to a romantic than a realistic view of Anglicanism. But of course his views are stated clearly and courteously as one would expect. But whether Anglican or not there is much to be gained for the careful reader especially as he calls us to think about the church.

Stott also gives a nod to the emergent church but I wonder how far he would still be sympathetic now that its agenda has become clearer?

As I said in a previous blog the church is indebted to Stott for his half century of work in promoting the cause of Christ and it should be our prayer that God would continue to raise up men of his calibre for a new generation.

It’s Good to Rant

October 2, 2007

I’ve just come across an article on the BBC website about a company (church?) who have started to sell a range of mobile phone products aimed at Christians including downloads of the Bible, Christian themed wallpapers, music etc. I suppose there must be sufficient interest in this to warrant the product. But at the risk of revealing my Luddite tendencies I think what’s the point of this? My inclination that here is not only a dumbing down of the gospel but a trivialisation of it was reinforced when a pastor was quoted as saying here was a way of getting the message across in ‘a fun, funky way.’

I couldn’t help but contrast this with a comment by John Stott that one of the great barriers to the gospel is the fact that people think that here is something too trivial to deal with the big issues of life. What kind of a faith do people have that they need a fun, funky way of commending it to others? The great message of the Bible is neither fun nor funky but deals with matters of eternal consequence. But here is another headline grabbing piece of here today gone tomorrow nonsense that will leave people once again laughing at the pathetic church.

Thanks, for John Stott

September 24, 2007

87 year old John Stott gave his final address at this summer’s Keswick conference. I was sad to hear that the grand old man had received criticism through the letters page of Church Times newspaper. Stott of course has had his faults over the years like every other church leader. But the worldwide church in the last half century is deeply indebted to him. He did much to shape what has been good about evangelicalism in the 20th century. His humility, his careful scholarship, his statesmanship and winsomeness have done much to commend contemporary evangelicalism to an increasingly sceptical post-war generation.

I’ve read many of his books and heard his sermons both in audio and in the flesh. I recall him giving a lecture one evening and at there was rapturous applause. Smiling, Stott raised his hands upwards ‘to Him,’ to God alone be the glory. It was the mark of his ministry, a labour of love for God alone. We should be thankful to God for John Stott, for Stott was indeed God’s gift to the church.