One of the most beloved teachers of God’s Word (and one of my personal favorites), Dr. John R. W. Stott died yesterday. He died at the age of 90 as a result of complications related to old age, and Dr. Stott’s friends and family say that, while the loss is tremendous, they’ve been preparing for this to happen for the past 15 years. There are many articles reflecting upon this, but here’s the one of the most significant ones, published in Christianity Today – http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/julyweb-only/john-stott-obit.html.
I join with many others who are saddened by the loss, but I also rejoice at the amazingly full life that Dr. Stott led, the wealth of rich, biblical teaching that he left behind, and the countless lives that he’s touched by both his public proclamation of the gospel and his personal interaction with people around the world. There was certainly a doctrine or two that I would’ve disagreed with him on (most specifically his belief in annihilationism as a solution to the problem of eternal suffering in Hell), but – in spite of this fact – I still count him as one of my very favorite proclaimers of biblical truth, and I hope to follow his fine example in many ways.
If you have never read (or heard) anything by Dr. Stott, then I certainly hope that you will permit this sad moment to motivate you to do so. Among the books that I would most recommend from him are the following:
1. Basic Christianity – As the title indicates, this is a basic overview of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith – a classic which has sold millions of copies over the years.
2. Baptism and Fullness – His treatment of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit – Again, a classic of the Christian faith with a very broad circulation.
3. The Contemporary Christian – A motivational look at how to reach our culture for Jesus by “double-listening”, or carrying the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. We must first determine the needs of our particular community, and then faithfully proclaim the gospel to them in a language that they can all understand clearly.
4. Christian Mission in the Modern World – A basic, yet very comprehensive study of the theology of Christian missions.
5. The Cross of Christ – Possibly the most “scholarly” book that Stott published, yet also his most significant. A wonderful, deep, and biblical study of the most significant event in human history – and a book which has changed many lives over the years.
Even though I had recommended some of these same titles to you months back, I couldn’t let this extremely significant moment in history pass by without attempting to do so once more. I, for one, will miss John Stott greatly, but I am so thankful that the Lord has worked through the writing, preaching, and teaching of Dr. Stott (as well as through a personal visit that I was blessed to have with him once, years ago) to help me grow in my own faith, sharpen my convictions, and develop a greater passion to live out biblical truth in every area of my life. I look forward to “feasting” on the rich, biblical teaching of Dr. Stott’s for many years to come, and will hope to help pass on his teaching to the coming generations of biblical students.