Farewell John Stott

John Stott has gone ahead of us.  Just a few words.  While this blog is dedicated to taking a Fresh Read of scripture for ourselves, that does not preclude comparing notes with other writers and teachers.  The point is to Read it and read it Freshly.

Stott was a very thoughtful writer, who combined scholarship and pastoral leadership in a rather unique way. He was greatly committed to training leaders and equipping pastors all around the world.  He made a few errors, who has not. I do not follow him in a few points, but here is my short list of Stott works worth reading.

“The Letters of John” in the Tyndale series, is a short commentary on I, II ad III John.  His analysis of this rather elliptical book is excellent – and we learn that not all outlines are linear.  It is not an expensive or a long book, but it is worth reading along with the text.

“Romans” published by IVP and “The Spirit the Church ane the World” are excellent commentaries on Romans and Acts.

“The Cross of Christ”  is a very good exposition of the cross from various angles.  It is interesting in particular how he says that much of popular preaching is off base – when Jesus is presented as sort of the good cop against God the Father as the bad cop.  His view of the text and of trinitarian theology in general safeguards us from setting one person of god against the other.

“Basic Christianity” and the booklets “Becoming a Christian” and “Being a Christian” are classics for thoughtful presentation of the Gospel.  I heard Stott agree with a speaker in Milwaukee that these are books from before the post-modern mindset of our times, so they may not be the best presentation for our times.  Stott was not at all offended but rather agreed with the comment.

He brought together “The Bible Speaks Today” series, which is a serious but accessible set of commentaries on various Biblical books.  His own “Guard the Gospel” and “Sermon on the Mount” are good examples of this series.

John, my library and my sermon notes from the last 25 years say, “well done.”

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