Many fitting tributes to John Stott have already been posted and many more will be published over the coming weeks. From a personal perspective I particularly valued his expository preaching which I was privileged to hear in various settings. What I most remember about this preaching was that I was challenged and inspired to go back to the scriptures and to study harder to mine the deep riches they contain.
John Stott wrote some 50 books and I mention four that had a particular influence on me at various stages of my own journey of faith and ministry:
- Basic Christianity
- I Believe in Preaching
- Issues Facing Christians Today
- The Cross of Christ
For me the most impressive aspects of John Stott’s life and ministry were his graciousness and humility. I remember John’s address at NEAC 3 in 1988 when, among other things, he responded to the then Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie’s address to the conference. John spoke with an authority that came not from a revered position of power but from a deep wisdom rooted in the Bible and with a profound grasp of the issues facing Evangelicalism and the wider church at the end of the twentieth century.
When I heard the news of John Stott’s death these words came to mind as a prayer of thankfulness:
Well done, thou good and faithful servant… enter thou into the joy of thy lord.