Basic Christian, The Inside Story of John Stott

This is a biography of John Stott. It basically focuses on that part of Stott’s life that began with his ministry at All Soul’s parish church in London to his worldwide ministry on all the major continents of the world. Steer included a quote from Dr. Billy Graham which I believe is so true, “John Stott is the most respected evangelical clergyman in the world today, and has been a standard, or role model for thousands of clergy.”

There are so many things that could be said about this biography. I’ll only mention a couple. Chapter 25, Wincing Under Attack, is an important chapter. One of the problems that developed several years ago that caused great concern for many evangelical and reformed theologians, and rightly so, was John Stott’s view of hell and punishment. Stott’s view differs significantly from most reformed and evangelicals understanding of hell. He has been misquoted, misunderstood, and often turned away because it was said that Stott did not believe in hell. This chapter contains a lengthy interview with David Edwards, a provost, historian, writer, and editor. He put this before Stott. Bottom line, it would be wrong and misleading to say that John Stott does not believe in hell. What does he believe? You’ll have to read this book and chapter. But I will quote him here, “”I do not dogmatise about the position to which I have come. I hold it tentatively.”

Another valuable chapter in this biography deals with “what is evangelicalism.” Not only has Stott written quite a bit on this subject, he has been looked to as the man to give a clear definition of a theological perspective that has become more and more vague, confused, and uncertain. (We reviewed an earlier Stott book giving his concept of evangelicalism).

Related Book Reviews:

John Stott at Keswick: A Lifetime of Preaching
by John Stott

The Last Word: Reflections on a Lifetime of Preaching
by John Stott

The Radical Disciple: Some Neglected Aspects of Our Calling
by John Stott

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Charles Dunahoo pastored churches in Georgia and Alabama before being called to his present position as Coordinator for the PCA of Christian Education and Publications (CEP).

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