In those days, Giants were in the land (Genesis 6:4).
Yes, I know I have taken Genesis 6:4 out of context, but out of context it appropriately refers to John Stott, who passed away yesterday, south of London at the age of 90.
I read my first book by Stott as a young college student. My father gave me his short book, Christian Mission in the Modern World as a Christmas gift. From that time on, I was a big fan of John Stott. His book on preaching, Between Two Worlds, is in my opinion, still one of the best books on homiletics today years after its publication. I did not read all of his 50+ books he published over his long career, but I read enough to be reminded of his influence periodically in my sermons and writing. He had the ability to write substantively and clearly, which is not something everyone can do. For Stott, theology had everything to do with the church and the church had everything to do with the world God was redeeming. Again and again in his theological reflection, Stott returned to the Bible rightly believing that a theology that was not biblical was not good theology. And ultimately, the central focus of theology and church and mission and life was Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. For Stott, there was no compromise to be entertained when it came to Jesus.
Now, John R.W. Stott has joined the church triumphant, and we who remain are now cheered on by him as he joins that great cloud of witnesses.
Knowing that seems to make our task a little bit easier today... and tomorrow...
Thank you, John Stott, and praise to you O Jesus, for your faithful servant, whose influence for your Kingdom continues even now.
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