For many, the name John Stott, is just one of thousands of names listed in the recent obituaries. For some, of which I include myself, the name carries great honor and respect. While I have never met the man, his writings and life have left a significant impact upon me.
In 1993, while at seminary, I was introduced to John’s writings. Starting with Basic Christianity and then the Bible Speaks Today – Commentaries, I was struck by his ability to cut through the complexities and give a clear word. John Piper speaks of Stott’s writings providing windows into the Bible. I agree. Let me provide an example…one of my favorites:
Our sin must be extremely horrible. Nothing reveals the gravity of sin like the cross. For ultimately what sent Christ there was neither the greed of Judas, nor the envy of the priests, not the vacillating cowardice of Pilate, but our own greed, envy, cowardice, and other sins, and Christ’s resolve in love and mercy to bear their judgment and so put them away.
It is impossible for us to face Christ’s cross with integrity and not feel ashamed of ourselves. Apathy, selfishness, and complacency blossom everywhere in the world except at the cross. There these noxious weeds shrivel and die. There they are seen for the tatty, poisonous things they are. For if there was no way by which the righteous God could righteously forgive our unrighteousness, except that he should bear it himself in Christ, it must be serious indeed…
–from The Cross of Christ
John Stott died July 27th while listening the Handell’s Messiah. For a fuller picture of John Stott, I refer you to The Telegraph. However let me share this…to quote one of John’s many research assistants… Tyler Wigg-Stevenson
In the coming days there will be a new tombstone in a tiny churchyard in Dale, a stone’s throw from the Hookses, and it will read April 27, 1921–July 27, 2011. But John Stott did not die today. He died more than a half century ago, when he accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on his behalf. And as Paul declares in 2 Corinthians, Uncle John bore that death every day since, until his last, as he sought to reveal with word and deed the life that was no longer his, which was hidden in Christ. I have never known a man who so conformed to the image of his savior. And so, though he is taken from us and I miss him dearly, he is even closer at hand tonight than he was this morning, wholly consumed, at last, in the life and likeness of the Lord he loves.
Welcome home John. I await the day to meet you and say thank you!