When I read John Stott’s The Cross of Christ in seminary, I knew that I had discovered an author who I would return to time and again. It was not my first acquaintance with Stott. I had seen his book, Basic Christianity, on my Dad’s shelf as a boy, and had already associated him with that strand of scholarly, congenial Evangelicalism within which I personally feel most comfortable. (Note: I do not mean by that that I consider myself a scholar! I am not a scholar. I simply say this because I think that title has to be earned by men of acute mind and perception, both of which I lack, personally. I grow irritated when I hear preachers refer to themselves as “scholars” when they are not. Instead, I am referring simply to the kinds of authors I like to read and the overall milieu within which I feel most at home in terms of focus, temperament, and theology.)
Later, I would read Stott’s wonderful little books, Evangelical Truth (with its suggestion of a triune ordering of Evangelical essentials), Why I Am A Christian, and The Radical Disciple. His book, Baptism and Fullness, helped me immensely in sorting out my own thoughts on the whole issue of the alleged “second baptism in the Holy Spirit” that is part and parcel of much modern charismatic teaching. I have also listened to what preaching of his I could find (Stott has preached at the Beeson Divinity School before, though I simply cannot remember if I heard him at a conference or simply heard the audio) with great interest and profit.
John Stott was an amazing scholar, a prolific author, a balanced and careful theologian, and a man of great humility. He was appropriately irenic and winsome, though he did not lack strong convictions.
I am sorry to hear of his death, though I rejoice at his homegoing.