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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Late, Great, Rev Dr John R W Stott

John Stott died yesterday at age 90 at a retirement home for Anglican clergy in the southeast of England. I always thought of Dr. Stott and the Rev. Dr. J.I. Packer as the two greatest Anglican bible scholars of my generation and the two "patron saints" of Trinity School for Ministry, the seminary which trained me for the ordained ministry.

Before ordination however three of Dr. Stott's book really helped form me theologically: The first book of his I read was "Our Guilty Silence" an apologetic for evangelism. The image of a "rabbit-hole Christian" still is fresh in my mind -- we as Christians scurry from one Christian enclave to another like frightened rabbits fearful to engage the world around us. Second, I grasped the meaning of grace when I read "Man Made New: an exposition of Romans 5-8". Third, I read the "Cross of Christ". That book and "Knowing God" by J.I. Packer really are the two books that shaped my thinking more than any others. I heard John Stott preach twice and met him once when he visited Trinity in the mid 1990s as a Simeon Lecturer.

What is amazing is how he influenced Anglican evangelicalism and has been instrumental in making it a worldwide force. In my mind the ACNA owes John Stott a great debt of gratitude for it would not have been even conceived without him and his work.

Stott's influence however did not end with evangelical Anglicanism. He was widely respected by all Protestants: Reformed, Charismatic, Pentecostal, and Wesleyan and Lutheran, as well as the Orthodox, Anglo-Catholics and even many Roman Catholics. He was truly a Christian statesman. I would rank him with Billy Graham, Pope John Paul II, and Mother Theresa as the greatest ambassadors for Christ in the 20th century.

A wonderful obit from Christianity Today on Dr. Stott is here.

Very moving tributes from the vicars that succeeded him at his parish, All Souls Langham Place London UK are here.

"Thinking Anglicans" has some additional obits and tributes from England, including the Abp of Canterbury, Rowen Williams here.

And a moving tribute by the Langham Partnership is here

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