John Stott has been a leader and scholar in the evangelical world for over thirty years. He was the chairman of the committees that produced the Lausanne Covenant  and Manila Manifesto . He has written fifty books and his classic, Basic Christianity, has been translated into over fifty languages. If you want your mind stretched and your heart warmed, pick up and read one of John Stott’s books. Now, listen to his wise and Christ-honoring words found in his book, Contemporary Christianity.
Christ is central: “The conclusion is simple. Whenever we read the Bible we must look for Christ. And we must go on looking until we see and so believe. Only as we continue to appropriate by faith the riches of Christ which are disclosed in Scripture, shall we grow into spiritual maturity, and become men and women of God who are “thoroughly equipped for every good work” p.28
Jesus is not “the great”: “It would be hopelessly incongruous to refer to him as ‘Jesus the Great’, comparable to Alexander the Great, Charles the Great or Napoleon the Great. Jesus is not ‘the Great’; he is the only. He has no peers, no rivals, no successors.” p.306
Like no other book: “Because Scripture is the Word of God, we should read it as we read no other book- on our knees, humbly, reverently, prayerfully, looking to the Holy Spirit for illumination. But because the Scripture is also the words of human beings, we should read it as we read every other book, using our minds, thinking, pondering, and reflecting, and paying close attention to its literary, historical, cultural and linguistic characteristics. This combination of humble reverence and critical reflection is not only not impossible; it is indispensable.” p.170
The Lord gets the glory: “First, we have a weak and foolish message [Christ and the cross]. Secondly, it is proclaimed by weak and foolish preachers. Thirdly, it is welcomed by weak and foolish people. Thus God chose a weak instrument [Paul] to bring a weak message [the cross] to weak people [the Corinthian working class]. Why? It was ‘so that no-one may boast before him’ and so that he who does boast will ‘boast in the Lord’ alone.” p.69
A weak Church: “The church is insecure; it is uncertain of its identity, mission and message. It stammers and stutters, when it should be proclaiming the gospel with boldness. Indeed, the major reason for its diminishing influence in the West is its diminishing faith.” p.183
The Church can grow, here and now: “We have to repent of our pessimism [especially in the West], our low expectations, our cynical unbelief that, although the church may grow elsewhere, it cannot grow among us. Fiddlesticks! If only we could gain a fresh and compelling vision of Jesus Christ incarnate and crucified, risen and reigning, bestowing the Spirit and coming again! Then we would have the clarity of purpose and strength of motive, the courage, the authority, the power and the passion for world evangelization in our time.” p.374
Christianity is not safe: “The Christianity of the Bible is not a safe, smug, cozy, selfish, escapist little religion. On the contrary, it is deeply disturbing to our sheltered security. It is an explosive, centrifugal force, which pulls us out from our narrow self centeredness and flings us into God’s world to witness and to serve. So we must find practical ways, individually and through our local church, of expressing this commitment.” p.335
Stand firm!: “We are neither to give in, nor opt out. Instead we are to stay in and stand firm, like a rock in a mountain stream, like a rose blooming in mid winter, like a lily growing in a manure heap.” p.263
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