John R. W. Stott

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The Rev. Dr. John R. W. Stott

"John Stott was born in London in 1921 to Sir Arnold and Lady Stott. He was educated at Rugby School, where he became head boy, and Trinity College Cambridge. At Trinity he earned a double first in French and theology, and was elected a senior scholar...

"When John Stott began his ordained ministry, evangelicals had little influence in the Anglican church hierarchy. Through personal initiatives such as the reinvented Eclectic Society, Dr. Stott sought to raise the sights and morale of young evangelical clergy. From a founding membership of 22 of his friends, the society grew to over 1,000 members by the mid 1960s. Out of this movement grew many initiatives, most notably the two National Evangelical Anglican Congresses of 1967 and 1977, which Dr. Stott chaired.

"Dr. Stott was also chair of the Church of England Evangelical Council (www.ceec.info) from 1967 to 1984 and president of two influential Christian organizations, the British Scripture Union (www.scriptureunion.org.uk) from 1965 to 1974 and the British Evangelical Alliance (www.eauk.org) from 1973 to 1974. Dr. Stott combined his commitment to evangelism and his fostering of future Christian leaders by involving himself in the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (www.uccf.org.uk), where he was president four times between 1961 and 1982. He also served as a chaplain to the queen from 1959 to 1991 and received the rare honour of being appointed an Extra Chaplain in 1991.

"John Stott often bemoans the anti-intellectualism apparent in some Christians. In contrast he stresses the need, in his words, “to relate the ancient Word to the modern world.” It was this conviction that led to his founding The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (www.licc.org.uk) in 1982 to “offer courses in the inter-relations between faith, life and mission to thinking Christian lay people.” He served as its first director and then as president from 1986 onward...

"In 1970, Michael Baughen’s appointment as vicar of All Souls allowed John Stott to travel more widely. Since then, Dr. Stott has been able to spend about three months each year fulfilling speaking engagements abroad (with three further months spent at The Hookses, his Welsh writing retreat). He traveled regularly to the United States, and his prominence within North American evangelicalism was reflected in his role as Bible expositor on six occasions at the triennial Urbana Student Mission Convention arranged by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (www.intervarsity.org). John Stott’s links with students worldwide were strengthened by his leading of some 50 university missions between 1952 and 1977 in Britain, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia, and he was vice president of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (www.ifesworld.org) from 1995 to 2003.

"One of Dr. Stott’s major contributions to world evangelization was through the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization held at Lausanne, Switzerland. John Stott acted as chair of the drafting committee for the Lausanne Covenant, a significant milestone in the evangelical movement. As chair of the Lausanne Theology and Education Group from 1974 to 1981, he contributed strongly to the growing evangelical understanding of the relation between evangelism and social action. He was again chair of the drafting committee for the Manila Manifesto, a document produced by the second International Congress in 1989.

"John Stott’s commitment to the renewal of evangelicalism in the worldwide Anglican Church led to his involvement in the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC); from 1960 to 1981 he was honorary general secretary, and from 1986 to 1990 he served as its President. His desire to strengthen ties between evangelical theologians in Europe was a key force in the founding of the Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians (FEET) in 1977.

"Dr. Stott has had a particular wish to travel to countries in the Majority World. His concern for the world’s poor led to involvement in Tearfund (www.tearfund.org), which he served as president from 1983 to 1997, and also in Armonia in Mexico (www.armoniamexico.info) as patron. Through his contact with pastors in the Majority World, John Stott became increasingly convinced of the need to help in the provision of books and scholarships. This work has taken up much of his time in more recent years. He set up the Evangelical Literature Trust in 1971, funded largely by his own book royalties, in order to send theological books to pastors, teachers and theological students. In 1974 a bursary fund was established (as part of the then recently formed Langham Trust) to provide scholarships for intellectually able evangelical scholars from the Majority World to earn their doctorates, and then to return to their own countries to teach in theological seminaries. The Evangelical Literature Trust and the Langham Trust have now been amalgamated into the Langham Partnership International, directed by Dr. Chris Wright; Dr. Stott continues to be active as its founder-president...

"John Stott’s best-known work, Basic Christianity, has sold two million copies and has been translated into more than 60 languages. Other titles include The Cross of Christ, Understanding the Bible, The Contemporary Christian, Evangelical Truth, Issues Facing Christians Today, The Incomparable Christ, eight volumes in The Bible Speaks Today series of New Testament expositions, and most recently Why I Am a Christian. A comprehensive bibliography of his work was compiled by Timothy Dudley-Smith in 1995...

"Billy Graham calls John Stott “the most respected clergyman in the world today,” and John Pollock described him as “in effect the theological leader of world evangelicalism.”" [1]

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References

  1. John R. W. Stott, Langham Partnership International, accessed December 15, 2008.
  2. Board of Reference, John Newton Project, accessed January 31, 2009.
  3. Whos who, John Ray Initiative, accessed April 28, 2009.