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In Memoriam: John Stott

July 28, 2011

Rev. John Stott, the British theologian and pastor renowned in the evangelical world for his exposition of Scripture and emphasis on global Christianity, passed away July 27, at the College of St. Barnabas retirement home for Anglican clergy in Britain. He was 90.

“To his extraordinary set of natural gifts, which were always evident in his preaching, he brought a heart that beat for God, that longed for God to be honored and his name revered,” Dr. David Wells, Senior Distinguished Research Professor at Gordon-Conwell, wrote in an article on Virtue Online. “A prince has now left us to join the heavenly choirs in their worship around the Lamb.”

Listen to John Stott's Lectures at Gordon-Conwell on iTunes U

Stott came to Christ in 1938 and spent his pastoring career at All Souls Church, Langham Place, the Anglican church in which he was raised and confirmed. Known nationally and internationally for his ability to clearly and powerfully communicate scriptural truth, he wrote dozens of books, including his book on preaching, Between Two Worlds; his most popular book, Basic Christianity; and his most recent book, Radical Discipleship (published in 2010), as well as many influential commentaries on Scripture.

Stott has been credited with reviving evangelicalism in Britain. In addition, he played a major role in drafting the Lausanne Covenant at the 1974 Lausanne Congress. This covenant emphasized both social action and gospel preaching and has served as an evangelical landmark since.

Stott also founded Langham Partners, known as John Stott Ministries in the United States, a partnership of various ministries that seeks to nurture and build up leaders throughout the global Church. Stott’s passion for the global Church was a consistent part of his life, and he played a key role in meeting and supporting church leaders throughout the world.

“In a day when some evangelicals speak truth in anger, John Stott was a thoughtful evangelical who really did speak truth in love,” said Provost Frank James. “He embodied the best of what we aspire to be and we will miss him.”

Stott visited and spoke at Gordon-Conwell a number of times, and he and the seminary shared a vision for building up the global Church.

“His penchant for holding together truth and love, the Word and world, text and context, theology and ethics, private and public, orthodoxy and orthopraxis, was unparalleled in the Christian Church of recent times,” says seminary president Dennis Hollinger. “I pray that his legacy will help to mold the Church of tomorrow.”

Articles on John Stott’s life and ministry:
Christianity Today
Virtue Online (including a piece by Dr. David Wells, Senior Distinguished Research Professor at Gordon-Conwell)
All Souls Church
Boston Globe
New York Times