Christ in Conflict

Christ in Conflict

Lessons from Jesus and His Controversies


by John Stott

Christ in Conflict
  • Length: 208 pages
  • Published: November 01, 2013
  •  In stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-4402-9
  • Item Code: 4402
  • Case Quantity: 48

We often imagine Jesus as the ultimate peacemaker, as one who saw all sides and kindly overlooked differences of belief or practice. The Gospels say this was not so.

Jesus drew sharp lines. He disagreed with many. He rejected being broadminded on a variety of topics. He engaged in vigorous debate, especially with several different groups of religious leaders. What conflicts did he have?

  • He argued that we would experience a supernatural afterlife, that our natural existence is not all God has planned.
  • He disagreed that human tradition should not supersede Scripture, our foundational authority.
  • He clashed on whether the Bible was not an end in itself, contending that its purpose pointed beyond itself.
  • He sharply articulated that God accept us by virtue of what we receive from him, not by what we do for him.

These and other controversies clarify the core distinctives of the Christian faith which, John Stott boldly asserts, are nothing less than the distinctives of the evangelical faith. This text of Stott's classic, Christ the Controversialist, now edited by David Stone for the twenty-first century, was controversial when it was first published. It is no less controversial today.

"This is vintage Stott—clear, biblical, passionate, thoughtful and Christ-centered. A magisterial defense of biblical, historic evangelical Christianity. By brilliant analysis of the debates of Jesus with the Pharisees and Sadducees of his day, he highlights modern versions of the same distortions. Profound, lucid and compelling, this book is as relevant to current debates as when it was first published."

John Wyatt, emeritus professor of neonatal paediatrics at University College London

"Stott described the spirit of the age, but it is striking that, rereading the book over forty years later, it is even more relevant today. . . . So for a new day, there is still an urgent need to confront."

From the foreword by Jonathan Lamb, director, Langham Preaching

"This is, I believe, not only one of John Stott's finest books, but one of the most important to be written in recent decades. In a world which increasingly rejects the concept of truth, and a church often marked by doctrinal indifference, its appeal to submit to Christ's teaching concerning core convictions and his example in arguing for them is urgently needed."

Vaughan Roberts, rector of St. Ebbes, Oxford, and director of the Proclamation Trust

"I vividly recall reading this book in its earliest version forty years ago, and it contained the stand-out set of arguments that persuaded me to commit my life to Christ later that year. Thank you, John, for all that has meant to me since."

Dr. Andrew Fergusson, author and former head of communications, Christian Medical Fellowship

"Every thoughtful Christian ought to read this classic exposition of evangelical essentials. Though written more than forty years ago, its central message stands and is needed today more than ever. John Stott expounds persuasively, generously, lucidly and with penetrating insight what it means to be faithful to Jesus Christ. This is a brilliant book."

Christopher Ash, director of the Proclamation Trust's Cornhill Training Course


Foreword by Jonathan Lamb

Part One: Foundations
1. A Call for Clarity
2. Why "Evangelical"?

Part 2: Conflicts
3. Religion: Natural or Supernatural?
4. Authority: Tradition or Scripture?
5. The Bible: End or Means?
6. Salvation: Merit or Mercy?
7. Morality: Outward or Inward?
8. Worship: Lips or Heart?
9. Responsibility: Withdrawal or Involvement?
10. Ambition: Our Glory or God?s?
Postscript: Jesus, Our Teacher and Lord

John Stott

John R. W. Stott (1921–2011) has been known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist, and communicator of Scripture. For many years he served as rector of All Souls Church in London, where he carried out an effective urban pastoral ministry. A leader among evangelicals in Britain and the United States and around the world, Stott was a principal framer of the landmark Lausanne Covenant (1974).

Stott's many books have sold millions of copies around the world and in dozens of languages. His best-known work, Basic Christianity, has sold two million copies and has been translated into more than sixty languages. Other titles include The Cross of Christ, Understanding the Bible, The Contemporary Christian, Evangelical Truth, Issues Facing Christians Today, The Incomparable Christ, Why I Am a Christian, and Through the Bible Through the Year, a daily devotional. He has also written eight volumes in The Bible Speaks Today series of New Testament expositions.

Whether in the West or in the Majority World, a hallmark of Stott's ministry has been expository preaching that addresses the hearts and minds of contemporary men and women. Stott was honored by Time magazine in 2005 as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" and was named in the Queen's New Years Honours list as Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

In 1969, Stott founded the Langham Trust to fund scholarships for young evangelical leaders from the Majority World. He then founded the Evangelical Literature Trust, which provided books for students, pastors, and theological libraries in the Majority World. These two trusts continued as independent charities until 2001, when they were joined as a single charity: the Langham Partnership. Langham's vision continues today to see churches in the Majority World equipped for mission and growing to maturity in Christ through nurturing national movements for biblical preaching, fostering the creation and distribution of evangelical literature, and enhancing evangelical theological education.

Browse all of John Stott's books and learn more about how IVP and other publishers are commemorating Stott's one hundredth birthday. You can also view the Stott100 site from Langham Partnership.