John Stott

John Stott

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.

Words of Inspiration

"Many people visualize a God who sits comfortably on a distant throne, remote, aloof, uninterested and indifferent to the needs of mortals, until, it may be, they can badger him into taking action on their behalf. Such a view is wholly false. The Bible reveals a God who, long before it even occurs to man to turn to him, while man is still lost in darkness and sunk in sin, takes the initiative, rises from his throne, lays aside his glory, and stoops to seek until he finds him."

Basic Christianity

"Knowledge is indispensable to Christian life and service. If we do not use the mind which God has given us, we condemn ourselves to spiritual superficiality."

Your Mind Matters

"We must be ready for God to break through our cultural defenses, to challenge and to change us. . . . It is only by calling on God to be himself that we have any hope of becoming more truly ourselves, the holy people of God."

Basic Christian Leadership

"Nothing sets the heart on fire like truth. Truth is not cold and dry. On the contrary, it is warm and passionate."

Balanced Christianity

"The great privilege of the child of God is relationship; his great responsibility is growth."

Being a Christian

"The biblical Christian affirms that love and law are not incompatible with one another, let alone mutually exclusive. For love needs law to guide it."

Christ in Conflict

"Conversion is only a beginning. Before us lies a lifetime of growth into maturity in Christ, of transformation into the image of Christ."

Christian Mission in the Modern World

"Only one act of pure love, unsullied by any taint of ulterior motive, has ever been performed in the history of the world, namely the self-giving of God in Christ on the cross for undeserving sinners."

The Cross of Christ

Tributes from Friends and Colleagues

“I have relied on John Stott's books for decades as both guides to practice and nourishment to belief. Our church, Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City, has attempted to incarnate all that I, and a generation or more of Christians, have learned from him. This new book promises to be just as helpful in navigating modern controversies and issues.”

Dr. Timothy Keller, Chairman and co-Founder of Redeemer City to City


“All the most interesting thinkers are bridge builders if not boundary breakers, and Stott built bridges of conversation and insight everywhere he turned his attention, whether across the institutional barriers of university and church or into the fields of biblical studies, theology, social criticism, and leadership. Although he wasn’t employed as a scholar (can one ever be?), Stott moved easily in academic circles—but perhaps more importantly helped others to do so. He boosted the ‘street cred’ of Christian thinking on both sides of the Atlantic and of the equator (just the kind of ambassador, I can’t help thinking, that we could benefit from these days once again). His deep legacy is not only in his books but in his many students and apprentices.”

—Jon Boyd, editorial director, IVP Academic (USA)


"He was a very broad-minded evangelical. He was the kind of person who wanted to bring different factions together and emphasize what we hold in common.”

—Richard J. Mouw, former president of Fuller Theological Seminary (1993–2013)


“John was an unusual sort of person, a ten-talent man of sorts. He lived under an extraordinarily firm self-discipline and brought a thoroughness of thought to every project he took on—and there were many. He had an unparalleled gift for setting things in order in his own mind and then articulating them to others.”

—J.I. Packer, author of Knowing God


“He was a patron, mentor, friend and encourager of thousands of pastors, students and laypeople from the newer Christian parts of the world, a bridge between the West and the rising Christian world … But he also demanded that evangelicals look beyond liturgy and Christian tradition and remain engaged in worldly matters —to take more responsible attitudes toward economics, the arts, politics and culture in general.”

—Mark Noll, Francis McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame


“John Stott turned the words of Bible sentences into windows onto glorious reality by explaining them in clear, compelling, complete, coherent, fresh, silly-free, English sentences. For Stott ‘all true Christian preaching is expository preaching.’”

—John Piper, Pastor of Bethlehem Bible Church in Minneapolis


“Anything John Stott says is worth listening to . . . anything he writes is worth reading. Basic Christianity is not only a classic must-read for every believer, it is truly a blessing preserved on the written page for the enrichment of this generation, and those to come.”

—Anne Graham Lotz, author of Just Give Me Jesus


“I read everything John Stott writes because I know it will be biblical, well-reasoned and contextually applicable. The Cross of Christ is an intelligent, imaginative and timely exploration of the centrality of the cross, by a personal mentor I’ve come to appreciate for his scholar’s mind and pastor's heart; he knows God deeply, understands the times clearly, and engagingly explains truth in a relativistic age.”

—Dick Staub, author of Too Christian, Too Pagan


“You cannot explain English-speaking evangelicalism in the 20th century without crucial reference to the massive influence of John Stott. I am thankful for warm memories of conversations with him, a man with a generous heart as well as a keen mind.”

—Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Seminary


"My wife and I consider The Cross of Christ one of the outstanding books of all times. We refer to it often. We have given copies away and recommended it widely. We take it out as we discuss the work of the Savior and in preparation for preaching and teaching. My own personally autographed copy is all marked up. It is an outstanding exposition of scriptural truth.”

—Luis Palau, international evangelist


“As relevant today as when it first appeared, The Cross of Christ is more than a classic. It restates in our own time the heart of the Christian message. Like John the Baptist, John Stott points us away from the distractions that occupy so much of our energies in order, announcing, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”

—Michael Horton, professor of theology and apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“I think the biggest impact for me, was that once John understood the justice of an issue, once he understood the biblical nature of an issue, he was all for it. And the way he got involved with the whole gender issue, the way he saw the issue of justice for women, and how much of our patriarchal culture had been a barrier to women, both in terms of their own progression, but even more in terms of hearing the Gospel, acknowledging God as 'Father,' etc.— once he saw that, he just went for it. And so here you had a pillar of the church, coming from a very conservative stable, actually opening up the feminist doors wide so that a new generation of women could go through them.”

—Elaine Storkey, Theologian and president of Tearfund


“One aspect of John Stott’s multifaceted ministry that I deeply admire was his role as a Christian statesman—a decidedly vanishing breed. He never sought to divide believers, to win over people to the particulars of all his viewpoints. Rather he worked to unite Christians in the basic convictions of the faith. Stott did not emphasize the differences Christians have with one another but what we have in common. He never aimed to win so much as to be winsome. In this he was truly pastor to the world.”

—Andrew T. Le Peau, who served as an editor at InterVarsity Press for more than forty years


“Without ever compromising his firm evangelical faith, he showed himself willing to challenge some of the ways in which that faith had become conventional or inward-looking. It is not too much to say that he helped to change the face of evangelicalism internationally, arguing for the necessity of 'holistic' mission that applied the Gospel of Jesus to every area of life, including social and political questions. But he will be remembered most warmly as an expositor of scripture and a teacher of the faith, whose depth and simplicity brought doctrine alive in all sorts of new ways."

—Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury


“Some authors and books are inextricably linked to InterVarsity Press throughout its seven decades of history. Such is the case with John R. W. Stott and books like The Cross of Christ and Basic Christianity among many others. In his slim but powerful volume Your Mind Matters, Stott wrote that ‘Knowledge is indispensable to Christian life and service. If we do not use the mind which God has given us, we condemn ourselves to spiritual superficiality.’ That characterizes the profound work of this man, whose birth one hundred years ago we are joining with other of his publishers in celebrating. Through his speaking, writing, and pastoral work at All Souls Church in London, Stott challenged us to deep thinking and Christlike service.”

—Jeff Crosby, IVP publisher


“John Stott’s books have helped millions around the world to a better understanding of the Christian faith. I, for one, am extremely grateful for the way in which he explains complex and difficult issues with great clarity, insight, and wisdom. Basic Christianity has become a classic of our time.”

—Nicky Gumbel, vicar, Holy Trinity Brompton, and pioneer of the Alpha course


"From its earliest days one of the defining voices of InterVarsity Press has been John Stott. His ability to exposit Scripture in a compelling, biblically reliable, and relevant way is nearly unparalleled. During a college semester in London I had the opportunity to attend All Souls and was riveted by his hour-long sermons through key passages of Scripture. He was a balanced, centrist voice often creating a bridge between theological factions. In today’s context it is hard to find—or even imagine—a figure who can bring people together in the way Stott could. Finally, in using his royalties to fund Langham Trust, he built into leaders around the world both in his investments of travel and teaching and in providing books and theological education to equip pastors in the two-thirds world. I am grateful for his writing and for the example of his humble ministry.”

—Cindy Bunch, associate publisher and director of editorial at IVP


"I would describe John Stott as both Abrahamic and apostolic. He was Abrahamic both as a ‘blessing to the nations’ in his global friendships and influence and also in his insistence on the obedience of faith. The gospel has not been understood and truly received if it is not also being obeyed in radical whole-life discipleship and ethical transformation. And he was apostolic both in his lifelong commitment to evangelism—faithfully preaching and teaching the good news first proclaimed by the apostles—and also in his insistence on the need for rigorous biblical teaching so that churches would grow in depth and maturity and penetrating mission in the world, not just grow bigger in numbers alone. Langham shares these convictions and strives to multiply his legacy in serving the global church that he loved.”

—Chris Wright, global ambassador and ministry director for Langham Partnership


“John Stott was not only revered; he was loved. He had a humble mind and a gracious spirit. He was a pastor-teacher whose books and preaching not only became the gold standard for expository teaching, but his Christian character was a model of truth and godliness.”

—Bob Fryling, former IVP Publisher

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