The Contemporary Christian
IVP Books

The Contemporary Christian

by John Stott

The Contemporary Christian
  • Length: 432 pages
  • Published: April 1995
  •  In stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-1864-8
  • Item Code: 1864
  • Case Quantity: 24

  • Christianity Today 1994 Critics Choice Award winner
  • 1993 Christian Booksellers Association/Europe Book of the Year Award winner

People today reject Christianity not because they think it is false but because they believe it is irrelevant.

John Stott knows otherwise. In this book he challenges all of us to move with the times while standing firmly on the truth of God's Word. "To be 'contemporary' is to live in the present," Stott writes. "To be a 'contemporary Christian,' however, is to ensure that our present is enriched both by our knowledge of the past and by our expectation of the future."

The challenge, then, is to be both conservative and radical--conservative in guarding God's revelation and radical in applying that revelation to the realities of the contemporary world: space travel, homelessness, genetic engineering, pollution, war, health care, gang violence, education and more.

Opening our eyes to the Word and the world, Stott shows how Christianity can speak effectively and relevantly to the contemporary world. He includes chapters on the human paradox, authentic freedom, mind and emotions, evangelism and social action, the pastoral ideal and dimensions of renewal.

For those familiar with Stott, The Contemporary Christian is a "must-read" book. For those who have not yet benefited from his insight and passion, The Contemporary Christian affords the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with one of the most widely read and respected Christian thinkers at work today.

"Every church should buy a copy, every church bookstall should stock it, and every minister should read it!"

Peter Cotterell in Christian Herald

"Vintage Stott, with all that that implies. In it, as usual, we find him digesting and deploying a wide range of material with a symmetry matching that of Mozart, a didactic force like that of J. C. Ryle, and a down-to-earth common sense that reminds on of G. K. Chesterton. It is really a pastoral essay, a sermon on paper aimed at changing people . . . an outstandinglly good book."

J. I. Packer in Christianity Today


Chief Abbreviations


Introduction: The Then and the Now

Part I: The Gospel
1. The Human Paradox
Our Human Dignity
Our Human Depravity
The Resulting Paradox
2. Authentic Freedom
The Negative: Freedom From
The Postive: Freedom For
3. Christ and His Cross
The Word of God
The Cross of Christ
The Power of the Spirit
4. The Relevance of the Resurrection
What Does It Mean?
Did It Really Happen?
Why Is It Important?
5. Jesus Christ Is Lord
Theological Conviction
Radical Commitment

Part II: The Disciple
6. The Listening Ear
Listening to God
Listening to One Another
Listening to the World
7. Mind and Emotions
The Mind
The Emotions
Mind and Emotions
8. Guidance, Vocation and Ministry
9. The First Fruit of the Spirit
Love, Joy and Peace
Love in Action
Love Is the Fruit of the Spirit

Part III: The Bible
10. Continuing the Word
Standing in the Word
Continuing in the Word
Preaching the Word
11. Responding to the Word
Mature Discipleship
Intellectual Integrity
Ecumenical Progress
Effective Evangelism
Personal Humility
12. Transposing the Word
The Hermeneutical Problem
Our Own Cultural Imprisonment
The Bible's Cultural Conditioning
Examples of Cultural Transposition
13. Expounding the Word
Two Convictions
Two Obligations
Two Expectations

Part IV: The Church
14. Secular Challenges to the Church
The Quest for Transcendence
The Quest for Significance
The Quest for Community
15. Evangelism Through the Local Church
Various Forms of Evangelism
The Church Must Understand Itself (Theology)
The Church Must Organize Itself (Structures)
The Church Must Express Itself (Message)
The Church Must Be Itself (Life)
16. Dimensions of Church Renewal
17. The Church's Pastors
The Priestly Model
The Pastoral Model

Part V: The World
18. The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ
Arguments for Pluralism
The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ
Jesus is Lord
Jesus is Savior
Jesus is Ours
19. Our God Is a Missionary God
The God of the Old Testament
The Christ of the Gospels
The Holy Spirit of the Acts
The Church of the Letters
The Climax of the Revelation
20. Holistic Mission
Evangelism and Social Responsibility
The Biblical Basics for This Partnership
Five Objections Considered
Some Examples of the Partnership
21. The Christology of Mission
The Incarnation of Christ (The Model)
The Cross of Christ (The Cost)
The Resurrection of Christ (The Mandate)
The Exaltation of Christ (The Incentive)
The Spirit-Gift of Christ (The Power)
The Parousia of Christ (The Urgency)

Conclusion: The Now and the Not Yet
Kingdom Come and Coming
Revelation, Holiness and Healing
Church and Society

Index of Names

Index of Subjects

Study Guide


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). His many books have sold millions of copies around the world and in dozens of languages. 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, 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.

Visit the John Stott Ministries Langham Partnership website.

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