Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Christlikeness of John Stott

John Stott, holding his bird-watching binoculars

 John Stott died last Wednesday at the age of 90. Stott's writings and Jesus-like presence has influenced many of us. Over the years I have returned often to his The Cross of Christ. When I became a Jesus-follower his Basic Christianity was one of the first books ever placed into my hands.

While aware of how influential he was, I did not know much of Stott's personal life. Only now I read this:

"For all his fame on several continents, Mr. Stott’s travels and appearances were remarkably devoid of pomp, befitting his simple message of reason and faith and his unassuming demeanor. Those in his ministries knew him simply as Uncle John. In his later years, he lived in a two-room apartment over the garage of a London rectory, and for many years he kept a small cottage on the Welsh coast, where he did much of his prodigious writing in longhand and, until 2001, without electricity."

During a visit to the United States in 2006 Stott said: “Pride is without doubt the greatest temptation of Christian leaders. And I’m very well aware of the dangers of being feted and don’t enjoy it and don’t think one should enjoy it.”

Stott was "an acknowledged authority on ornithology and a gifted photographer." (From here)

The London Telegraph has an excellent tribute to Stott's life and influence.