CHICAGO, IL (July 28, 2011) – Evangelical Covenant Church ministers are expressing their appreciation for the life and writing of John Stott, considered one of the most influential evangelical scholars of the past 100 years. Stott, 90, died Wednesday.
“John Stott influenced many of us over the past 45 years,” says Curt Peterson, executive minister of the Department of World Mission. “He was a significant influence on my life and ministry. I have all of his books, commentaries and many sermons on tape.” Peterson studied for two weeks with Stott at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity in 1984.
Stott had spoken several times at Montecito Covenant Church in Santa Barbara, California, while Peterson was pastor. He also spoke at the Covenant Midwinter at Hillcrest Covenant in the 1970s.
Brad Boydston, pastor of Masterpiece Church in Laveen, Arizona, wrote on his Facebook wall, “I heard him speak several times, read his books, and used his book on preaching to teach. He was not flashy, domineering, nor a ‘celebrity,’ but was clearly a statesman style leader and scholar. Perhaps his death will spark a renewed interest in his writing.”
Author of more than 30 books, his volume Basic Christianity has been translated into more than 50 languages, and 22 more are in progress.
Although he ministered in the mainline Church of England as a pastor in London, his greatest impact may have been in helping evangelicals to develop a deeper commitment to social issues and evangelism.
“Stott was so important and influential in my life, and I still remember hearing him speak at Urbana in the 70s,” writes Covenant missionary Cindy Hoover. “He was able to seamlessly combine word and work and explain why that’s the only reasonable reading of the gospels.”
In a 1996 article, Christianity Today wrote, “John Stott joins together what most people tear asunder – or at least are incapable of holding together. He is a theologian of depth and breadth, yet he preaches and writes with clarity to a wide audience. He integrates social concerns into the mission of the church without ever minimizing his commitment to evangelism. … his influence among evangelicals is of international proportions.”
Shekhar Sing, a leader in the Hindustani Covenant Church and principal (president) of Union Biblical Seminary in Pune, India, noted the influence of Stott on the school in the past as well as the future: “We will continue his ministry in this part of the world while following his footsteps.”
Mossai Sanguma, president of the Covenant Church of Congo, was a John Stott Scholar and received scholarship for his PhD work at Fuller Seminary.
To read a lengthy obituary on Stott as well as additional articles on his influence, click here.