The Zondervan family wishes to express our sincere condolences on the passing of Reverend John Stott. Reverend Stott is widely regarded as one of the great evangelical leaders of his time and he has left a significant lasting legacy having played a major role in shaping 20th-century evangelical Christianity through his writing, preaching and global ministry efforts. He was a prolific writer and author and Zondervan was privileged to publish several of his influential books and to help share his voice with the world.
Reverend Stott was credited with having a great heart and passion for supporting and mentoring Christian scholars and leaders. We have also been fortunate to publish some of those great voices he mentored, including the talented Dr. Christopher Wright,
As the world grieves the loss of this great and humble man, we should also celebrate his full and rich life which was fully devoted daily to serving God and the church through his tireless work.
We would like to share with you two excerpts by Reverend Stott. We feel they exemplify his vibrant hope in Christ, and his passionate pursuit of better knowing, sharing, and living the Gospel.
From Understanding the Bible:
Whenever we read the Bible, we must look for Christ. And we must go on looking until we see and so believe. Only as we continue to appropriate by faith the riches of Christ which are disclosed to us in Scripture shall we grow into spiritual maturity, and become men and women of God who are "thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:17).
It seems to me that we [Christians] need to repent of two particularly horrid sins. The first is pessimism, which is dishonoring to God and incompatible with Christian faith. To be sure, we do not forget the falleness, indeed the depravity, of human beings. We are well aware of the pervasiveness of evil. We are not so foolish as to imagine that society will ever become perfect before Christ comes and establishes the fullness of his rule. Nevertheless, we also believe in the power of God – in the power of God's gospel to change society. We need to renounce both naïve optimism and cynical pessimism and replace them with the sober but confident realism of the Bible.
The second sin of which we need to repent is mediocrity, and the acceptance of it. I find myself wanting to say, especially to young people: "Don't be content with the mediocre! Don't settle for anything less than your full God-given potential! Be ambitious and adventurous for God! God has made you a unique person by your genetic endowment, upbringing and education. He has himself created you and gifted you, and he does not want his work to be wasted. He means you to be fulfilled, not frustrated. His purpose is that everything you have and are should be stretched in his service and in the service of others."
We would love to hear how John Stott has touched your life. Share your reflections in a comment.