Remembering John Stott, Queen’s Chaplain and Evangelical Power
One hundred years ago today, a humble man was born who continued to firmly support the Queen’s faith and helped strengthen evangelical Christianity around the world.
John Stott was born April 27, 1921. He was made the Queen’s Chaplain in 1959, and the British believer also became a successful Christian theologian over 50 pounds.
In 2005, Stott was appointed by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Stott passed away in 2011, having established many ongoing international organizations, including Langham Partnership, which supports “the churches of the majority world [to be] equipped for the mission and growing to maturity in Christ ”.
“Stott’s vision of a renewed evangelical identity, mindful of the most pressing issues of our time – justice, human rights and human dignity, the environment and the arms trade – has always been rooted in a clear and generous fidelity to the unique gift of God in Jesus Christ, ”said former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
Online Celebration Events for Stott were designed to encourage Christians to make a difference where they are – whether on a small scale, or in response to global issues such as climate change or the COVID pandemic.
“John Stott’s radical vision remains as relevant as it ever was,” according to Paul Woolley, CEO of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) founded by Stott.
“His point of view was simple but deeply powerful: May the Christian faith lead us to seek the good of others, for the glory of God, in every part of life.”
Single his entire life, Stott lived in a two-bedroom apartment above the garage behind All Souls Rectory, the inner church in London where he ministered for 50 years (after growing up on his benches) .
As Stott’s influence grew around the world after WWII – including the launch the Lausanne Movement with Billy Graham in 1974 – his approach to living the Christian faith according to the authority of the word of God also informed biblical teaching.
“It is to John Stott that I owe my ability to expose the Bible.” – John Chapman
As reported by David Cook, the former principal of Sydney Missionary and Bible College, Stott’s visit to Sydney in 1965 had an impact on at least one person – someone who went on to be known as “Sydney’s leading evangelist for over 50 years“.
Stott preached on 2 Corinthians at the CMS Summer School event, and his explanatory preaching style – focusing on the words, grammar, content and context of a biblical passage to en draw meaning – changed John “Chappo” Chapman.
“I heard only one of the [Stott’s] Bible studies, but I was so impressed with how he stuck to the text and stayed with it, ”Chapman said, according to Cook.
“He could show you the logic of argument in the scriptures. Before that, I had tended to get a feel for the passage and jump all over the Bible supporting the idea of other parts, so the people I taught knew the “ idea ” but not where it came from – or how that passage fits into a general argument in Scripture.
“It is to John Stott that I owe my ability to expose the Bible.”
As is often the case with Christian leaders of such influence and importance, Stott’s views did not always align with others. In 1966 he politely rejected a public appeal that the Welsh preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones seemed to prompt evangelical Christians to abandon denominations and form a new united group. Stott also sparked speculation about his take on the traditional doctrine of hell and whether he was sticking to “annihilationist– that those who reject God will at some point cease to exist and will not be punished forever.
Stott was once asked in an interview what was his remaining ambition, given his impressive resume of academic, religious and royal posts.
“To be more like Jesus,” Stott replied.