This post is inspired by three unrelated events, but each of which are influenced by John Stott:-
I am in Osijek, Croatia, and about to begin teaching a one week Langham Preachers seminar. It is nothing other than John Stott’s vision to train a new generation of preachers who will faithfully expound the word of God that has brought me here. Dick Lucas and the Proclamation Trust have probably had the greatest influence on expository preaching in the UK. But in terms of world-wide impact, none surpasses the spread of influence of John Stott. Those who heard him preach noted his disciplined, almost dogged, determination to bring out the meaning of the biblical text such that the hearer really felt as if they had heard the last word about it. But it was not dry or academic because it was heart warming and always Christ and cross focussed.
Secondly, over the Christmas break I have been reading “John Stott: A portrait by his friends”, Chris Wright (ed, IVP, 2011). I have already reviewed Roger Steer’s excellent biography of Stott, but this portrait intends to be different. For some readers it will be the first time they see the humanity of our evangelical luminary. Key themes reoccur throughout the book: his mischievous sense of humour; his deep humility; his rigorous self-discipline; and above all, his Christ-likeness. Indeed, how fitting that his last platform message should be on precisely this topic (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qGHSBZph3g)
Thirdly, from 11th – 15th June 2012, Wycliffe Hall will be hosting an exciting conference on “Charles Simeon, John Stott and the Expository Method”. We shall be looking at the legacy of these two great british preachers and consider the benefits of their preaching for a contemporary audience. In particular, I am keen that we answer the question: “is expository preaching a transferable method and can it be done well by the average preacher?” If you are a preacher, I hope that you can come. More at SoP leaflet 2 and www.wycliffe.ox.ac.uk.
So, I am truly am grateful to God for this remarkable man of God who, through his wit, wisdom and winsomeness has influenced many for good. But, as John Stott would be the first to remark: all glory and thanks goes to God.