John Stott, a Bible teacher, preacher, writer, pastor and mission-leader, has recently celebrated his 90th birthday with family and friends.
Rev. Stott, who is Rector Emeritus of All Souls Church, Langham Place, president of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity and founder-president of the Langham Partnership International (LPI), has authored many books, including The Cross of Christ.
In the Queen’s 2006 New Year honours, he was awarded the CBE and was named by Time magazine in 2006 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
But, for many of his friends, two things stand out as his most enduring legacy: his writings and the LPI’s various ministries.
From his first book, Men with a message (1954), to his last, The radical disciple (2008), Mr Stott has written approximately 50 books, which have been revised and translated into many languages and are read all over the world.
His purpose in writing has been to help people understand the Bible and to insist that we must engage our study of the Bible with the realities of contemporary life in the world. This driving ambition is seen in the introduction to his first book, which reads, ‘There is no greater need among Christian people in our generation than that we should allow our minds to be conditioned, and our lives reformed, by the Word of God’.
It was in 1969, aged 48, that John Stott founded the Langham Trust to provide funds for evangelical men and women from the developing world to study for doctorates and then return to teach the Bible and theology in seminaries in their own countries.
In 1971 he founded the Evangelical Literature Trust, recycling the royalties of his own books into a fund to provide books for pastors all over the world. In 2001, aged 80 he travelled with Dr Chris Wright, the international director of LPI, to lead preaching seminars in Peru and Argentina. This led to the formation of Langham Preaching.
Langham Partnership seeks to strengthen the church in places where there is little access to resources and training (langhampartnership.org/lpuki).