Monday, Apr. 18, 2005

John Stott

My association and friend-ship with the Rev. Dr. John Stott began in 1954, when we were both young men. I was an unknown evangelist, and John and the church he led at All Souls, Langham Place, gave our team an unreserved welcome before our first crusade in London and helped with my ministry at Oxford and Cambridge. He became one of my closest friends, advisers and confidants.

In the early '60s, John created the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion. From the outset, it offered training scholarships in the West to potential future leaders in Asia, Africa and South America — many of whom took up high positions when they returned to their own countries. Today they are in charge of church movements with millions of members; John's work is a significant factor in the explosive growth of Christianity in parts of the Third World.

Despite numerous opportunities to be appointed bishop, archbishop or to head some of the world's finest theological seminaries, John Stott, 84, has held true to what he sees as a wider calling — the equipping of leaders in countries where resources and experience are limited. His provision of theological books for these regions is financed in large measure with the royalties from his considerable — and popular — writings. The modesty of his lifestyle is evidenced in the simplicity of his living quarters, limited to a two-room flat in London's West End, and a renovated farm on the Welsh coast, where he has written his books.

I can't think of anyone who has been more effective in introducing so many people to a biblical world view. He represents a touchstone of authentic biblical scholarship that, in my opinion, has scarcely been paralleled since the days of the 16th century European Reformers.

Graham is a renowned evangelist. His next crusade will be in New York City in June

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