Even the New York Times and the BBC noticed. John R.W. Stott, the man once called the “Evangelical Pope” died in London Wednesday at the age of 90–just four years after his retirement. Former pastor of London’s All Souls Church, in his spare time Stott wrote more than 50 books including Basic Christianity and The Cross of Christ. Of the latter, Stott’s friend J.I. Packer claimed, “This, more than any book he has written, is his masterpiece.”
You may never have heard of the man but 6 years ago TIME magazine ranked Stott among the 100 most influential people in the world. An Anglican, Stott turned down the chance to be a bishop in favor of influencing evangelicals across denominational lines. He crafted the Lausanne Covenant which united evangelicals in the mission to reach the world for Christ. In its obituary Christianity Today praised Stott as “An architect of 20th-century evangelicalism [who] shaped the faith of a generation”. His imprint on the landscape was massive.
Single and celibate all his years, he contended: “The gift of singleness is more a vocation than an empowerment, although to be sure God is faithful in supporting those He calls.” He left no heirs, except for the millions who received his teaching in conversations, preaching and books. I think his greatest contribution was The Cross of Christ in which he claimed the cross was where, “Divine love triumphed over divine wrath by divine self-sacrifice.” Brother, now enjoy what there Christ accomplished for you.