Biography

Influential Books

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lifeandpassion1_booksFinally, Dr. Stott wrote a number of influential books, which are noted for their clarity, balance, intellectual rigor, and biblical faithfulness. Stott’s writing career started in 1954 when he was asked to write the Bishop of London’s annual Lent book. Fifty years later, he has written over forty books and hundreds of articles.

John Stott’s best-known work, Basic Christianity, has sold two million copies and has been translated into more than 60 languages. Other titles include The Cross of ChristUnderstanding the BibleThe Contemporary ChristianEvangelical TruthIssues Facing Christians TodayThe Incomparable ChristWhy I Am a Christian, and most recently Through the Bible Through the Year, a daily devotional. He has also written eight volumes in The Bible Speaks Today series of New Testament expositions. (A comprehensive bibliography was compiled by Timothy Dudley-Smith in 1995; a full booklist can be found here.)

Two factors enabled Dr. Stott to be so productive: strong self-discipline and the unstinting support of Frances Whitehead, his secretary for over 50 years. John Stott never married, though according to his biography he came close to it on two occasions; and he acknowledged that with the responsibility of a family he would not have been able write, travel, and minister in the way that he did.

lifeandpassion1_smileIn sum, Billy Graham called John Stott “the most respected clergyman in the world today,” and John Pollock described him as “in effect the theological leader of world evangelicalism.” John Stott’s biographer, Timothy Dudley-Smith, writes:

To those who know and meet him, respect and affection go hand in hand. The world-figure is lost in personal friendship, disarming interest, unfeigned humility-and a dash of mischievous humour and charm. By contrast, he thinks of himself, as all Christians should but few of us achieve, as simply a beloved child of a heavenly Father; an unworthy servant of his friend and master, Jesus Christ; a sinner saved by grace to the glory and praise of God. (4)


1. Timothy Dudley-Smith, John Stott: The Making of a Leader, vol. 1 (Leicester, U.K./Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1999), p. 89.
2. Ibid., pp. 93-94
3. Timothy Dudley-Smith, John Stott: A Global Ministry, vol. 2 (Leicester, U.K./Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 2001), p. 291.
4. Timothy Dudley-Smith, “Who Is John Stott?” All Souls Broadsheet (London), April/May 2001.

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