The Rev. Dr. John R. W. Stott
John Stott was born in London in 1921 to Sir Arnold and Lady Stott. He was educated at Rugby School, where he became head boy, and Trinity College Cambridge. At Trinity he earned a double first in French and theology, and was elected a senior scholar.
John Stott trained for the pastorate at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He was awarded a Lambeth doctorate in divinity in 1983 and has honorary doctorates from schools in America, Britain and Canada.
When John Stott began his ordained ministry, evangelicals had little influence in the Anglican church hierarchy. Through personal initiatives such as the reinvented Eclectic Society, Dr. Stott sought to raise the sights and morale of young evangelical clergy. From a founding membership of 22 of his friends, the society grew to over 1,000 members by the mid 1960s. Out of this movement grew many initiatives, most notably the two National Evangelical Anglican Congresses of 1967 and 1977, which Dr. Stott chaired.
Perhaps John Stott’s greatest international contribution has been through his writing, which is characterized as being clear, balanced, biblically based and intellectually rigorous. John 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 40 titles and hundreds of articles and other contributions to Christian literature.
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 Christ, Understanding the Bible, The Contemporary Christian, Evangelical Truth, Issues Facing Christians Today, The Incomparable Christ, eight volumes in The Bible Speaks Today series of New Testament expositions, and most recently Why I Am a Christian.
For all his ministry accomplishments, Dr. Stott maintains his avocational interests with exceptional passion. From an early age, he has been a keen bird watcher and photographer, taking his binoculars and camera with him on all his travels. He has seen around 2,700 of the world’s 9,000 species of birds; his book The Birds our Teachers, illustrated with his own photographs, was published in 1999. John Stott encourages all Christians to take an interest in some form of natural history and has been a strong supporter of A Rocha: Christians in Conservation (www.arocha.org) since its inception in 1983.
Billy Graham calls 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.