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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

John R.W. Stott
Out of nowhere, John Stott returns from my college days! Let me explain. In the New York Times today David Brooks writes about the religious "leaders" typically chosen to "speak for" the rest of us - the likes of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Al Sharpton, or the prototypical bogeyman, Bob Jones III. (Brooks doesn't mention Jones, but he's been a favorite quote for the MSM.) Anyway, Brooks asks why consequential journalists like Tim Russert don't interview consequential leaders,
Falwell and Pat Robertson are held up as spokesmen for evangelicals, which is ridiculous. Meanwhile people like John Stott, who are actually important, get ignored.
I don't know where Brooks got Stott's name, but he found the right guy.
Yet, as Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center notes, if evangelicals could elect a pope, Stott is the person they would likely choose. He was the framer of the Lausanne Covenant, a crucial organizing document for modern evangelicalism. He is the author of more than 40 books, which have been translated into over 72 languages and have sold in the millions. Now rector emeritus at All Souls, Langham Place, in London, he has traveled the world preaching and teaching.
Wouldn't it be nice if Christians were represented publicly by someone like that, rather than the caricatures (Falwell, Robertson, etc.) the public usually sees?

Maybe you're wondering why I mentioned my college days. Those were the formative years in my spiritual upbringing. Thanks to the campus ministry Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship and authors like John Stott, John White, J.I. Packer, and Paul Little my Christian education kept pace with the strides in my secular education. I think I'll be reading some John Stott books in the coming months...

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