"A Plain, Ordinary Christian"

That’s how the late John Stott described an evangelical. (He died at the age of 90 last July 27, 2011 due to old age complications.) He would have labeled himself as such.But, for us, John Stott was no plain, ordinary Christian. Time Magazine honored him as one of the 100 world’s most influential leaders in 2005. When I heard him preach in person during the Philippine Congress on World Evangelization (in connection with Laussane II Congress) back in 1989, I was awed at his simple, practical and powerful way preaching of the Word of God. Based on Romans 1:1-5, he taught that there are six truths about the Gospel: “The Good News is the Gospel of God, about Christ, according to Scripture, for the nations, unto the obedience of faith, for the sake of Christ’s name.” (Source: www.lausane.org) One of his best-selling, must-read books, “Basic Christianity,” which he wrote in 1958 can be read in 25 languages and already sold more than million copies. His writings impacted most of the influential Christian leaders and thinkers in the world. He made available the royalties from his 50-plus books for scholarship funds to doctorate students from developing countries. He was a blessing to the entire world (not just evangelicals) for he taught believers not only to be heavenly minded but to have earthly good such as combating poverty and hunger.

Stott was the most unifying leader in global evangelicalism for several decades. He reached millions with his theological works, sermons, devotionals, and Bible study materials. He was the primary architect of the 1974 Lausanne Covenant, a watershed document in church history. In recognition of his ‘services to Christian scholarship and the Christian world,’ Stott was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth in 2005. But as a man marked by uncommon humility, the Rev. Dr. John R. W. Stott CBE was known by friends simply as ‘Uncle John.’ (Ibid) Latin American theologian René Padilla shared this encounter with Stott: “On the previous night we had arrived in Bariloche, Argentina, in the middle of heavy rain... our shoes were covered with mud. In the morning, as I woke up, I heard the sound of a brush—John was busy, brushing my shoes. ‘John!’ I exclaimed full of surprise, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘My dear René,’ he responded, ‘Jesus taught us to wash each other’s feet. You do not need me to wash your feet, but I can brush your shoes.’” (Christianity Today)

Brethren, may we all become plain, ordinary Christians.

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