A Legendary Cleric Hangs Up his Collar

According to his website, legendary British pastor, author, and theologian John Stott is retiring from public ministry at the age of 86. Stott spent several decades as the rector of All Soul’s Church, Langham Palace, Anglican church in London, where he remains instated as rector emeritus. Stott’s published works include such notable pieces as The Cross of Christ (the most expansive, powerful exposition on the meaning of Christ’s death ever published) and Basic Christianity, among many, many others. Stott’s contributions to evangelical Christianity as a whole are numerous, and include framing the Lausanne Covenant (a 1974 proclamation of 2,300 Christian leaders from around the globe gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, spearheaded by Billy Graham to encourage active, world-wide evangelism).

There is much more I could say about John Stott. He spent his entire career in pastoral ministry, and lectures he would give at conferences largely encouraged the missiology of the local church. He is also notable, for instance, for having lived his 86 years in total celibacy. His commitment to scriptural inerrancy and authority and to historically reformed theology in the Anglican Church during a time where there is much heterodoxy seeping into that denomination’s doors is incredible. However, I digress, to list all of Stott’s accomplishments would take pages. John Stott, along with J.I. Packer and possibly Billy Graham, represent perhaps the grandfatherly figures (all in their 80s) in the church who have made incredible impacts in their realms in the last century (Stott in pastoral teaching, Packer in theology, and Graham in evangelism) and whom we will have with us only a short time longer.

If you have never read anything by John Stott, I highly recommend it. The Cross of Christ, for instance, has made a great impact in my life, and I would encourage you to read it or any other of John Stott’s great works.