In honor of John Stott

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Pastor and theologian John Stott died this morning in London. He was born on April 27, 1921 and died July 27, 2011. He was a pastor and author in Britain, and a leader in evangelicalism worldwide. He’s a man whose writing I greatly respected, so I wanted to honor him by posting some of my favorite quotes of his. I hope you enjoy:

We have to deny or disown everything within us that is false to our true humanity. But there is nothing in God that is incompatible with his true deity and therefore nothing to deny. It is in order to be our true selves that we have to deny ourselves; it is because God is never other than His true self that He cannot and will not deny Himself. He can empty himself of his rightful glory and humble himself to serve. Indeed, it is precisely this that has to be done in Christ.

How then can God express His holiness without consuming us and His love without condoning our sins? How can God satisfy His holy love? How can He save us and satisfy himself simultaneously? We reply at this point only that, in order to satisfy Himself He sacrified – indeed substituted – Himself for us.

For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting Himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices Himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives that belong to God alone; God accepts the penalties that belong to man alone.

Faith has absolutely no value in itself, its value lies solely in its object. Faith is the eye that looks to Christ, the hand that lays hold of Him, the mouth that drinks the water of life. And the more clearly we see the absolute adequacy of Jesus Christ’s divine-human person and sin bearing death, the more incongruous does it appear that anybody could suppose that we have anything to offer.

We are not to regard the cross as defeat and the resurrection as victory. Rather, the cross was the victory won, and the resurrection the victory endorsed, proclaimed and demonstrated.

*All of the quotes above were taken from The Cross of Christ by John R. W. Stott

Stott, John R. W. The Cross of Christ. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006.


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