A few hours ago a precious man of God was taken home to be with the Lord. He was 90 years old. Family and close friends gathered with Stott today as they listened to Handel’s Messiah. Whilst I mourn the passing of such a dear man I am thankful for his years here on earth and all that he was able to accomplish.
The first book by Mr. Stott that I read was Basic Christianity but the book that had the most profound effect upon me was The Cross of Christ.
Visit the The John Stott Memorial
“I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the One Nietzsche ridiculed as “God on the cross.” In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in Godforsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross that symbolizes divine suffering. ”The cross of Christ . . . is God’s only self-justification in such a world” as ours. . . . “The other gods were strong; but thou wast weak; they rode, but thou didst stumble to a throne; But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak, And not a god has wounds, but thou alone.”
The Cross of Christ
Have you read any of John Stott’s books? Which one had the most impact upon your life? If you haven’t read any of his works, I’d like to strongly encourage you to do so.