The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor

Overview

At the 150th anniversary of the dedication of his church, John Stott gave voice to his dream for All Souls, London, and all souls everywhere: "I have a dream of

. . . a biblical church. . . a worshiping church. . . a caring church. . . a serving church. . . an expectant church

Reflecting on his more than sixty years of service at All Souls and a worldwide ministry that led Time magazine to acknowledge him as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World," Stott alerts a ...

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Overview

At the 150th anniversary of the dedication of his church, John Stott gave voice to his dream for All Souls, London, and all souls everywhere: "I have a dream of

. . . a biblical church. . . a worshiping church. . . a caring church. . . a serving church. . . an expectant church

Reflecting on his more than sixty years of service at All Souls and a worldwide ministry that led Time magazine to acknowledge him as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World," Stott alerts a church that is in transition to the marks of a church that is living.

The Living Church is the full articulation of Stott's dream for the body of Christ in the world today. To the people of God who inherit the global church he has helped to build for the past sixty years, he bequeaths this calling:

There is such a thing as goodness: pursue it. The postmodern mood is unfriendly to all universal absolutes. Yet the apostle says there is such a thing as truth: fight for it. And there is such a thing as life: lay hold of it. May God enable us to make an unabashed commitment . . . to what is true, what is good, and what is real.

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Editorial Reviews

Mark Driscoll
"Young pastors with a love for Jesus' church will be blessed by this timely gift from one of the most important evangelical voices."
Dr. Timothy Keller
"I have relied on John Stott's books for decades as both guides to practice and nourishment to belief. Our church, Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City, has attempted to incarnate all that I, and a generation or more of Christians, have learned from him. This new book promises to be just as helpful in navigating modern controversies and issues."
Eddie Gibbs
"While many high-profile churches come and go, All Souls, Langham Place, in the heart of London has maintained its spiritual vitality and mission commitment over many decades. Its effectiveness has depended not on a formula for success but on an unswerving commitment to fundamental biblical principles. The Living Church establishes the foundations for a biblically balanced approach to ministry that is comprehensive in its scope and expressed with John Stott's characteristic clarity. It provides a valuable resource for church leaders seeking to revitalize existing churches and for those birthing new faith communities."
David Jackman
"A gem of a book, which every committed Christian needs to read. Here is the heartbeat of a godly minister of the gospel."
Ajith Fernando
"Inspiring and nourishing reading."
Dick Lucas
"Exceptional clarity, profound concern and strong counsel."
Amy Orr-Ewing
"The reader is given a vision for a church whose roots are deeply biblical and whose touch reaches a dying world."
Vaughan Roberts
"Vintage Stott: faithful, rigorous biblical exposition; crystal clarity; challenging contemporary applications with plenty of punch; great wisdom."
Richard Bewes
"Gold on every page."
Ken Camp
"While Stott offers a special word to young ministers, his message is applicable to both clergy and laity of all ages."
John Nyquist
"It is biblical. It is encouraging, and it is instructive. His insights are to be found on every page. He writes with conviction and candor, without rancor or provocation. And as a man in his late 80s, he demonstrates a joyful wisdom too rarely observed in aging pastors and scholars."
David Virtue
As the subtitle claims, these are the "convictions of a "lifelong pastor." Turning 87 in April, Stott, an inveterate list-maker, has had plenty of time to develop his convictions."
Susan Olasky
"Stott has earned a close reading through his more than 50 years of faithful service to the church. He understands the dangers facing the church and the urgent need for 'God's new community' to be biblically strong and outward looking. He seeks a biblical middle ground between emergent churches and those traditional ones that have become complacent."
Nick Norelli
"I'd like to be able to say that this is a book for pastors, but it's just as much for the flock as it is for their shepard. Stott takes his decades of experience in pastoral ministry and missions and whittles it down into basically an annotated outline of what the Church as a whole should look like. . . .a Survival guide of sorts, teachign what is vital to the life of the church."
Publishers Weekly

Stott (rector emeritus of All Souls Church in London and prolific author) draws on over 60 years in pastoral ministry to outline the "essential marks of a living church." Named one of Time's 100 most influential people in 2005, Stott is noted for his efforts in worldwide evangelism as well as his firm insistence on remaining an evangelical within the Church of England. Here he explores biblical approaches to worship, evangelism, ministry, fellowship, preaching and giving that lead to a healthy church, whether "traditional" or "emerging." Stott applies New Testament accounts of the early church and the teachings of Paul to the contemporary context without compromising his evangelical vision. Urging Christians to have more impact on the surrounding culture, he concludes: "There is such a thing as goodness: pursue it. The postmodern mood is unfriendly to all universal absolutes. Yet the apostle says there is such a thing as truth: fight for it. And there is such a thing as life: lay hold of it." This short, well-organized book-when Stott says there are five paradoxes to preaching or 10 principles of giving, he promptly follows through-is perhaps most useful for those clergy and laity who are directly involved in ministry. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830838059
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 5/27/2011
  • Pages: 180
  • Sales rank: 810,262
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John R. W. Stott (1921-2011) has been known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist and communicator of Scripture. For many years he served as rector of All Souls Church in London, where he carried out an effective urban pastoral ministry. A leader among evangelicals in Britain, the United States and around the world, Stott was a principal framer of the landmark Lausanne Covenant (1974). His many books have sold millions of copies around the world and in dozens of languages.

Stott's best-known work, Basic Christianity, has sold two million copies and has been translated into more than 60 languages. Other titles include The Cross of Christ, Understanding the Bible, The Contemporary Christian, Evangelical Truth, Issues Facing Christians Today, The Incomparable Christ, Why I Am a Christian and Through the Bible Through the Year, a daily devotional. He has also written eight volumes in The Bible Speaks Today series of New Testament expositions.

Whether in the West or in the Two-Thirds World, a hallmark of Stott's ministry has been expository preaching that addresses the hearts and minds of contemporary men and women. Stott was honored by Time magazine in 2005 as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" and was named in the Queen's New Years Honours list as Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

In 1969, Stott founded the Langham Trust to fund scholarships for young evangelical leaders from the Majority World. He then founded the Evangelical Literature Trust, which provided books for students, pastors and theological libraries in the Majority World. These two trusts continued as independent charities until 2001, when they were joined as a single charity: the Langham Partnership. Langham's vision continues today to see churches in the Majority World equipped for mission and growing to maturity in Christ through nurturing national movements for biblical preaching, fostering the creation and distribution of evangelical literature, and enhancing evangelical theological education.

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Table of Contents

Preface: "Emerging Churches"
The Postmodern World
Acknowledgments and Abbreviations
1 Essentials: God's Vision for His Church
A Learning Church
A Caring Church
A Worshiping Church
An Evangelizing Church
2 Worship: Glorying in God's Holy Name
Biblical Worship
Congregational Worship
Spiritual Worship
Moral Worship
3 Evangelism: Mission Through the Local Church
Forms of Evangelism
The Church Must Understand Itself: Its Theology
The Church Must Organize Itself: Its Structures
The Church Must Express Itself: Its Message
The Church Must Be Itself: Its Life
4 Ministry: The Twelve and the Seven
An Every-Member Ministry
The Pastoral Ministry
The Example of the Apostle (The Shepherd)
The Invasion of False Teachers (The Wolves)
The Value of the People (The Sheep)
5 Fellowship: The Implications of Koinonia
Our Common Inheritance
Our Common Service
Our Mutual Responsibility
Some Practical Illustrations
6 Preaching: Five Paradoxes
Biblical and Contemporary
Authoritative and Tentative
Prophetic and Pastoral
Gifted and Studied
Thoughtful and Passionate
7 Giving: Ten Principles
Springing from the Trinity
Creating Equality According to Our Means
Careful Supervision and Friendly Rivalry
A Harvest with Symbolic Significance
The Result: Thanksgiving to God
8 Impact: Salt and Light
The Truths of Salt and Light
Weapons for Social Change
Christian Distinctives
Conclusion: Looking for Timothys in the Twenty-First Century
A Threefold Appeal
Where Are the Timothys?
Three Historical Appendixes
Related in Different Ways to the Living Church
Historical Appendix 1: Why I Am Still a Member of the Church of England
Historical Appendix 2: I Have a Dream of a Living Church
Historical Appendix 3: Reflections of an Octogenarian
Notes
Scripture Index
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