Basic Christianity

Next to the Bible itself, one of the finest books you will ever read is Basic Christianity by John Stott. Ninety years old as of this past April, Stott has had major influence on the evangelical movement; and has been the main force for a faithful evangelical witness within the world wide Anglican community. Rector Emeritus of All Souls Church, Langham Place, his boyhood church with which he has been associated ever since, Stott also served as a chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II. One could wish he might have had more influence on her children.

My first awareness of Stott was as a college student in 1970 through his little commentary on Romans 5-8, Men Made New. [1] His clear, concise exposition of Scripture is illustrated here and evident in all his writings. The “chink” in Stott’s evangelical credentials was his flirting in his later years with annihilation as opposed to eternal punishment for the unsaved.I understand he has since taken a more agnostic pose on that issue.

But for a clear presentation of the essentials of Jesus and true Christianity, there is nothing better than Basic Christianity.I recently gave a copy to a “seeker” (check out Stott’s careful use of that word) who needed some clarity about the essence of Christian belief.As I baptized this man just recently, he mentioned the help of this little book, and his verbal testimony to Christ reflected a much clear understanding of the Gospel.

That witness drove me to go back and read Basic Christianity again during a recent trip.The simple outline of the Gospel, with clear explanation and application can be a great outreach tool. The four parts are:Who Christ Is; What We Need; What Christ Has Done; How to Respond

I commend it to you as a great summation of the Good News, the Best News you’ll ever hear.

[1] Out of print as far as I know; Amazon offered two used copies for $276.19 each.I’ll sell my copy for considerably less than that.I bought it in 1970 for $1.50 plus 5 cents tax. Didn’t know it would be my best financial investment ever.

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