Wednesday, July 27, 2011

john stott and our need today

I just heard that John Stott died this morning. I don’t know why I should feel teary right now. It is not as though I knew him personally. I think it is because I lament the passing of a man who was, from what I could tell, a true model of grace and humility in Christian leadership. His passing has made me realize: “Men like him are too few these days. Too few, indeed.”

I wracked my brain, trying to think of those leaders today who could hold a candle to Stott’s class. Sadly, I could think of very few.

Too often our writers and teachers use sarcasm harmfully. Too often we employ excessive wit and incision, taking pot-shots at one another with unmitigated hubris. Too often our writers and teachers create unhelpful polemic in hopes of fostering “dialogue”. But how much “dialogue” really happens? Stott’s passing has made me realize that too often our Superstar Christians rely on charisma and style, leveraging clever forms of communication and wordsmithing (and publishing ploys) to propogate messages that are, by comparison…

…baldly self-serving,
…far-from-thoughtful and lacking in humility.

I pray Stott’s life speaks loudly to us in these days. I pray that reflecting on his example imbues us with new-found dignity in our discussions and debates. I pray his spirit infects ours. We could sure use a dose of grace.

Lord, let us learn to follow in John Stott’s example, even as he followed the example of Jesus.

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