Basic Christian: The Inside Story of John Stott, By Roger Steer

Basic Christian

The Inside Story of John Stott

by Roger Steer
Foreword by David Neff
Featuring John Stott

Basic Christian
  • Length: 288 pages
  • Published: February 12, 2010
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3846
  • ISBN: 9780830838462

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Did you know. . .

. . . John Stott's father stood strongly against his desire to be ordained in the Church of England and his pacifist leanings during World War II?

. . . John Stott once got lost following birds in the Amazon rainforest?

. . . John Stott once dressed up as a street urchin, fashioned a "strong Cockney accent" and lived under a bridge near the Thames in London in order to see how others lived--and whether or not the good Christians of the city reached out to them? (They did not.)

. . . John Stott and the late D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones had a major breach in their relationship over Stott's refusal to leave the Church of England?

In the engaging story of this remarkable life, Roger Steer takes you from John Stott's lifelong association with the parish church of All Souls in London to every continent on the planet. The account of Stott's ministry strikingly parallels the record of the rise of evangelical Christianity during the same years.

You'll see the early influences on his life unfold into Stott's profound impact on the Church of England and the church worldwide. His associations with the British Inter-Varsity, Billy Graham, the Keswick Convention and the Urbana Conventions are woven together with the story of the landmark books he wrote--Basic Christianity,The Cross of Christ and more.

Included is the dramatic confrontation with Martyn Lloyd-Jones over the place of evangelicals in the Church of England. You'll witness the critical role Stott's leadership played in the framing of the Lausanne Covenant and how his plea for a new understanding of the balance between evangelism and social action shaped the decades to come.

This completely new biography tells the full tale of why he was, as Time magazine noted in 2005, one of the hundred most influential people in the world.

"Roger Steer has paid close attention to many parts of John Stott's story. Basic Christian provides us windows into some of the reasons and ways Stott's life and ministry have had such global impact. I am moved again with deep gratitude for John Stott, and the faithfulness and wisdom, courage and humility with which he has lived and communicated the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Mark Labberton, Ogilvie Associate Professor of Preaching and director of the Ogilvie Institute of Preaching, Fuller Theological Seminary

"I call you 'the wizard'--because I don't know how you did it!"

John Stott

"A young boy perched on a church balcony, dropping paper pellets into the hats of the ladies beneath him, grows into the greatest Anglican of the last 100 years--with warmth, perception and sympathy, Roger Steer describes the lifelong journey of John Stott. Scrupulously researched, vividly written, this book lights up the character of the man with the longest shadow in the modern church."

Jeremy Vine, BBC

"In this engaging, splendid and admirably readable biography, Roger Steer offers compelling details of Uncle John's life journey, the man of all continents, a unique humble and faithful servant of God with a phenomenal achievement. It is impossible to read it without learning a lot, being inspired, touched and renewed. Uncle John's biography displays a force and a resonance that will challenge and impact the younger generations who have to resist the pressure of the postmodern era."

Daniel Bourdanné, International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, General Secretary

"As [a] former neighbor of John Stott's for twenty-two years, I am--with thousands of others--indebted to Roger Steer for his winsome account of the life and leadership of this, the unofficial holder of the Blue Riband in Bible ministry worldwide."

Richard Bewes, former rector, All Souls, London

"This is a fascinating story told well of a man, described in the pages of this book, as one of the most influential Christians of the twentieth century. It documents a life well lived and worthy of imitation, but it also charts some landmark moments in the history of worldwide evangelicalism. This is a valuable record of both a man and a movement. Roger Steer paints a compelling portrait packed with lessons for any who would aspire to be servant leaders in Christ?s church."

Rev. Ian Coffey, Moorlands College, England

"This account of John Stott's life and ministry not only helps us understand so much of recent evangelical history but also provides us with a wonderful model of humble Christ-centeredness. We should take every opportunity to learn from the example of this great man of God."

Vaughan Roberts, author of God's Big Picture

"Continually engrossing, utterly fascinating, deeply inspiring and profoundly challenging. A highly accessible portrait of a modern hero, which will be certain to have an impact on any serious reader. For all his clarity, brilliance, intelligence and persuasiveness, what is most striking throughout the pages of this book is his love, his Christlike servant-heartedness."

Simon Virgo, New Life Church, Kent, England

"Loved by the African poor and called to advise British royalty, living simply and listed amongst Time magazine's most influential people, here is the story of a remarkable man. This engaging biography provides some unexpected insights, whether coping with family opposition, caring for London's under-privileged, or experiencing the pain of criticism and disagreement. It demonstrates why a world-famous writer and Bible teacher is known for the Christlike quality of humility, and not only introduces us to one of the great Christian leaders of our time but points us to the Lord whom he has served so faithfully."

Jonathan Lamb, director of Langham Preaching, Langham Partnership International

"Informal and readable but informative and insightful."

John Wyatt, University College, London

"In an objective but warm style, Steer shows his readers the very human side of this iconic figure."

Beverly M. Bixler, Congregational Libraries Today, Fourth Issue, 2010

"Steer's portrait covers many aspects of the growth and development of this godly man Time recognized in 2005 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. You will want this book on your must-read shelf."

Church Libraries, Summer 2010

"Stott's contributions to Christianity in the United Kingdom, the United States, and indeed the world are well-charted by Roger Steer. He reminds us that no Western leader has done more to shape modern evangelicalism."

Madison Trammel, Christianity Today, March 2010

"Steer provides us with an intimate portrait of an ecclesiastical giant and leader in the 20th and early 21st century Christendom. His research is thorough without being excessive; his portrait provides enough detail without becoming overly intrusive; the structure of the book is chronological yet still topical. One walks away from reading this volume feeling an intimate connection with a man who utilized the gifts God has given him in faithful ongoing service to the King of kings, from his conversion to his old age."

John Van Dyk, Christian Renewal, April 28, 2010


1 First Steps on The Stage
2 Opening the Door
3 Cambridge Battles
4 Discovering the Inner Logic
5 Curate In a Mixed Parish
6 Under Charing Cross Arches
7 The King Approves
8 Deserted Farmhouse In Wales
9 'You'd Better Come and Be My Secretary'
10 Special Relationship
11 Modelling Jesus
12 Approaching Renewal
13 Drama at the Central Hall
14 Coming Out of the Ghetto
15 New Man at All Souls
16 Where the Battle for Holiness Is Won
17 Giant at Lausanne
18 Uncle John
19 Meeting Fantasy With Reality
20 What Is an Evangelical?
21 Intimate Encounters
22 Preaching Fit For a Queen
23 Institute and Issues
24 Climbing the Hill Called Calvary
25 Wincing Under Attack
26 Lost In the Jungle
27 An Urgent Plea
28 The Luckiest Man on Earth
29 Laps of Honour
30 Shaping Our World
Thanking God for John
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Roger Steer is a historian and the author of many books, including George Müller: Delighted in God; A Living Reality; Admiring God; Hudson Taylor: A Man in Christ; Church on Fire: The Story of Anglican Evangelicals; Letter to an Influential Atheist and Radical Discipleship. He is also a contributor to Oxford University Press's New Dictionary of National Biography.