John Piper wrote a series of biographies titled The Swans Are Not Silent. The dismayed bishop of Hippo after Augustine went to glory said, “The cricket chirps, the swan is silent.”1 But the swan has not been silent. Augustine’s legacy outlasted the span of his days. His thoughts continue to exert influence. His legacy continues through books. John Stott is another swan.
When Uncle John went to glory, the loss was felt around the world. He was a mighty preacher and teacher of the Word of God with a heart for the nations. He reverently and relevantly applied God’s Word to our lives and his influence was global. He stressed the need to “relate the ancient world to the modern world.”2 On this topic he said,
The key words in my thinking are “integration” and “penetration.” I think evangelical Christians, if one can generalize, have not been integrated; there is a tendency among us to exclude certain areas of our life from the lordship of Jesus, whether it be our business life and our work, or our political persuasion.
Stott had a two-fold vision: integrated Christians, men and women who allowed the lordship of Christ to be worked out in every aspect of their life, who then penetrated the unbelieving world with their Christ-saturated lives. ‘Integration’ and ‘penetration’ are the key words. 3
John Stott had a profound influence on his homeland. Alister McGrath suggested the growth of evangelicalism in post-war England is attributable more to Stott than any other person. 4
Stott was not only committed to serving his nation but also the nations. As he witnessed the rapid spread of the gospel into under resourced nations he sought to personally support it with deep God-honoring discipleship. He sums up his efforts,
The church is growing everywhere of course, or nearly everywhere, but it’s often growth without depth and we are concerned to overcome this lack of depth, this superficiality, by remembering that God wants his people to grow. Now if God wants his people to grow into maturity, which he does, and if they grow by the word of God, which they do, and if the word of God comes to them mainly through preaching, which it does, then the logical question to ask is how can we help to raise the standards of biblical preaching? The 3 ministries of the Langham Partnership are all devoted to the same thing – either immediately or ultimately – to raise the standards of preaching through books, through scholarships and through Langham Preaching seminars. 5
John Stott made tremendous contributions to evangelicalism and we at Trinity are proud to display a collection of his works in a bookcase that sat in his personal study. Browse the titles, but we ask that you don’t remove them from the shelf. All of these books are in our general collection, so should you see a title that you’d like to read check our catalog and pull it from the stacks.
- Piper, John. A Camaraderie of Confidence. The Swans are Not Silent. Crossway Books: Wheaton, IL. P. 9