The Stott literary legacy 1

Peter Brain chooses a favorite book

The Incomparable Christ
John Stott
InterVarsity Press 2001
ISBN 9780851114859

I consider it a great privilege to have been able to read books written by many gracious Christian leaders. John Stott is one, with the added privilege of having met and listened to him speak. Always the loving encourager and lucid expositor, his books and talks have nourished, shaped and helped me (in concert with so many) follow Christ.

Published in 2001, The Incomparable Christ is a record of Stott’s 2000 AD London lectures. I can remember reading it in early 2002 and being drawn to recognise in a fresh way how unique our Lord and Saviour is and being reminded just how privileged I am to have been called to trust, serve, preach and follow Him.

The book is essentially a New Testament overview of Jesus. Part I: The Original Jesus outlines ‘how the New Testament witnesses to Him’ while the final section, Part IV: The Eternal Jesus, is a superb exposé of the way Jesus challenges us today through the text of the Book of Revelation.

Sandwiched between are two fascinating and challenging sections. Part II: The Ecclesiastical Jesus shows how the church through the ages has presented Jesus and Part III: The Influential Jesus sets forth through the lives of thirteen Christians how Jesus has inspired so many from so many backgrounds and circumstances to give themselves in serving Him, thus making a difference in His name.

What we have is what we came to expect from Stott, a careful and incisive exposition of Scripture combined with challenging and insightful application. For me both were active in this book, helping to sharpen my understanding of Jesus and to lift my vision and move me to honour Him in my life and ministry. He wrote in the introduction ‘I send the book on its way, with the hope and prayer that many readers will acknowledge Jesus Christ as the proper object of our worship, witness and hope, and as deserving the description ‘incomparable’, for He has neither rivals nor peers.’

I am so grateful to God for John Stott’s testimony of Jesus’ supremacy, sufficiency and glory and for the legacy he has left us with in books such as this.

Peter Brain is the Bishop of Armidale and an EFAC Vice-President and NSW Chair.