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Everyone at Scripture Union around the world was saddened by the loss – but deeply grateful for the life – of John Stott in July.Rev Dr John Stott, who died on July 27 at the age of 90, came to Christ while at school, through the ministry of a Scripture Union worker Rev EJH Nash, known affectionately to many as ‘Bash’. Bash wrote to the young John Stott weekly for over five years to encourage him in his new faith, and remained a lifelong friend. Much of John’s early training in Christian ministry took place on Scripture Union camps and missions alongside Bash. Scripture Union was to play an important part throughout the rest of John’s life. In his early parish work at All Souls, he worked closely with local children and teenagers, leading camps and pioneering youth work. He became the first chairman of Frontier Youth Trust, for many years a part of SU.
John’s first published writing was an article in the Scripture Union magazine in 1945 entitled ‘Child Conversion’ which was based on a talk he gave at an SU workers’ conference. He would go on to write much more for the movement, including Understanding the Bible, first published in 1972.
From 1965 to 1973 he was President of Scripture Union in England and Wales. After 1970 he took on a wider ministry, visiting SU movements in many parts of the world and speaking at a range of meetings and conferences. His Bible readings at the SU International Council in Malaysia in 1972 formed part of his The Bible Speaks Today volume on Acts and also had a significant impact on SU’s statement of Working Principles, adopted in 1985.
He once wrote, ‘Scripture Union has had a very formative influence in my life, and I owe it a debt which I can never repay. First, it was a Scripture Union staff worker who showed me the way to Christ. Second, it was Scripture Union, which taught me the discipline of daily Bible reading – a discipline which I still consider to be indispensable to Christian growth and freshness. No wonder that I thank God for Scripture Union!'
John Stott’s legacy is the millions of lives he has touched through his personal ministry and his writing. We thank God for his commitment to the gospel and faithfulness to Scripture over a lifetime of service. To order your copy of Understanding the Bible, see below or call SU customer services on 01908 856006
What is the Bible really all about? Why was it written and can it be trusted? Why should we read it?
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