Basic Christianity by John Stott a book review
Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation.”
John Stott’s Basic Christianity is a book that is aptly named. It is short, it is direct, and it is filled up with the truth of basic Christianity. It is a book that is written to the skeptic, or one who is seeking, or to a new believer in Christ, but it is a book that will touch the life of anyone who reads it regardless of how long they have been a follower of Jesus.
Stott begins his book by talking about the reliability of the Bible. He wants to establish the source of our revelation about God and about ourselves, so he begins where we must begin with the truth of the word of God. From there, Stott begins to discuss the person of Jesus Christ and the work of Jesus Christ. He does not do this in consecutive sections however, he goes from discussing who Jesus is, to discussing the reality of sin, and how we as sinners are in desperate need of a Savior. Then he shifts gears to begin to talk about the work of Christ. This makes perfect sense because a person has to see their need of a Savior before they turn to Jesus in repentance and faith.
In the final section of the book, Stott talks about making a decision to follow Jesus and then what we should do as followers of Jesus. This section is extremely practical and one that all Christians can benefit from because it tells us Biblically what we should be doing as followers of Jesus Christ. Stott also takes time to reinforce in this section some of the privileges that we have as children of God, we now have an intimate relationship with Almighty God, an assured relationship and a secure relationship with God. These are amazing facts as Stott reminds us, facts that will change our lives and facts for which we should be eternally thankful.
In a world filled up with uncertainty and problems, Stott reminds his readers that we do have a certainty, we do have stability, we do have hope, and His name is Jesus. He makes all the difference in the world. These are facts that people need to hear if they are lost and they are facts that we who are followers of Jesus need to be reminded of daily.
Many Christians in our world today do not know the fundamental beliefs of Christianity. Stott’s book is a good starting point as it reinforces what those beliefs are and also the difference that those beliefs make in our lives today. In the edition that I read there were study questions for each chapter included in the back of the book. This makes Stott’s book an invaluable resource for those who are learning the basics of Christianity or even for those who have been Christians for years. The study guide could also be used as discussion points by a Christian who was sharing Jesus with a lost person.
Stott’s book is very well written and could be used in a variety of ways. It could be used in Sunday School classes, with those who are asking questions about Jesus, with those who need to be reminded of the life changing truth of the Gospel. It could be used in churches, among Bible study groups, even in prisons, or other institutions. It is a book that should be widely read, because all of us need to know the truth of the Gospel and be able to understand and articulate that truth more fully.
(8 out of 10 stars)