Last month, I read Basic Christianity by the late John Stott again. Here are some of the things I highlighted again. This title’s on the slate for a re-release this summer.
Whenever our behaviour is inconsistent with our belief, or our practice contradicts our preaching, we take God’s name in vain.
Religion is man-initiated. Christianity is God-initiated.
A man may study Jesus with intellectual impartiality, but he cannot do it with moral neutrality; we must declare our colours.
Jesus is the only preacher who could preach a self-centred message.
Charles was great. Napoleon was great. Jesus was the Only.
Legislation exists because humans cannot settle their own disputes with justice and without self interest.
All the sins we commit are assertions of self, either against God or man.
Serious illnesses need urgent cures.
Christianity is a rescue religion.
Atonement is two conflicting parties made one. Sin leads to estrangement but the cross leads to atonement.
An example can stir our imagination, kindle our idealism and strengthen our resolve, but it cannot cleanse the defilement of our past sins. Jesus was more than an example!
Jesus interpreted his mission in light of the Old Testament Scriptures. Especially Isaiah 53.
The quality of the fruit depends on the quality of the tree. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit cultivates the orchard.
The church is an expression of common life and common love.
Jesus included a demand as well as an offer. The demand was as total as the offer was free.
Large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent, but this veneer of Christianity.
There can be no following without forsaking.
Repentance is a definite turn from every thought, word, deed and habit known to be wrong.
Godly work is cooperating with God in the service of man.
So called private affairs like money and sexuality must be brought under the Lordship of Christ.
I’d call you back to this wise, true and solid title. At the heart of this book like the central tenants of the faith – more clearly and well articulated than most places. It’ll call you back to the basics, not the theories or distractions!