Basic Christianity: 50th Anniversary Edition
Author: John Stott
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
In searching for books at a thrift store I came across an old, well-worn copy of Basic Christianity by John Stott. Knowing that Stott is a popular and well-respected author, I debated about buying superior content in an inferior package. I regretted my decision to not buy it.
After reading Basic Christianity: 50th Anniversary Edition I realize what a strong apologetic (defense of Christianity) it provides. It's ideal for any seeker, new Christian or anyone wanting a clear, concise presentation of a historic faith.
This new edition includes a foreword by Rick Warren. Warren's critics have multiplied with his success. He certainly rises in my estimation when he calls this one of the rare landmark books that everyone in the world should read. Bravo Rick for using the platform that God has given you to point to another book that provides purpose for living.
Also included is a new preface by the author. He reflects on how God has used the book in the lives of others.
Along with updating the language of the original volume, Today's New International Version replaces the Revised Standard Version text used previously. It makes the book even more readable.
The content is divided into four parts: "Who Christ Is," "What We Need," which deals with sin and its consequences, "What Christ has Done," and "How to Respond."
One of the highlights is Stott's focus on the graveclothes in his discussion of Christ's resurrection. He emphasizes that the position of these items was a clear indication that Jesus had risen from the dead. When those first eyewitnesses saw the position of the cloths, they knew. It's an awe-inspiring moment.
There may be a number of books that cover the same ground and go deeper and broader, but there are few wasted words in this volume. If you love the truth of Scripture, and appreciate a straightforward presentation, you can't help rejoicing as you read this.
The intervening years since its original publication have not diminished its power. If it's the life that prays, it's also what adds power to these words, which sometimes challenge. Stott has lived an exemplary life, reflected in his being recognized by Time magazine in 2005 as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World."
This belongs on any list of the top Christian books ever written.
If you ever come across it at a bargain price, buy it to give away, regardless of the condition. If you love what is pure and right, read this for the simple joy of being immersed in life-changing teaching. It does a Christian good, to reflect again on the old, old story of Jesus and his love.
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