Christian Basics

John Stott's basic primer on Christianity.

Reviewed by J. David Newman, editor, Ministry.

John Stott, rector emeritus of All Saints Church, London, England, has completely rewritten his basic primer on Christianity. Christian Basics tells us how to be come a Christian, how to be sure we are Christians, and how to grow as Christians.

Stott emphasizes that we are saved only through the blood of Jesus. He makes it clear that our salvation is based on the complete and finished work of Christ, but then he makes this important statement: "Jesus Christ wants to be our Lord as well as our Saviour. He is in fact 'our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ' (2 Peter 3:18), and we have no liberty to cut Him in two, responding to one half and rejecting the other. For He makes demands as well as offers. He offers us salvation (forgiveness and the liberating power of His Spirit); He demands our thoughtful and total allegiance."

I like his refreshing emphasis on the importance of obedience for the Christian, without coming across as being legalistic. He strikes the right balance be tween law and grace.

This book may be used as a study guide for new converts. Each of the 10 chapters ends with questions for discussion and decision. Stott writes with easy grace and lucid prose, and even mature Christians would benefit from reading Christian Basics.

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Reviewed by J. David Newman, editor, Ministry.

April 1993

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