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on 19 June 2007
As the subtitle makes clear, the contents are "the convictions of a lifelong pastor"; and it is interesting to compare these with "9 marks of a healthy church" (Mark Dever) and "Do we have a policy?"(Peter Masters), both of which have a similar objective - ie is the Christian church of the 21st century anywhere near what it should be? And how should we plan to achieve progress towards that end?

After a chapter on "Essentials", (a learning church, a caring church, a worshipping church, and an evangelizing church), there are deeper considerations of worship, evangelism, ministry, fellowship, preaching, and giving - and a thought-provoking chapter on Salt and Light - followed by a conclusion called "Looking for Timothys in the 21st Century".

The author's CofE background surfaces only occasionally; and there is an appendix explaining why he is happy to remain in that denomination. However, the fact that he does so should not detract from the aim of the book - which is to challenge the reader as to the current state of the fellowship to which they belong.

In a day when many churches have no vision other than to preserve tradition and the status quo, while others are intent on casting off all restraint, it is good to be brought back to biblical principles, and made to think about what could be, what should be, and what needs to be if we are to have any impact in this generation.
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on 21 June 2007
`The Living Church` covers so well the convictions of a respected and lifelong beloved servant of Christ. This book presents so vividly the essence of the Christian basics for a local church, which belongs to Christ. Dr. John Stott does not squander the pages of his book, as others do, rather, he argues for a Biblical belief & practice for every young or old servant of Christ, who serves not his people but Christ's.

As a Romanian servant, I have found this book very challenging and helpful. I do not want to be flashy, but in my view, John Stott is the equivalent of Paul for the 21st Century, speaking to me, his child Timothy. It incredible to see that Dr. John Stott focuses so much on Christ, and not on himself, as others do, and this, without doubt, will be the foundation of my life and work before Christ. I want to press even further the comment made by Richard Bewes to this book, in saying that Dr. John Stott has not just `given us gold on every page` but shining diamonds. Here is a quotation which proves the point above: "The importing thing about eternal life is not its duration but its quality` The Living Church, page 157

Read it, it will defiantly persuade you to grow in knowing and loving Christ more, in following and serving Christ in the 21st Century, and it will force you to act on behalf of all of God's people until Christ returns.

Thank you Dr. John Stott

With a thankful heart,

Cosmin Pascu,

Romanian serving Christ as Student Assistant at ASC, [...]
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 December 2013
The structure of the book is based on a comprehensive survey of churches in which nine patterns or practices kept reappearing. John Stott takes each of these practices and examines them from a biblical perspective. The chapters are as follows:
Preface: Emerging churches
Essentials: God's vision for his church
Worship: Glorying in God's holy name
Evangelism: Mission through the local church
Ministry: The twelve and the seven
Fellowship: The implications of koinonia
Preaching: Five paradoxes
Giving: Ten principles
Impact: Salt and light
Conclusion: Looking for Timothys in the twenty-first century
Three historical appendices
Each chapter is broken up into small sections so that the whole is very readable. It is also thought provoking and refreshing to read. For example the section on giving whilst giving ten principles with regards to giving does not mention tithing.
I have found some of John Stott's writing rather heavy going at times but not this book, which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to know what church should be about. Perhaps one of the comments on the back of the book sums it up - "John Stott unpacks the Bible's wisdom with a teacher's skill and applies it with a pastor's heart. Becoming a living church is not an impossible goal."
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on 10 August 2010
John Stott - excellent as ever, but on a subject that is not straight forward bible exposition. Some challenging ideas that make sense. We were involved in a strategy discussion in our churches and this gave me some good ideas and thoughts about how to move forward. Highly recommended
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on 25 January 2016
Love the way the author describes the church and the role it has in todays society. Very clear and an excellent read
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on 8 September 2014
an excellent exposition of the major factors leading to a Church which brings about transformation
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on 16 December 2012
Pretty general stuff. Nothing for an evangelical Christian to majorly disagree with, except the sympathy towards anglican structures. A bit bland.
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on 11 January 2016
Having sat under John Stott's Ministry for a number of years, this book does not disappoint me, it is written from a Pastor's Heart.
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on 19 November 2013
As ever, very swift and smooth transaction. This is a very good book for any Christian to read. It is clear and good to think with.
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on 23 February 2014
This is the first book that I've read by John Stott. But it won't be the last! After reading an except on the internet (which made absolute sense) I though I'd purchase the book, and have not been disappointed
Stott has a reputation for making the complicated, simple but to be honest there isn't much that is complicated in the book BUT his articulation of simple but vital spiritual truths is exemplary.
There are no surprises here, nearly all of what he says has been said before; but what he says and how he says it is vital to the growth of healthy churches. Highly Recommended
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