I haven't read that many John Stott books but I really ought to read more. This to me is very doctrinal and lays out comprehensively the fundamentals of evangelical faith. He addresses those tensions often expressed with the traditional wing and the Pentecostal interpretation of spiritual gifts very graciously but also very biblically. The book's subtitle: A personal plea for unity, underlines his focus and perhaps motivation in writing such a book. This is not a wishy washy unity often put forward by those of an ecumenical persuasion but rather those who are found "in Christ" and born again of the Spirit of God. He makes a helpful distinction between fundamentalism and evangelicalism with emphasis throughout on the triune God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Cross of Christ is also given much prominence but generally speaking it is his persuasive style and humility in writing that captivated my attention as I read through the chapters. He is also reflecting on his life when, usually, at its end, our full learning and wisdom is fully expressed and here shared with the evangelical community and, hopefully wider afield, for our learning in carrying forward such a high standard of biblical truth in a day when compromise is in evidence and superficiality is on the increase. Mr Stott has gone on to his reward but here we can learn much from what he left behind.
For those who sit four square in the stream of historical and traditional evangelical christianity this is an excellent summary of the essence of it. The historical heart of Anglicanism with its Creeds and 39 Articles of Faith seem lost in so much of modern day Anglicanism and yet what a foundation for belief! What a privilege and protection to be able to share in the distillations of thought coming out of centuries of christians devotions. I once had a conversation with someone who in essence told me that "High Church Anglicans" are the intellectuals and evangelicals do not think. They are too simplistic. Anyway, this book will contribute towards supporting the view that such christians do think and many of the most intellectual of writers that I have read would sit four square in this stream of belief outlined by John Stott. If as a result we distill our beliefs down to a few simple but profound truths, so be it. I had always thought that intelligence often led you to be able to do that as well. I really enjoyed it and would commend it to you.
This is a really refreshing book that brings you right back to the origins of evangelical christianity. John Stott reminds us how God the Father, His Word, His Son and His Holy Spirit are the foundations for our faith, and how all other discussions are secondary to submitting to the perfect will of our Lord. It has blessed me with a desire to see God's church united, and how that can be done. Read it, see how it's true to scripture, pray it and do it!