John Stott is a well respected pastor and teacher. In his book, The living church (Inter-Varsity Press 2007), he presents his ideas on church. He very obviously loves the church. I found it refreshing to read about the strengths of traditional churches when there is so much negative talk about the church today. Stott does not white wash current church problems but rather paints a picture of what the church can be.

Stott covers all the essential ingredients of church life giving insights from Bible passages. I particularly enjoyed his emphasis on worship and the fleshing out of his statement, “worship is the church’s preeminent duty”. Stott also believes in the value of small groups where people can experience true fellowship. Towards the end of the book he discusses the church as salt and light. This was by far the most challenging chapter as he points out if society is becoming corrupt it is because the church is not being salt and light to its community. Stott includes several appendices which are largely autobiographical. Stott had his 80th birthday in 2001 and these appendices provide further insights into his thinking.

Overall I found this to be a very hopeful and encouraging book.