We have all heard the old adage “don’t miss the forest for the trees.” For readers of this blog, I want to remind you of what I am trying to accomplish.
I am commenting on two books by the same author, one written in 1958 and the other written in 1986. The earlier book Basic Christianity is an intro. to the Christian faith. The writer (John Stott) is covering the basics of our faith, hoping to help readers build a strong foundation for a worldview centered on believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The latter book The Cross of Christ is not an introductory book at all. The writer (John Stott) is focusing on the central symbol of our faith [the cross] and he is attempting to stretch the mind of the reader with a biblically precise, thoughtful and thorough theological discussion. The Cross is not an easy book to read, especially for someone who is seeking the basics of Christianity. It is not an easy book for me to write about; at times I feel I am being stretched beyond my capabilities.
Basic Christianity was an important book for me at a time in my life when I had questions about life and I was finding answers in a new belief in God. It was straightforward and I needed that. It was also written with a firmness of thought which I desired. John Stott’s book was there for me when I needed it and he became one of my favorite writers.
The Cross is a challenge, but after believing for twenty-three years, dedicating myself to the study of God’s word, worshipping in the house of God and teaching an adult Sunday school class, I felt I was ready for Stott’s more complex thoughts.
Don’t be confused as I go from one book to the other. My plan is to explore John Stott the writer who introduces Christianity to the new believer and John Stott the writer who can take a complex subject and digs into it with great theological detail.
As readers come to St. John Studies, don’t get lost.
Don’t miss the forest for the trees……..