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Balanced Christianity

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Christians tend to polarize. Some have an intellectual faith, while others are more emotional. Some focus on structure while others focus on freedom. And some champion evangelism while others advocate for social action. John Stott's classic statement of balanced Christianity shows how we can hold these tensions together in biblical, faithful ways. ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published December 5th 2013 by IVP Books (first published January 1st 1975)
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 ·  142 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Sep 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-life
Hang on a second, Tim Keller stole his Center Church stuff from John Stott :)
Kevin Weiner
Aug 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 starts simply for the chapter on Evangelism & Social Action alone. Such helpful insight - all the more encouraging because it speaks deeply into the woes of today while being written over 40 years ago. It shows the rootedness is not in societal examination but biblical truth.
Hannah Blair
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clarity and charity. Stott is calling Christians away from the easy way of polarization and to the generous way of Jesus that does not compromise on truth. Will read again!
Samuel Kassing
May 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
He wrote this is 1975. I dare you to read it today and see if anything has chanced

A strong Christianity rooted deeply in the scriptures that refuses to polarize. Yes please.
Patrick Willis
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I haven't really read anything of Stott's but I have heard him speak (on DVD) and have heard many other people talk about how impactful his writings are, so I figured when I saw this little book in the clearance section of the bookstore last December for a pretty low price, I figured what the heck (It also helps that Scot McKnight wrote something for the book on the back... I like McKnight so when he recommends something, I try to at it my list of things to check out). All in all, this book is p ...more
This was an excellent, short read. Stott is similar to Lewis in that he has an excellent grasp of the English language and excels at conveying his thoughts in a clear, concise way that is attainable by anyone. Here, he basically summarizes four different contrasts, or divides, in Christianity and why we ought not catch ourselves gravitating toward one polar or the other only. And yet, nor is it just a simple "balance" that we ought to maintain. Rather, it is balance created by living out both ex ...more
Tim Hoiland
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, anglican, 2013
As a rule of thumb, the Christians who make headlines tend to be those who go to extremes or who succumb to scandals. If you’re looking for notoriety, moderation, nuance, and quiet faithfulness will generally only get you so far. For precisely that reason it’s interesting to consider the enduring—and arguably increasing—influence of John Stott, more than 90 years after his birth and nearly three years since his death.

Over the course of half a century, John Stott wrote just about a book a year. H
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stott was truly an elder statesman of Evangelicalism. With decades of experience in not only evangelicalism but global Christianity as a whole, he brings a breadth of perspective that is helpful and needed. He seeks to learn from theological traditions not his own without capitulating doctrinal orthodoxy. In terms of temperament he reminds me of Tim Keller, although obviously the influence would have gone the other way around. There were many pointed insights in this short work, and it is well w ...more
Kasey Cazet
Aug 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Balanced approach to Christianity. Important for us to be careful not to become so extreme in one way that we compromise on the Scriptures to affirm our points. TheScripture should also be paramount.
His views make a lot of sense, yet still some points I would differ on. Surprised to hear his opinion that headship means responsibility and not authority (don’t agree with that). Also surprised to hear that he affirms women to be pastors, but only if they have a man in a position over them. I found
Glenn Crouch
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
I quite enjoyed this small book - which is an expanded edition to the original, with an extra chapter being an Interview with John Stott in 1995. This addition is worthwhile and does add well to this small book.

Stott argues for a Balanced Christianity, as he points out our tendency to go for extremes - and to go from one extreme, to the other. He covers quite a range of areas - including Intellect / Emotions and Conservatism / Radicalism, with this latter probably my favourite chapter.

You will p
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another solid book by John Stott. I find that Stott has a unique voice. He’s firm, but not inflexible. He shows much charity to those he doesn’t agree with, something that is lacking in Christian circles these days. It’s a very quick read and if I’m being honest, I found the interview that’s included at the back of this particular version, an interview with Christianity Today from 1995, to be more profitable than the actual book. Not that the book is bad by any stretch. If you haven’t read Stott ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
This short book was refreshing, brilliant and relevent. I found myself being astonished that it was published in 1975 when most things Stott wrote were very pertinent to my life in 2018 and issues that I have been wrestling with! A really fair and enjoyable read that is inspiring and refreshing. My edition also included an amazing interview with Stott from 1999 which dealt with a lot of the themes of the book. Highly recommended book!
Brandi VonBartheld

The concepts within are very much needed in the church and among Christians in general. The idea of polar balance and the swing between is of utmost importance . The actual application is not always simple.
Sam B
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stott's book perfectly demonstrates volume does not equal quality. He packs more truth and insight into 50ish pages than many authors have been able to fit in books 4x, 5x that length. Absolutely worth your time to read and re-read. ...more
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wonderful read - nice that it's also short.

I hope that one day, when I'm old enough and have matured and learned enough, that such wisdom will fall out of my mouth with such consistency and conciseness as it does out of John Stott's mouth (pen). may I never stop learning!
Josh Thompson
Jul 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Felt like this book could have been written 3 years ago. Not 45. Some great thoughts in here about avoiding binary thinking and polarized perspectives on common issues.
Tim Peterson
This book discusses finding a balance between conserving traditional Christian values and changing the world around us for Christ.
Amanda Ellen
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Livro fenomenal!!! Pequeno, mas poderossimo!!! Acho leitura fundamental nos dias de hj.
Rodrigo Varoni
Lido por teimosia minha. Muito ruim. Argumentos parecidos com os dos "isentões", do tipo: não sou de Calvino nem de Armínio. ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
In this short book, John Stott addresses the increasing polarisation between Christians in the modern world. It provided a balanced view point, explaining the dangers of swinging too far to different extreme ends with different theological positions. Stott provided a healthy balance between conservative and radical, intellect and emotion, form and freedom, evangelism and social action. This helped the reader to reflect upon whether they identify too extremely on one side, at the expense of engag ...more
Jeremy Manuel
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
There are very few books on Christianity that upon finishing I think to myself, "I wish that book had been longer." Most of the time the books are of adequate length or a bit too wordy and overstay their welcome. Balanced Christianity by John Stott winds up being one of those books that I do wish was a bit longer.

The idea of the book is to demonstrate a balanced Christianity, particularly when dealing with certain tendencies within the faith to polarize to one or the other in certain ways. Now
Tom Bazan
Mar 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
Stott argues for balance--holding both ends, rather than the middle ground. Talks about 4 areas: intellect & emotion; conservative & radical; form & freedom; and evangelism & social action.

Not to be cliche, the basis of the book seems to be the epigram attributed to Rupert Meldenius, quoted by Richard Baxter:
In essentials unity,
In nonessentials liberty,
In all things charity. (p.9)

And that seems to sum up Balanced Christianity. It feels like Stott under-treats the topics that he covers, but th
Rev Emmanuel
I love stott's stand on the issues of polarization. Our chritianity is faced with the tragedy of one-way trafic and imposed life style and belief on issues of faith. Stott advocates that every member should respect the potentiality of others, to strike a balance simultaneously on both ends. Truth can not be measured when it is one sided, or should it take a centre neutral stand without an acceptable balance, rather,it should fill the vacuum on both extremes,whereby the emotionally motivated chri ...more
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, systematic and Biblical approach to finding balance between several of the many tensions that exist within the believer's life. Stott succinctly provides safeguards for individuals to prevent unhealthy, unbalanced approaches to faith and doctrine. He encourages believers to exchange either/or attitudes for an inclusive, critical approach that uses the Bible as it's grounding point. This audio recording also included a transcript of an interview with John Stott which complements and ex ...more
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Short book but addresses truths which do not have an either /or answer but calls us to both/and answers. Like being conservative and radical or focusing on evangelism and social action. Recommend it.
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jonathan Quay
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Dec 22, 2019
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Mar 10, 2021
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May 05, 2021
Eduardo Stabel
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Feb 19, 2017
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John R. W. Stott is known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist, and communicator of Scripture. For many years he served as rector of All Souls Church in London, where he carried out an effective urban pastoral ministry. A leader among evangelicals in Britain, the United States and around the world, Stott was a principal framer of the landmark Lausanne Covenant (1974). His many books, including Why ...more

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