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Basic Christianity
John R.W. Stott
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Basic Christianity

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  7,968 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
John R. W. Stott defends the fundamental claims of Christianity and defines the proper outworkings of these beliefs in the lives of believers. Here is a sound guide for those seeking an intellectually satisfying presentation of the Christian faith.
Published December 1st 2002 by InterVarsity Press (first published January 1st 1958)
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Paul Bryant
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: godreads
The mission : to find a book explaining Christian belief which makes the least bit of sense.

First attempt : Mere Christianity by C S Lewis. I think we know how that one went.

Second attempt : Basic Christianity by John Stott


The foreword of this tells me there are few landmark books that everyone in the world should read – "this is one of the few". This is the 50 year anniversary edition of the book originally published in 1958 and "in the 21st century you cannot afford to ignore this book!" Ok
Brandon Yoder
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read maybe three or four really good books, besides the Bible, that have helped me in my walk with Christ. Tozer's "Pursuit of God", Lewis's "Mere Christianity", Bonhoeffers "Cost of Discipleship" and now Stott's "Basic Christianity".
I was hesitant to read this book at first, thinking it would be a re-hash of so many books I've read already on this topic. I was wrong. Stott has a very direct way of explaining his points and backs up each claim with scripture, which I believe is a bit diffe
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know I'm only 50+ years late to the party, but this is excellent. Clear, winsome, and surprisingly comprehensive. This must still be one of the go-to books for anyone wanting an introduction to the Christian faith.
First sentence: 'In the beginning God,' the first four words of the Bible are more than an introduction to the creation story or to the book of Genesis. They supply the key which opens our understanding to the Bible as a whole. They tell us that the religion of the Bible is a religion of the initiative of God.

Premise/plot: Basic Christianity by John Stott is a Christian classic for a reason: it is GOOD. It addresses the basics of the Christian faith: what sets Christianity apart from every othe
Morris Nelms
Good for what it is.
I would cautiously recommend it to someone who has just become a Christian and knows nothing about the faith.
I guess the title is accurate, although it is slanted in favor of the Evangelical Protestant perspective entirely.
I dislike the author's insistence that one use a modern translation of the Bible.
It's as if the Protestant church has decided to bury the KJV as fast as possible. Sorry, I still prefer it.

May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good book teaching what Christians should know. I especially enjoyed the last two chapters.
Douglas Wilson
Susan Kendrick
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So straightforward; I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.
August Bourré
Earlier this year, at the age of 68, my father became an Anglican priest. He's never attended seminary or any other formal training, but he'd been serving as a lay reader and extremely dedicated volunteer to an extremely tiny and aging rural congregation, helping to keep it alive and even building it up.

I'm not a religious person (I have that same vague attraction to mystery and 'spirituality' that so many of us can't define and can't easily reconcile with the rest of our outlook, but it's never
John Brackbill
No doubt I have significant differences with John Stott's theology on several points, but not much of that came up in this book though enough did for me to make it a four star rather than the five that it certainly was on the whole (e.g. use of images in worship, images of hell being symbolic rather than literal in Bible, and themes of limited atonement). Thankfully his seeming openness to an annihilation view of hell did not come out (I have read quotes about this tentative position from his co ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I needed to take this in small doses as Dr. Stott is an extremely intelegent man and digestion of his thoughts helps. I'd put this with Lewis's Mere Christanity as they sort of compliment. (I like Lewis best if I need to choose, but also like Dr, stoot. they both humble me.)
Alexis Neal
Clearer and more straightforward than Lewis's Mere Christianity, and more biblically grounded, but not nearly as delicious a read.
Joshua D.
Dec 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic short introduction to Christianity. Excellent to use with someone investigating Christianity or to ground the new believer. It’s also an excellent refresher for the mature Christian.
Robert D. Cornwall
A number of years ago I had the opportunity to hear John Stott speak. The host was a Presbyterian Church that featured speakers both conservative and liberal. There was a large crowd that night, and I sat with a church member in the balcony. I don't remember the message, but I seem to remember it being solid evangelicalism. It was conservative but generous. I belive that describes Stott fairly well. He was conservative, but as a British evangelical, he lacked the political aggressiveness that ha ...more
Brandon Current
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read and Keep as Resource

Stott's short, well organized book forms an excellent introduction or much needed re-introduction to Christianity. He does well to begin the book by addressing the necessary frame of mind for the reader to benefit from the claims of the book. The statements he makes throughout are a bold and assertive presentation of Christian belief, but are made in a disarming, non-confrontational way. The tone is warm and friendly, which is uncommon for what is basically an apologetic
Ryne Brewer
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple read. I would say for an introduction to Christianity it's a good one to open up. It's not the "best" but still think it's worth handing to someone who is on the fence or looking into Christianity. Quick read, chapters on Christ are like cookies on the bottom shelf "easy to grasp", the back half of the book is very fitting for pointing someone to the proper response and expectation for a life submitted to Jesus. Give it a read.
Bilal Ashrafov
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, this book was written by John Stott (who is ranked №82 in “100 most influential people in the world” by TIME in 2005), a private counselor on the spiritual issues of the Queen of the United Kingdom. I can say that it comes at the head of the books that need to be read about Christianity. The writer has both religion knowledge and good narrative style.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, devotional
So many better books on basic Christianity. I'd never give this to someone wondering about the religion or person of Jesus. Severely outdated feel and language in my opinion.
Philippe Jean
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book for someone looking to lay a good Christian foundation
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super basic book on becoming a Christian. Very well written. If you know someone who is searching for truth, give them a copy of this book.
Chad Grindstaff
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent introduction to the Christian faith. I would recommend this very quickly to someone either investigating Christianity, or someone younger in their faith. Stott does a great job in this and it should be used as a resource across the board.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I liked some of the ideas introduced in this book, but I wasn't crazy about the writing. Also, I do thank that this book would not cover all of the basics of Christianity. The writer assumes knowledge on the readers part that could be confusing for someone who starts the book without previous knowledge.
David Sarkies
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Newer Christians
Recommended to David by: My Church
Shelves: christian
A relatively early gospel exposition
23 September 2013

There seems to be a plethora of books that run upon the theme of this book: a basic outline of the Christian faith with a plea at the end to give one's life to Christ and then what to do once you have made that step. However this book was originally published a lot earlier than I though since I originally though that it was released sometime in the early 70s, though I now notice that this particular book was released back in the late 50s. It
Mark Oppenlander
I first gave this book three stars but after a day or two of reflection, I have scaled it back to just two. I picked this up after hearing the Reverend Earl Palmer describe it as a book that "every thinking Christian should read." Most of the things Earl recommends are solid, so when I stumbled across a copy of this in a box of giveaway books, I picked it up.

The book itself is a straightforward Christian apologetic, with Stott making the case for the historical Jesus, followed by an explication
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 60-books-in-2012
I just started chapter 3 of Basic Christianity I just figured out what was bothering me. It's not what is being said, although there is a clear bias which the author himself fret admits to (I only hate a bias if the source tries to hide it). What's bothering me is that while Bible verses & religious leaders are cited, secular writings have not been so far. For instance, on page forty-six, Stott properly cites The Fact of Christ when he quotes it, but does not cite the Napoleon quote he used. ...more
Geoff Parlett
My Christian reading and my spiritual thought life tends to run to the margins. I like to re-center at least once a year with a book like this. FYI I find it hilarious now that when I was in college Stott was a little too liberal for my taste. Ah how times change :-). Or well, how I change, I guess.

selected quotes:

The most striking feature of the teach Jesus is that he was constantly talking about himself... This self-centredeness of the teaching of Jesus immediately sets his apart from the oth
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Great book!!

John Stott covers all the areas of Christianity at a base level. This is a great book to read for yourself, or to do in your small group, it helps to cover and solidify the foundation that out faith is built on. Without a firm foundation a bulding will topple. Let's be honest - most Christians pick up their doctrine in the same way that a dog picks up fleas - wouldn't it be better to get the facts up front?

This book then is great for those who are new Christians, t
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
I recently finished reading Know What You Believe Connecting Faith and Truth by Paul E. LittleKnow What You Believe: Connecting Faith and Truth and decided to continue my explorations on the basics of the Christian faith. This little book has been in my collection for some time, but I've never gotten around to actually reading it. Having just finished it, I can say that this is one of the best books on basic Christianity (no pun intended) I've ever come across. Whereas Know What You Believe: Connecting Faith and Truth is more systematic in it's approach to Ch ...more
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why would anyone be interested in the historical Jesus? Isn’t he some old, archaic person whose life and deeds have only been misrepresented by a brand of Christianity that has become more and more marginalized? Are you interested in knowing about Christ and his claims? Would you consider yourself as one who would like to know more about the historical Jesus? Then Basic Christianity by John R. W. Stott is a great book for you. The book discusses the identity of Christ Jesus. Who is he, and what ...more
David Eagen
The title aptly describes this book as it is a very good introduction to Christianity. What stood out to me most as I read this was what it means to be a real Christian.

I read this book after reading J.D. Greear's "Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart". In that book Greear points out that there is no formula, box to check, or ritual to perform that makes you a true Christian. There is no "fire insurance" that rescues you from hell but requires no changes in your life. The evidence of a true Christ
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Do you know Jesus Christ? 1 1 Jun 22, 2017 07:23AM  
  • Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God
  • The Religious Affections
  • True Spirituality: How to Live for Jesus Moment by Moment
  • The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God
  • Christianity and Liberalism
  • The Gospel & Personal Evangelism
  • Lectures to My Students
  • Essential Truths of the Christian Faith
  • The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness
  • Know Why You Believe
  • The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination
  • The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
  • Christian Theology
  • Out of the Saltshaker: Evangelism as a Way of Life Journal
  • The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way
  • The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible
  • Holiness
  • God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself
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 I ...more
More about John R.W. Stott...
“Jesus never concealed the fact that his religion included a demand as well as an offer. Indeed, the demand was as total as the offer was free. If he offered men his salvation, he also demanded their submission. He gave no encouragement whatever to thoughtless applicants for discipleship. He brought no pressure to bear on any inquirer. He sent irresponsible enthusiasts away empty. Luke tells of three men who either volunteered, or were invited, to follow Jesus; but no one passed the Lord’s test. The rich young ruler, too, moral, earnest and attractive, who wanted eternal life on his own terms, went away sorrowful, with his riches intact but with neither life nor Christ as his possession…The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half built towers—the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ’s warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so called “nominal Christianity.” In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent, but thin, veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved, enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great, soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life, while changing its place and shape to suit their convenience. No wonder the cynics speak of hypocrites in the church and dismiss religion as escapism…The message of Jesus was very different. He never lowered his standards or modified his conditions to make his call more readily acceptable. He asked his first disciples, and he has asked every disciple since, to give him their thoughtful and total commitment. Nothing less than this will do” 18 likes
“Many people visualize a God who sits comfortably on a distant throne, remote, aloof, uninterested, and indifferent to the needs of mortals, until, it may be, they can badger him into taking action on their behalf. Such a view is wholly false. The Bible reveals a God who, long before it even occurs to man to turn to him, while man is still lost in darkness and sunk in sin, takes the initiative, rises from his throne, lays aside his glory, and stoops to seek until he finds him.” 13 likes
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