What Christ Thinks of the Church
Christ’s letters to the seven churches still resonate today. Like those ancient churches, most churches today lie somewhere on the continuum between flourishing and withering, between faithfulness and faithlessness, between comfort and persecution. Using seven key themes, John Stott illustrates the timeless relevance of Christ’s exhortations and warnings to the universal church, while pointing to Christ, the Lamb turned Shepherd, who knows the unique opportunities and challenges that face each church. This is a helpful guide for preachers looking to feed their flock with this often visited passage from John’s vision of the apocalypse.
The church today needs to hear Christ’s message anew. What Christ Thinks of the Church embodies Uncle John Stott’s deep theological reflections and clear pastoral preaching. In teasing-out the messages to the seven churches in ancient Asia Minor, we have in our hands a living word for today, calling us to a “love for Christ and willingness to suffer for him, truth of doctrine and holiness of life, inward reality and evangelistic outreach, with an uncompromising wholeheartedness in everything.” These should characterize the church of Christ in every generation – they are timeless in their application for all.
Associate Director – Africa, Langham Preaching
The validity of the Christian faith turns for many today on whether the church lives its identity. The gap between what Christians say and do tempts many to believe that the gospel we proclaim is empty. For at least these reasons, John Stott’s What Christ Thinks of the Church could not be more timely. This careful and provocative book is a catalyst for lament and repentance while also a source of inspiration and hope.
President, Fuller Theological Seminary,
Pasadena, California, USA
The present church and all individuals, groups and movements must go back to the original intent and design of the builder of the church. We all have set benchmarks, standards and perspectives on how the church should move and look like based on human lens and approval. Thank God for this book that allows us to see clearly how the Lord Jesus Christ wants his church to be built and to grow, which pleases him as head of the church.
Bishop Noel A. Pantoja
National Director, Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches
President, Philippine Relief and Development Services
In a day and age when pastors and ministry leaders are often preoccupied with pragmatic concerns relating to church life, this new edition of John Stott’s What Christ Thinks of the Church is a welcome reminder of what is critical to the foundational health of the church. Using seven key themes, Stott illustrates the timeless relevance of Christ’s exhortations and warnings to the universal church in a masterful blend of sound scholarship, lucid analysis, devotional passion and his characteristic engaging style.Ivan Satyavrata
Senior Pastor,The Assembly of God Church, Kolkata, India
What Christ Thinks of the Church is a vision reinterpreted, a message redelivered. Stott offers the reassuring evidence of God’s persistent pursuit of his church and of Christ’s relentless determination to communicate with his people at every time and place. While the book does highlight the seven marks that Christ desires in his church universal, “love for Christ and willingness to suffer for him, truth of doctrine and holiness of life, inward reality and evangelistic outreach, with an uncompromising wholeheartedness in everything,” Stott winsomely points to Christ, the Lamb turned Shepherd, who knows the unique opportunities and challenges that face each church.
Anne E. Zaki
Assistant Professor of Preaching and Practical Theology,Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt
Table of Contents
- Editor’s Preface to Revised Edition
- The Letter to Ephesus: Love
- The Letter to Smyrna: Suffering
- The Letter to Pergamum: Truth
- The Letter to Thyatira: Holiness
- The Letter to Sardis: Reality
- The Letter to Philadelphia: Opportunity
- The Letter to Laodicea: Wholeheartedness