Length: 179 pp
Author: John Stott
I really do enjoy reading C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, and there are some excellent illustrations and arguments that just beg to be used, but as far as communicating the very core, the essence of Christianity it falls short. If you want a little book to take an unbelieving friend through to communicate to them the central message of the Christian faith may I suggest John Stott’s Basic Christianity. Here the gospel isn’t just defended, but shown as necessary and gloried in.
You can never take God by surprise. You can never anticipate him. He always makes the first move. He is always there ‘in the beginning’. Before man existed, God acted. Before man stirs himself to seek God, God has sought man. In the Bible we do not see man groping after God; we see God reaching after man.
In seeking God we have to be prepared not only to revise our ideas but to reform our lives. The Christian message has a moral challenge. If the message is true, the moral challenge has to be accepted. So God is not a fit object for man’s detached scrutiny. You cannot fix God at the end of a telescope and say ‘How interesting!” God is not interesting. He is deeply upsetting.
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.