Godly Ambition: John Stott and the Evangelical Movement
“John Stott is more than Anglican but not less. Earthed in his 'beloved' Church of England, his influence has percolated throughout the world-wide evangelical movement, through preaching, theological reflection, writing, statesmanship, and personal contact. Alister Chapman's profoundly perceptive biography combines erudition and concise comment. With full access to Stott's private papers, he writes out of a hinterland of historical perspective, comprehensiveness and scholarly critical distance.”See All
The Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings
Bishop of Sherborne
“The global Evangelical movement was moulded by a wide range of individuals in the later twentieth century. None was more important than John Stott, who by his lucid writing and strategic vision forged attitudes that were intellectually mature but still spiritually vibrant. Alister Chapman's account of John Stott's life is a probing appraisal of his significance that explains the trajectory of his career without diminishing his stature.”See All
Professor of History, University of Stirling
“John Stott has been a giant influence in the shaping of evangelicalism in the English-speaking world and far beyond. He embodies much that is most thoughtful and winsome in the movement. Godly Ambition will reward its readers on multiple levels. From John Stott's pacifism during his formative years to his global vision in his final days, Alister Chapman's account of his life will illumine the broader development of not only Stott but evangelicalism itself.”See All
Senior Pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
“A fascinating, insightful, and thought-provoking analysis of the life of one of the seminal religious figures of recent years-and a riveting read, too.”See All
Fellow and Tutor in History, University of Oxford, and author of We Ain't What We Ought To Be: The Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama
“Alister Chapman's well-crafted study expertly situates the career of John Stott, first in Stott's post-war efforts to revitalize evangelical forces in Britain's Anglican churches and then from the 1970s as a thoughtful leader of evangelicals around the world. Chapman's wide-ranging and empathetic effort to probe the 'Godly Ambition' of his title make this an important book for an exceedingly important figure in the modern world history of Christianity.”See All
Mark A. Noll
author of America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln
“Godly Ambition views the ministry of John Stott in historical perspective and puts it into its social context. The analysis recounts his well-known successes but, just as illuminating, his unreached goals and disappointments. The result is a judicious, fair-minded, and instructional look at one of the most remarkable Christian leaders of the past 100 years. It is a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand contemporary world evangelicalism.”See All
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
British Christian leader John Stott was one of the most influential figures of the evangelical movement during the second half of the twentieth century. Called the pope of evangelicalism by many, he helped to shape a global religious movement that grew rapidly during his career. He preached to thousands on six continents. Millions bought his books and listened to his sermons. In 2005, Time included him in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Alister Chapman chronicles Stott's rise to global Christian stardom. The story begins in England with an exploration of Stott's conversion and education, then his ministry to students, his work at All Souls Langham Place, London, and his attempts to increase evangelical influence in the Church of England. By the mid-1970s, Stott had an international presence, leading the evangelical Lausanne movement that attracted evangelicals from almost every country in the world. Chapman recounts how Stott challenged evangelicals' habitual conservatism and anti-intellectualism, showing his role in a movement that was as dysfunctional as it was dynamic.
Godly Ambition is the first scholarly biography of Stott. Based on extensive examination of his personal papers, it is a critical yet sympathetic account of a gifted and determined man who did all he could to further God's kingdom and who became a Christian luminary in the process.
Published December 2011
About the Author
Alister Chapman (B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is Associate Professor of History at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, where he teaches modern European history. His publications include Seeing Things Their Way: Intellectual History and The Return of Religion, edited with John Coffey and Brad S. Gregory.