THE IMPACT OF BASIC CHRISTIANITY
This morning a Japanese copy of Basic Christianity was returned to me by the mother of a Japanese missionary. She’s now looking for an opportunity of publicly confessing Christ. Many, many times Japanese (usually students) … have been helped to find the Lord through this book.
From an OMF missionary in Japan, 1993
… I recently received a call from the chaplain of a prison (north of Sydney, Australia). I have been supplying the chaplain with books … and he was happy to tell me a Turkish young man had become a Christian and it was the book Basic Christianity in Turkish which had given him a clear understanding of Christianity and the truth.
Upon hearing my first sermon after twenty years of intellectual indifference, I knew that the time had come to find out whether the claims of Jesus Christ were actually true! A wise person suggested five small books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Stott. Only 140 pages long, Basic Christianity makes a thorough statement of the biblical position that Jesus is God …
From a church newsletter book review (1992); the letter writer says he first read the book in 1976
I have learned and studied some years your book Basic Christianity, and the blessings I got from it could not be measured. I hope and believe that all who read would get the blessings of God enormously and tremendously, I am sure.
From a mission secretary, Myanmar, 1990
I grew up in a Christian home … although I tried many times to be a Christian I was never successful … I turned to Spiritualism … began to drink heavily … suffered from depression and suicidal tendencies.
About a year ago … God began to work in my life … I began to read my Bible and promised God that if he answered my questions I would become a Christian. One day I found a copy of Basic Christianity on my bookshelf. It had been there for fifteen to twenty years. The book convinced me that God was real and that Jesus really did die on the cross for my sins. It also said that the answers to my questions would be revealed to me only after I had committed my life to Christ. I knelt down … and committed my life to Christ. Words cannot describe the joy and peace that came over me …
From a correspondent in South Africa, 1990
Yesterday, I spoke at [a] seminary chapel in Manila. With me was Abdul … who gave a great testimony. He is a Muslim-background Filipino …
While in college he was witnessed to by a Filipina Christian who gave him one of your books. I think it was Basic Christianity. He read it three times and it was used to bring him to Christ.
From a missionary in the Philippines, 1989
On February 17, 1986 I found our Lord. It was through your book Basic Christianity that I was able to open my eyes and more importantly my heart. What a precious gift I have found through your writings.
From a lady correspondent in the US, 1987
Just finished reading Basic Christianity, and your approach to God has touched me beyond words. I am reading the Bible with more understanding now thanks to you and the Spirit … I am presently in prison for the second time … and really tired of living a negative life. Please pray for me.
From a US prison, 1986
I should have written this letter years ago … However, this is the appropriate time of my life to … write and say a very deep ‘thank you’ for being a powerful instrument in God’s hand.
… Although I was from a ‘religious’ background, I had never heard of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ … Then one day, my mother-in-law gave me a book by you called Basic Christianity. I accepted the book only because I did not want to hurt the feelings of one of the most kind and loving persons I had ever known … I put the book aside for several months with no intention to read it. However, I was short of reading material one flight, and I hurriedly grabbed this book as I was rushing to leave for Amsterdam …
It was in a little room in Amsterdam that I read your book and fully committed my life to Jesus. I was flooded with unbelievable love and transformed in character …
From a former pilot, now an ordained minister, 1982
I am writing to you as the one-year anniversary of a very important time in my life approaches … [A year ago] through the action of the Holy Spirit, with your book Basic Christianity as one of the instruments, I came to know Jesus Christ as my Saviour.
When I came to chapter 10, ‘Making a decision’, I was ready to change my life …
From a correspondent in Oklahoma, 1980
When translating your book I’ve got the feeling that I know you personally. Your book has strengthened my belief and explained much that was unclear to me before.
From a Swedish prisoner, 1969
I was converted as an undergraduate at Cambridge … when I was trying to think through what it really means to be a Christian, I found your book Basic Christianity absolutely invaluable.
From an Anglican minister
It was back in the fall of 1971 that I first heard of John Stott. Two years later, I had the privilege of meeting him as he spoke at an InterVarsity Christian Union meeting … Truth is, from a human point of view, I owe my salvation to John Stott. It was reading his book Basic Christianity, in December of 1971—the book had been given to me by a recently converted friend, my best friend. Reading it brought instant conviction of a gospel message I had until then (I was 18) felt unsophisticated and unnecessary … the sense of peace was palpable. I never doubted I was saved, not then nor in the thirty-five years that have followed …
From a professor of theology in the USA
John Stott, Basic Christianity, New edition. (Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, 2008), 183–187.