Dear Brother Arthur:

I greet you warmly in Christ. You and I are good friends, and have many concerns in common.

In your recently published Battle for World Evangelism (Tyndale) you have been somewhat critical of the Lausanne Committee in general, and of me in particular. I hope that this open response may be a helpful way to ventilate the issues further, although you will appreciate that I write only for myself and not for the Lausanne Committee.

I understand your book to have a double purpose, namely (1) to trace the tragic decline of commitment to evangelism in the ecumenical movement during this century, and (2) to warn the Lausanne movement against a similar process. Your topic is important. I genuinely applaud your personal dedication to biblical truth and world evangelization. Let me spell out the reasons why on balance I am glad your book has been published.

First, you are entirely right to deplore the ecumenical betrayal of the unevangelized millions, and to attribute it to the loss of biblical authority and the consequent growth of universalism and syncretism. Strangely enough, I myself in 1974 wrote a similar though much shorter sketch, “The Rise and Fall of Missionary Concern in the Ecumenical Movement 1910 to 1973,” which was published in Vocation and Victory, an international Festschrift in honor of General Erik Wickberg of the Salvation Army. And I think you know that at both the fourth and fifth Assemblies of the World Council of Churches at Uppsala and Nairobi, respectively. I pleaded publicly for a return to biblical evangelism.

Second, watchdogs are valuable, in the church as in the home. We need them to warn us of approaching danger, and we would be foolish to ignore their warnings. The Lausanne ...

John R. W. Stott (1921 – 2011) is known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist, author, and theologian. For 66 years he served All Souls Church, Langham Place, in London, England, where he pioneered effective urban evangelistic and pastoral ministry. During these years he authored more than 50 books, and served as one of the original Contributing Editors for Christianity Today. Stott had a global vision and built strong relationships with church leaders outside the West in the Majority World. A hallmark of Stott's ministry was his vision for expository biblical preaching that addresses the hearts and minds of contemporary men and women. In 1969 he founded a trust that eventually became Langham Partnership International (www.langham.org), a ministry that continues his vision of partnership with the Majority World Church. Stott was honored by Time magazine in 2005 as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World."

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