Scotland’s premier preacher and teacher, James Stuart Stewart, died just a year ago on July 1, 1990. Although he eschewed party labels, such as “conservative” and “evangelical,” he was thoroughly orthodox and had a significant impact on evangelicals worldwide.
Stewart’s ministry can be divided into two almost equal parts: 22 years of parish ministry, concluding at the prestigious North Morningside Church of Scotland, Edinburgh; and 20 years as professor of New Testament language, literature, and theology at New College, University of Edinburgh. Interestingly, though renowned as a superlative preacher and fine pastor, it was during his parish phase that Stewart produced his most scholarly writings, translating and coediting (with H. R. MacKintosh) Schleiermacher’s massive The Christian Faith, producing a small textbook on The Life and Teaching of Jesus Christ, and authoring his most enduring monograph, A Man in Christ: The Vital Elements of St. Paul’s Religion. He gained international fame through two books of sermons (The Gates of New Life and The Strong Name) and the Warwick lectures on preaching (Heralds of God).
In his professorial phase, however, he did not give himself to research but was devoted to teaching ministerial students, supervising doctoral candidates, and writing homiletical materials that demonstrated how to bring together a rigorous scholarship, a reverential reading of Scripture, and an effective communication of the gospel. Stewart was not uninterested in what was current in scholarly research, but during this phase he saw his goals carried on in other lives and ministries.
From his World War I experience, Stewart carried a profound consciousness of human depravity and an acute realization of the depths ...1
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