This blog continues to trace the story of the HTB network of churches. This episode looks at the heritage of one of TIME magazine’s most influential men of the 20th Century John Stott, and argues that understanding him is key to understanding where HTB has come from. It begins with a brief biographical account of Stott, explains his significance and core theology (including where that outgrew the Iwerne camp system described last week), before explaining how much many of the leaders at HTB in the 1980s depended on him and deferred to him.
A key link between John Stott and HTB was John Collins. Collins became vicar of HTB in 1981 during its first period of substantial sustained growth, and had also served as ‘Senior Curate’ at All Souls Langham Place for 7 years in the 1950s during its first period of sustained substantial growth, when Stott was the young Rector. Although Collins, (like many other All Souls curates who embraced charismatic renewal), had a break with Stott over those experiences, he remains deferential to Stott to this day and believes that ‘all my theology derived from John Stott.’
Later in the thesis we will see how Nicky Gumbel also draws from Stott (among other eclectic influences including e.g. Joyce Meyer). This history is important as next week’s blog episode looks at the theological gap that has emerged between today’s All Souls Langham Place and today’s HTB and begins to ask what factors have contributed to this divergence over the past 40 years.
Of all the Iwerne Camp graduates John Stott was in many ways the most exceptional in a stellar field. He went on to be one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of the 20th Century and apparently turned down 17 separate offers to be a Church of England bishop. He was Rector of All Souls Langham Place, situated in the heart of London right next to the BBC headquarters. Through his preaching to a packed London church, national and international student ministry and missions, writings, tape ministry, and organisational skills he helped kickstart a process whereby evangelicals moved from the margins to the epicentre of the Church of England over 6 decades.
Iwerne camp leader EM Nash, (‘Bash’) had a particular effect on Stott. Stott recalls how aged 16, after a school visit on 13th February 1938, Nash took him out in his car to ‘discuss the way of salvation’ seeing that he was a ‘seeking soul’. He then left him alone to his own reflections and that night Stott was converted. Iwerne graduate Bishop David Shepherd who was an England international at cricket recalled how Bash prayed regularly to see the conversion of the most talented young men, and finding one in Stott, Nash continued to write with detailed instruction to Stott over the next five years. Nash later described the young Stott ‘as the most thoroughly converted young man he had ever met.’ These letters must have been quite something to receive as Stott found Bash’s early letters were so formidable to read that he often had to pray for 30 minutes before opening them. Alistair Chapman sees Nash as the primary influence on Stott’s early spiritual development and that ‘much of Stott’s own life, thought and ministry would be traced to the outline provided by Nash.’
Whereas Nash offered a simple theological scheme, described as ‘deep-rooted anti-intellectualism’, Stott refused to follow suit on the Iwerne tendency of ‘fulfilling minimal requirements while essentially ignoring the implications of what was taught’ when it came to studying theology for ordination. Whilst Nash was praying for another Wesley, appealing to Whitefield’s New Birth and focused on the full conversion of a limited number of public school boys, Stott became a central figure in the rapid development of evangelicalism on an international scale and interpreter of the movement to a rapidly developing culture. From his base as Rector and then Rector Emeritus at the central London church of All Souls Langham place, he influenced the world through the church ministry, and his writings, itinerant ministry and organisational savvy. Chapman sees him as ‘a standard bearer for the changes that made evangelicalism in 2000 very different to that of 1940.’ He was a leading figure in helping Christians respond to cultural change. Born in a country that saw itself as ‘strong, proud and Christian’ Stott lived to see ‘all three claims lose their plausibility by the time he had reached mid-career.’ At the same time global evangelicalism, for which he was a figurehead, boomed. ‘He had to deal with both revival and marginalisation.’
Stott’s significance within the Anglican Evangelicalism the HTB network would eventually emerge from, can be seen from Gavin Reid’s 1976 scheme which identified four stands of Anglican evangelicals: 1) ‘Protestant’: the last bastions of the Book of Common Prayer, 2) ‘Keswick’: emphasising personal spirituality and missionary minded – heirs of the ‘holiness tradition’ that traced its origins to the Evangelical Revival 3) ‘Eclectics’: the emerging leaders of the movement since the 1950s, often younger clergymen who looked to John Stott as a father figure, 4) ‘Charismatics’: the youngest group, small by comparison but willing to align with non-evangelicals who had also experienced renewal, but often still influenced by Stott. Of these four strands it was the final two which both owed much to Stott in terms of core theology that remained most significant, although they have radically diverged in recent years.
It is hard to overstate how pervasive John Stott’s influence was on evangelicals at HTB in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As an illustration a November 1980 edition of the Brompton Magazine carries a portrait of a young merchant banker, Ken Costa, who had been at HTB for four years, following his conversion in Cambridge 6 years previously. Although never having been a member at All Souls, in 1980 Ken Costa still considered John Stott as the Christian who had most influenced him. This influence on HTB leaders was also evident in the interview findings reported later in this thesis. Alongside Wimber, Stott was the most common influence on the older generation interviewed, and, partly because Nicky Gumbel has deliberately continued to recruit some key young staff from churches associate to All Souls, Stott has remained an influence for an (albeit diminishing) percentage of younger interviewees.
For Stott, evangelicalism is the historic Christian faith revealed through Christ and confirmed in Scripture, and in this it is easy to see his inheritance from Nash. This was clearly seen in his presidential address to the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) Conference in 1982, where Stott defined evangelicalism as follows:
At the risk of oversimplification and of the charge of arrogance, I want to argue that the evangelical faith is nothing other than the historic Christian faith. The evangelical Christian is not a deviationist, but a loyalist who seeks by the grace of God to be faithful to the revelation which God has given of himself in Christ and in Scripture. The evangelical faith is not a peculiar or esoteric version of the Christian faith – it is the Christian faith. It is not a recent innovation. The evangelical faith is original, biblical, apostolic Christianity. Our fundamental desire is to be loyal to the biblical revelation.John Stott
Timothy Dudley Smith sees Stott as entirely committed to Bebbington’s quadrilateral description of evangelicalism, uniqueness of Christ, personal conversion, the Scriptures as God‘s living word, and the centrality of the cross are all foundational to Stott. Stott was by no means anti-intellectual although he was a teacher-pastor more than an academic.
He ‘consistently taught a religion which claims to be true and not merely enjoyable or useful; which asks people to think, not merely to tremble or glow; which bases itself on a book which can be argued about, not on experience which convinces only the individual who has had it.’David Edwards
His discipleship goals were clearly stated in his 24 word definition of preaching:
To preach is to open the inspired text with such openness and sensitivity that God’s voice is heard, and God’s people obey him.John Stott
The Christian is to be obedient to whatever is revealed through careful exposition of God’s word to them. The task of the preacher task here is paramount. They carry the responsibility of faithfully determining what the text meant as written and sensitively applying this to the world they live in.
But Stott’s pattern of teaching changed according to what he saw as the spiritual state of those he was talking to. Stott’s tendency was to bring to light whichever aspects of discipleship he felt was lacking. He had a prophetic edge that would address issues of culture head on. Hence in 1992 he focused on:
- listening (to God in Scripture, each other and the world)
- mind and emotions (how God relates to us as both emotional and rational beings),
- Guidance, vocation and ministry (how we are called to serve) and
- the fruit of the Spirit (love).
Whereas, in his 2012 final book he calls the church to:
- creation care, recognising God will renew all things.
- nonconformity under his Lordship, ruling out escapism and conformism as available options.
- Christlikeness in his incarnation, his service, his love, his endurance, and his mission.
- grow, but to be far more concerned with depth than with impressive numbers.
- simplicity as a community and in our personal lifestyles, allowing us to better respond to the needs of the poor and giving credibility to our evangelistic witness.
- a way of life that holds in balance “our comprehensive identity” as followers of Christ: both individual discipleship and corporate fellowship, both worship and work, and both pilgrimage and citizenship.
- dependence instead of rugged individualism, recognizing that we’re intended to belong to a family and to a church, both characterized by “mutual burdensomeness.”
- Christian understanding of death, not as something to be ignored or feared, but as the road to life — “one of the profoundest paradoxes” we’ll ever encounter.
As can be seen from this one of the hallmarks of Stott’s ministry, alongside his systematic biblical exposition was a willingness and ability to speak into contemporary issues. He steered the Lausanne Covenant of 1974 towards both social action and socio-political involvement, not least because of his commitment to ‘double listening’, which meant listening to God through scripture and the voices of men and women around us. Throughout 1978/9 he preached occasional sermons at All Souls (interspersed between the usual diet of systematic expository bible teaching series) on ‘Issues Britain Faces’, which then grew into lectures for the newly founded London Institute of Contemporary Christianity and the seminal 1984 book Issues Facing Christians Today. This covered wide ranging issues from life in a post-Christian society, through global politics, inequality and the environment, social issues and sexual ethics. It concluded with a call to Christian leadership in which he calls for people of ‘clear vision, hard work, dogged perseverance, humble service and iron discipline,’ to put into the action the extensive discipleship manifesto he has outlined and fulfil their own God given visions.
In many ways Stott outgrew Nash, and his theology had a far greater scope than Nash’s in its desire for the transformation of society and not just young converts. Yet Stott did maintain that the greatest influences on his spiritual life had been Iwerne and the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union. His summary of the God’s word in Contemporary Christian began with the ‘human paradox’ that we have both ‘dignity’ and ‘depravity’ and concludes with the urgency of mission resulting from the ‘parousia’ of Christ when we will face judgment. So he anchors his doctrine in a theological sweep that takes into account creation, fall, promise, salvation and continues onto judgment and eschatology. He is consistently Scripture-based arguing for the authority of Old and New Testaments ‘out of plain loyalty to Jesus.’ His 1986 work The Cross of Christ described by Christian Baxter twenty years later as the ‘most lucid defence of substitionary atonement’, shows the centrality of the cross in his thinking. Stott remained a convinced evangelical teaching the uniqueness of Christ, personal conversion, the Scriptures as God‘s living word, and the centrality of the cross while also demanding an obedience to God in public areas of life (eg simplicity/creation care) that others might overlook. He saw the world as a ‘place where God had revealed himself through Jesus Christ and through the Bible, and where people need to come to Christ for their salvation.’
Stott’s theology was not static but evolved over time. Chapman notes he became more conservative on the issue of abortion, in contrast to his gradual liberalization on other issues, including the ordination of women. Most controversially within evangelical circles was his nuanced and tentative support for the doctrine of annihilation after judgement (vs eternal punishement), which he argued for in 1988.
Key to this study is his reception of the Charismatic movement. As someone who believed he could hear God speak through his rational and prayerful exposition of Scripture, he was never able to embrace the (perhaps more feelings orientated?) charismatic movement which had impacted some of those closest to him including key staff at All Souls like Michael Harper and John Collins. When reflecting on whether the charismatic movement has strengthened or distracted the church, he replied in 2014:
I am not a prophet. I can’t look forward. I think its bound to have been more blessing than the opposite. But I’m very worried about the anti-intellectual aspect of it. Not all charismatics are anti-intellectual, I know, but there are very many who are. They dismiss me, again, because they say I’m not open to the supernatural on account of my Western rationalism. I disagree with that. I’m not a rationalist and I’m absolutely open to God; but I refuse to surrender my mind.John Stott
Privilege leading to over-optimism?
An entirely different critique came from JI Packer who represented a ‘puritan’ evangelicalism not fully accounted for in Reid’s scheme above. JI Packer’s biographer Ryken asked the intriguing question regarding Iwerne Camps: ‘what kind of theology did such privilege produce?’, and concludes that for Stott and others it resulted in an outlook that reflected a certain social grooming where an an upper-class lifestyle both isolated them from a ‘seamier side of life’ and gave a ‘relatively optimistic view about human nature.’ Ryken argues that Packer, a ‘blue collar’ rural lad from ‘unobtrusive stock’ and of ‘puritan temprament’ saw himself as supplementing Stott’s theology with the realities of sin and life.
‘For Packer, Stott’s approach to evangelical renewal in the Church of England was “too bland for the reality of our pastoral world.” In particular, it lacked a sufficient view of human sinfulness.’Ryken
Ryken overstates the differences between Packer and Stott when he argues that Packer had an approach that was more intellectual than Stott’s. Yet whilst Packer focused on training the mind to ‘know God’, he sees Stott as imitating the work at Iwerne and thus being much more focused on the role of community based experience in generating faith. So despite Stott’s reason-orientated lecture style of sermons Ryken argues, ‘Stott and his followers stressed pietistic community based on experience, while Packer stressed the importance of thinking in the parish.’ [emphasis added]. Given Stott’s links to John Collins and Raymond Turvey, and the number of other HTB staff members in the 1970s and 1980s who were also Eclectics and Iwerne graduates, this ‘pietistic community based on experience’ may well be an often overlooked influence on the development of HTB and Alpha, and the ‘relatively optimistic view of human nature’ and the aforementioned tendency to ‘avoid controversy’ should also be kept in mind as we explore discipleship goals and theologies, even if Ryken is overstating his case.
If Stott had been more embracing of the charismatic movement, could he have helped steered it more in a biblically grounded direction? In 2008 JI Packer made a general lament of evangelicalism:
Worshippers in evangelical churches, from the very young to the very old, and particularly the youth and the twenty- and thirty-somethings, know far less about the Bible and the faith than one would hope and than they themselves need to know for holy living. This is because the teaching mode of Christian communication is out of fashion, and all the emphasis in sermons and small groups is laid on experience in its various aspects. The result is a pietistic form of piety, ardent and emotional.J I Packer
Divergence with HTB
Whilst in the 1980s the normative, espoused and operant discipleship goals at HTB would have been very similar to those at All Souls Langham Place, these churches would diverge considerably from their shared roots over the coming decades.
In 2016 Cartledge et al, a ‘formal theology’ assessment of London Mega Churches with 2000+ attendees which included All Souls Langham Place and HTB, concluded that a substantive theological deviation has occurred between the two since 1980.
“They [HTB and All Souls Langham Place] represent two different types of mega church, even though they belong to the same denomination: one is Conservative Evangelical, reflecting reformed commitments, and the other is Charismatic Evangelical, reflecting pietistic in particular Pentecostal impulses.” Mark Cartledge 2016
Without conceding that this description is entirely accurate, the following two chapters will explore two possible reasons for this.
Firstly substantial consideration will be given to the impact of embracing two waves of renewal originating in North America in the 80s and 90s (Wimber/Toronto), and secondly the impact of importing what might be seen as a series of secular success strategies to accelerate HTB’s expanding agenda.
Sandy Millar described these as marketing and believed that:
‘the trouble with the Church of England is that as the market is distancing itself from us we have been forced to change either the message or the model’. ‘Changing the message is a ‘total failure’ as the market hopes to hear that the church “actually does believe in something”. Rather it is the model that needs changing, to connect with the young.’Sandy Millar
The lingering question being, is it possible to change the model without fundamentally changing the message?
This will be returned to in detail much later in the thesis (Chapter Four), but the development is worth plotting here in brief:
Systematic expositional teaching remained a norm for Gumbel and HTB in the 1990s, with Stott’s ‘double-listening’ process very much in evidence in their espoused theology. So, the official published follow up material for Alpha (which has been reprinted 11 times) was a fairly challenging exposition of the Sermon on the Mount named Challenging Lifestyles (1996). In the introduction Gumbel acknowledges, ‘the question often asked by our culture is not so much ‘Is Christianity true?’ but ‘Is it real? Does it work? The world is watching. This is the challenge set before us.’ Here Gumbel has obvious echoes of Stott’s opening words in Contemporary Christian (1992) where he tells the story of two brothers who did not have a problem with whether Christianity was true but wanted to know whether it was relevant. This follow on material roots new believers back in the scripture by quoting Stott extensively in a way that would have few deriders among the Iwerne Camps alumni. So again this shows the connectivity of an earlier HTB to conservative evangelical roots. An alternative Alpha follow up book covers the Book of Philippians which was also published in the height of the Toronto Blessing era. It is titled: ‘A Life Worth Living: Live a life of Purpose, Passion and Joy’. It is similarly expositional and challenging on lifestyle issues – although already marketed at this stage as ‘practical and positive’ with ‘anecdotes never far away’.
Yet a substantive operant theological shift occurred within the Alpha Course itself which may have had more of an enduring impact on the development of the HTB network away from such systematic teaching. Gumbel took over Alpha in October 1990. he followed John Irvine (who followed Charles Marnham) and found much of the group discussion was orientated around bible study and was focused on those who were already Christians. Gumbel’s second small group had all come to the course after the Christmas Carol service and to his surprise all came to faith through these study sessions. This made him realise Alpha could work evangelistically, ‘but people who weren’t Christians did not want to do bible study. When we sent out questionnaires asking, “What would you improve,” they said, “We only enjoyed the small groups when we were allowed to discuss the talk.” So, we changed the small groups.’
So the Alpha discussion groups moved away from orientating people into the Scriptures towards sharing experiences, asking questions and forming community. While the main church teaching remained systematic and expositional in the 1990s, we will see that gradually the Alpha culture took over to the degree that many network leaders now see the Sunday services as a ‘worship experience’ more than a formational teaching event. This will be explored more in next weeks blog where the teaching content of HTB and All Souls Langham Place during part of the COVID pandemic are contrasted.
Alpha went on to be wildly successful. But did it help accelerate an increasing shift towards what Packer called a ‘pietistic form of piety, ardent and emotional’, away from the teaching mode John Stott and John Collins (among others) had exemplified? And as it got successful did it become more and more difficult to follow Stott’s prophetic voice, leading to a shying away from speaking out and correcting culture, and his teaching voice orientating people to being obedient students of the Word?
 ‘Heroes and Icons: John Stott’ by Billy Graham, April 18 2005 in 2005 TIME 100, http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1972656_1972717_1974108,00.html [accessed 20.3.21]. See also Michael Cromartie in 2004: ‘if evangelicals could elect a pope, Stott is the person they would likely choose.’ [cited in Brooks, David (30 November 2004), ‘Who is John Stott?’ New York Times
 Chapman, Alister. Godly Ambition: John Stott and the Evangelical Movement. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, USA, 2012, 13. See video testimony from Stott https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/evangelical-history/80-years-ago-today-conversion-john-stott/ [accessed 6.3.20], and Edison [ed.], 1992, 83ff for his own account of Nash.
 “Lord, we know that thou dost love one talent and two talent men, but we pray that thou wouldst give us a five talent man.” Sheppard, 2002, 256.
 Nash to John Collins, recalled in pers. comm _____
 Edison [ed.], 1992, 85-86.
 Chapman, Godly Ambition 2012,14.
 Bryan Cones, James Tengatenga, Stephen Burns Twentieth Century Anglican Theologians: From Evelyn Underhill to Esther Mombo. United Kingdom: Wiley, 2020, 121
 Chapman, Godly Ambition: 2012, 5
 Chapman, Godly Ambition:2012, 7.
 Gavin Reid, ‘The Evangelical Coalition’, Church of England Newspaper , 26 March 1976. On the difficulty of describing Anglican evangelical history note Andrew Atherstone and John Maiden (eds) Evangelism and the Church of England in the Twentieth Century, 2014, 34 who argues the recent history of evangelicalism within the Church of England is, ‘wide open for future research’, with the three key texts by Randle Manwairing, Kenneth Hylson-Smith and Roger Steer that have been ‘foundational in formulating and propagating conventional wisdom’ on twentieth century evangelicalism ‘open to critical challenge.’ In Atherstone’s evaluation Manwairing portrays John Stott and Billy Graham as heroes saving the movement from itself, a narrative arc continued by the more measured Hylson-Smith and adopted in ‘racy’ fashion by Roger Steer. (Hylson-Smith described his 1983 PhD thesis on (pre-war) Anglican Evangelicals as ‘a voyage of discovery into scantily chartered waters.’). Colin Buchanon, ‘Released from the Ghetto’, Church of England Newspaper, 8 December 1978, p.12 described Evangelicalism as ‘a river which had broadened from a narrow stream into a wide delta, with less momentum or clarity of direction but which now irrigated a much larger area beyond its original banks.’
 John Stott, Presidential Address to the 1982 Conference of the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship, quoted in Timothy Dudley-Smith, John Stott: An Introduction, 21, 22. See further Stott‘s own definition of evangelicalism, in chapter ‘Evangelical Essentials’ in his own book Evangelical Truth: A Personal Plea for Unity, Integrity and Faithfulness (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1999), 13-34, 39.
 The quadrilateral says that the defining marks of evangelicalism are 1) activism – an active, lively faith 2) biblicism – teachings derived from a trustworthy bible 3) crucicentrism – the cross of Christ at the centre, 4) conversionism – actively seeking to lead others to be born again. Timothy Dudley-Smith, John Stott, 21. Dudley-Smith’s works on Stott include Authentic Christianity: From the Writings of John Stott (Leicester, UK: InterVarsity, 1995); John Stott: A Comprehensive Bibliography (Downer Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1995); John Stott, the Making of a Leader—The Early Years (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1999); John Stott, A Global Ministry: A Biography—The Latter Years (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2001).
 Robert L. Reymond describes Stott as a mature pastor-theologian, a practised craftsman in the art of communication the gospel. Review of The Cross of Christ, by John Stott, The Evangelical Review of Theology 13 (July 1989): 280, and also Peter Williams, “John R. W. Stott” Handbook of Evangelical Theologians, ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1993), 338-352.
 Edwards, “Power of the Gospel,” in David L. Edwards and John Stott, Evangelical Essentials (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1989), 16. He also refers to Stott as ‘the great teacher of the church’ (Essentials, 4). See also Stott on the need to abandon anti-intellectualism and employ minds in the quest for truth. John Stott, Your Mind Matters (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1972), 7-10.
 John Stott, The Contemporary Christian: Applying God’s Word to Today’s World IVP, 1992, 208
 ‘My choice may be accused of being random except that all of them tend to be underrated and even overlooked.’ John Stott, The Contemporary Christian: IVP, 1992, 99
 Stott, Contemporary Christian: 1992, 99-100
 John Stott The Radical Disciple IVP 2012
 Here he follows John Wesley when ‘he described Christianity as essentially as “social” religion and to make it a “solitary” religion would destroy it.’ Stott, Contemporary Christian: 1992, 219
 What In Eden and Wells’ describe as, ‘a Christianity that is both biblical and contemporary’. Martyn Eden and David F. Wells, eds., The Gospel in the Modern World: A Tribute to John Stott (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1991
 John Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today,(2nd Ed) 1990: Preface to the first edition.
 John Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today,(2nd Ed) 1990: 378
 See Wright, Chris. John Stott: Pastor, Leader and Friend. Switzerland: Lausanne Movement, 2012, 75.
 Stott, Contemporary Christian: 1992, 33-42, 371-374
 Stott, John. The Authority of the Bible. United States: InterVarsity Press, 1974. p.6
 Stott, John R. W.. The Cross of Christ. United Kingdom: InterVarsity Press, 1986. Endorsement in Baxter in Stott, John R. W.. The Cross of Christ. United Kingdom: Inter-Varsity Press, 2006.
 Chapman, Alister. Godly Ambition: 2012. 8
 Chapman, Godly Ambition, 2012, 124-5
 Edwards, D. L. & Stott, J. Essentials : A Liberal–Evangelical Dialogue London : Hodder & Stoughton, 1988, pp. 313–320. See also Alistair Chapman notes that Stott became more conservative on the issue of abortion, in contrast to his gradual liberalization on other issues, such as ordination of women. Chapman, Godly Ambition, 2012, 124-5
 Stott, John. Balanced Christianity. United Kingdom: IVP, 2014. See also Stott, Issues,(2nd Ed) 1990 31-32 for his longing that minds are renewed and a rebuke of ‘anti-intellectual mood of this world.’
 Ryken, Leland 2015 J.I.Packer: An Evangelical Life
 See Roger Steer on how Ryken in his biography of Packer ‘doesn’t quite get Stott right’ Review of Leland Ryken: “J. I. Packer: An Evangelical Life” in October 28, 2015 https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/reviews/ji-packer-evangelical-life/ [accessed 21.3.21]
 Ryken goes considerably further in this claim than Packer, who described Stott as a ‘first-class biblical theologian with an unusually systematic mind, great power of analysis, great clarity of expression, a superb command of his material, and a preacher‘s passion to proclaim truth that will change lives.’ J. I. Packer, review of The Cross of Christ, by John Stott, Christianity Today 31, no. 2 (1987): 35.
 Packer, 2008, 30. see also Rob Warner: Reinventing English Evangelicalism, 1966-2001: a Theological and Sociological Study where he argues that there is an evidencable socio-political heterogeneity among younger evangelicals.
 Cartledge et al, 2016, 4
 Furlong, 2000, 274. ‘Millar seems to be uncritically referring to ‘market’ here. This offers a fascinating parallel to Lambert’s revisionist account of Whitefield playing for market share. If he is intentionally referring to the language of competition does this reflect a Ken Costa influence, or Millar’s own CEO like abilities [cf. pers. comm Paul Perkins, 2015]? How much does an concerted drive for market share expansion account for Alpha’s successes?
 Furlong, 2000, 274.
 The Brompton Magazine, Nov 1980, 4.
 Examples include Jago Wynne, David Walker, Stuart Wright, and Jez Barnes. John Collins also had a penchant for recruiting conservative evangelicals and bringing them into an experience of the Spirit, most dramatically John and Ele Mumford. Mumford tells how ‘So I had the great fortune to work with John Collins. Had you asked me ten years before this who I’d like to go work under, I would have said “John Collins,” and then roared with laughter at my own joke [as Collins had been widely written off in Iwerne circles as a charismatic]. I thought I would sooner get to the moon than work for this fellow.’
The Global Vineyard – Meet John Mumford https://vineyardusa.org/library/the-global-vineyard-meet-john-mumford/ [accessed 26.5.21].
 Facing the Canon with Nicky Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sCruydnwso from 34min.10 seconds [accessed 12.2.21].
 Facing the Canon with Nicky Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sCruydnwso from 34min.10 seconds [accessed 12.2.21].
 Nicky Gumbel, Challenging Lifestyles Cook Communication Ministries, 1996: See Chapter Three for comments on the fully revised 2018 edition retitled ‘The Jesus Lifestyle’ and how and why it has been substantively rewritten for today’s HTB and Alpha base. Gumbel, Nicky. The Jesus Lifestyle: Practical Guidelines for Living Out Jesus’ Teachings. United Kingdom: John Murray Press, 2018.
 Gumbel, 1996, 9
 Stott, Contemporary Christian, 1992, 16-17.
 Nicky Gumbel, A Life Worth Living, Kingsway, 1994, back cover.
Revd Rich – I stumbled across your blog – which I very much enjoyed – the 6 blogs on HTB etc.
I remember some conversations in the middle to late 90s within the Diocese of London in some of the staff mtgs about church plants and breaking the rules on the number of curates! And now look where we are…
I have much enjoyed reading this! My dad, Martin Peppiatt was one of John Stott’s curates and then encountered renewal via Michael Harper and became close friends with John Collins. Dad was blessed to be in East Africa in the East African revival and then to invite John Wimber to the church where he was Vicar in Twickenham for many years. So I treasure all these streams in our heritage!
Thanks Kate, that’s quite the heritage to carry with you! Great to hear more about your Dad. Presumably Lucy Peppiatt is related then? Sisters?
As someone who has been a staffer at ASLP and at an HTB network church (which had a close tie to Sandy Millar et al), this is fascinating reading – and exactly the kind of thesis I would have wanted to write! Thanks for this contribution. Looking forward to the next few entries.
Thanks for the encouragement. Next weeks episode should be especially interesting for you (and Chapter 2 that follows over the next few weeks).
Not really an important contribution to your blog post, but I just wanted to say I truly enjoyed reading this blog post. I actually just stumbled across this page while searching for something related to John Stott and something related to Alpha. As a young person, I heard John Stott teach at 2 or 3 URBANA mission conferences in the 70’s. The Spirit used Stott’s teaching to have a profound impact on my life. I still to this day listen to Stott’s teachings online and am still reading his books. I miss this kind of teaching. I rarely know where to find this kind of expository teaching any more. Thank you for a very interesting read. (Interestingly enough, I am trying to get Alpha started in our church…I had no idea of the influence of John Stott on Nicky Gumbel!)
Thank you very much for your comments. John Stott was a once in a generation figure – as indeed was/is Sandy Millar, but although not replaceable in both cases their legacy has lived on (and I think been hard to live up to!) we can’t go backwards but it would be nice to think that through careful reflection we are building safely and wisely on the legacy they have left us.