John Stott, a recent and modern theologian, has greatly influenced and impacted evangelical Christian thought. His commentaries and many books are used by pastors worldwide. Arguably his greatest work, The Cross of Christ, is a must-read and an instant classic that will flood your mind with thoughts of God and your heart with joy in God. His attention and reliance of Scripture is what makes his works so special, not to mention his giftedness to preach and write. He never fails to provide me with new insights. His thoughts on Scripture are highly perceptive and as you will see, he is therefore highly quotable. Of all his writings (of which I have not nearly exhausted), I would have to say that this one paragraph is greater than them all. I read it this morning and was captivated by it. It left me speechless and led me to worship (which is what good theology always does). If you are in a season of melancholy and depression this paragraph is for you. If you are struggling to find joy in God; if you are not desiring God today or this week, month, or year, I pray that this single paragraph would begin a refill of joy into your cup. Stand in awe of the majesty and glory of the grace of God.
Here is the late John Stott on the penal substitution theory of the doctrine of the Atonement:
The concept of substitution lies at the heart of both sin and salvation; for the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be. God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives, which belong to God alone; while God accepts penalties that belong to man alone (John Stott, The Cross of Christ, 160).
In the words of my theology professor, “Now that’ll preach!”