The late theologian’s sermons are going digital, thanks to one of his family friends.
The public will soon have access to a digital collection of hundreds of John Stott’s recorded sermons and transcripts spanning five decades.
The influential theologian in the modern evangelical movement adhered to the principle of what he called (23:53) the “double obligation” of Bible expositors: “to open up the text of Scripture with faithfulness to the ancient word and sensitivity to the modern world.”
“John was very involved with what he called double listening—listening to Scripture and listening to the world. And [he taught] that when you preach, you need to have both,” Mark Hunt, an executor of Stott’s literary estate, told CT.
Hunt was the main coordinator of a small team tasked with the yearslong project of organizing Stott’s sermons. His main job was listening to and editing nearly 650 recordings made over the decades Stott served as a preaching pastor at All Souls Church in London and traveled the world speaking.
Stott was influential in Hunt’s life and career as a family friend turned mentor, inviting him to serve on the boards of his nonprofits and accompany him on global trips.
Faithlife, the company known for its Logos Bible study software, first approached the literary executors of John R. W. Stott about the sermon project in 2016. But it wasn’t until 2020 that Hunt began the process of refining the late evangelical leader’s audio recordings. That included cutting out coughs, long pauses, and paper rustling. He also increased the audio speed.
“John was very deliberate in his preaching, which was great, giving people a chance to reflect. But it didn’t make for the greatest audio listening experience,” Hunt explained.