HONG KONG- The respectable evangelical leader Rev. Dr. John Stott spoke to East Asian church leaders in a gathering in Hong Kong, calling them to radical discipleship in the midst of secularism.
On Friday evening, Rev. Dr. John Stott was presented on the "Rev. John Stott 60th Anniversary of Ordination Thanksgiving Evening" held at Wing Kwong Pentecostal Holiness Church in Kowloon. The event was co-organized by the Langham Foundation East Asia, the Hong Kong Federation of Evangelical Students and others.
As Stott delivered the keynote speech with the theme "A Call to Radical Discipleship," leaders from churches, world mission organizations, education ministries and theological seminaries in East Asia were inspired to stand firm on the biblical truth so as to counteract the strong tide of secularism in the world.
"In face of religious pluralism, Christians must preach the uniqueness of the salvation of Jesus Christ; in face of materialism, Christians should not be confined by materials; in face of the declining moral values brought by ethical relativism, Christians must become a righteous, holy and pure body," Stott exhorted.
Following Stott’s encouraging speech, seven Christian leaders paid tribute to the contribution of Stott to the world’s evangelical movement. The leaders include the Anglican Bishop of Hong Kong Peter Kwong; president Rev. Dr. Wilson Chow and Rev. Chan Hay Him from the China Graduate School of Theology (CGST); OMF International General Director Rev. Dr. Patrick Fung; Associate Professor from the Department of Religion and Philosophy, the Hong Kong Baptist University, Dr. Kwan Kai Man; Dr. Hoong Chee Pang from Singapore and others.
"The greatest contribution of Rev. Dr. John Stott is that he lives as a real Christian in all his life, always trying his best to live according to the teaching of the Bible. In addition, all the books that he has written are guiding the lives of many Christians," said Bishop Kwong.
The leaders also expressed gratitude and respect to Stott’s support for the development of churches in Hong Kong and China. The Langham Foundation East Asia has presented a piece of Chinese calligraphy, which reads the Bible verses from Philippians 2: 9-11, to Rev. John Stott.
Right before coming to Hong Kong, Stott has just concluded a 10-day visit to churches in mainland China, according to the presider of the celebration evening Dr. Choi Yuen-wan, honorary chairman of Breakthrough Hong Kong. Stott has a great burden for the development of churches and ministries in the developing countries.
Stott pointed out that the greatest problem of the church in China is that it is growing in number but not in depth. This is actually the challenge faced by the church in most of the developing countries as well. Therefore, Stott wishes that the three major ministries of the Langham Foundation East Asia- Langham Scholarship, Langham Literature and Langham Preaching- will help to raise leaders for the development of churches in East Asia region.
In fact, Dec. 21, 2005 was the 60th Anniversary of Stott's ordination, according to the Langham Foundation United Kingdom & Ireland branch. He is a committed churchman in the Church of England since he was ordained into the ministry in 1945. He then serves the All Souls Church at Langham Place in Central London till now. Stott has also been a Chaplain to the Queen Elizabeth II since 1959.
Following his illustrious career serving God, Stott has just been rewarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in the Queen's New Year Honors List 2006, "for services to Christian scholarship and the Christian world."
Stott said on the thanksgiving evening for his 60th anniversary of ordination on Friday, he would give thanks to God and give all the glory to Him, for it is purly the God's grace that has made him who he is today.
[Editor's Note: Emily Wong contributed reporting from Hong Kong for this article.]