Eulogies sometimes tell us more about their authors than about their subjects. The nearly universal acclaim for John Stott following his July 2011 death revealed evangelical longing for a unifying leader of grace and conviction. The disputes and disappointments of Stott's career gave way to the memory of a gentle intellectual giant.
Lauded as the closest thing to an evangelical pope, Stott was the leader we wish our theological opponents would emulate. Frustrated that women are still restricted from serving in pastoral ministry? Then you wish more evangelicals would take after Stott, an open-minded biblical exegete who changed with the times. Disappointed that substitutionary atonement has come under attack by some pastors and professors? Then you wish more Bible teachers would write books like The Cross of Christ, which locates Jesus' self-substitution at the center of redemption.