The cover is plain, the color is dark and the spine is relatively thin - so I probably would never have bought this book. However, I am glad I was sent this book by John Stott Ministries as it gives a very clear, reasoned account of what people who call themselves evangelicals believe.
John Stott says in the preface "This is how I would wish to be remembered and judged...". The style is vintage Stott - reasoned from the Holy Bible, balanced and clearly articulated.
Three main chapters - the Revelation of God, the Cross of Christ and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit - expound why the Trinity is the foundation for Christian belief. See Stott's book the Cross of Christ if you need more depth on the 2nd topic.
This is Stott's wake up call for Christians. He (and God's Spirit speaking through him to some people) urges evangelicals to strive for unity, integrity and faithfulness - something that is increasingly lacking.
Action - as an outcome of beliefs - is demanded of the Christian.
Hence, the pleas for Bible-believing Christians to stand for evangelical integrity, stability, truth, unity and endurance.
It urges Christians to speak out for their faith and "contend for the gospel", warning that those who do are likely to suffer.
There are some useful lists in the book:
1. 6 differences between General and Special (or supernatural) revelation of God
2. Beliefs that the Age of Enlightenment declared
3. 4 ways in which Jesus exercises authority in the church today
4. Texts that summarize what the apostles had to say about the death of Jesus
5. 5 aspects of justification
6. Features of evangelicalism
7. 4 aspects or regeneration or new birth (as in Born Again Christian)
8. 6 aspects of the gospel (good news - the essential message that Christians are urged to promote)
9. 6 post Lausanne Congress (1975) evangelical groups - from Peter Beyerhaus
10. 6 evangelical fundamentals from Jim Packer
Preachers - this is a great source of homily material - much of the book is written in the style of a 3-point sermon, for example 3 words that describe the evangelical view of the Bible - perspicuity, sufficiency and inerrancy.
It is worth spending a long Sunday afternoon (or two) reading the book - but put it on your shelf as a reference book that you can refer to when you want to explain, follow, debate or understand evangelical beliefs.
Finally, this humble looking book ends with a brief postcript in which Stott concludes "the supreme quality which the evangelical faith engenders (or should do) is humility". Now I see why the cover was so plain!