HT Reformed Anglicanism
Nice to know I'm not the only person who noticed a curious habit among American Calvinist sorts who, nevertheless, love reading Chesterton and quoting him approvingly despite his Catholicism and his bluntly stated view that Calvinism was a nasty heresy. Stott has, to be sure, written some stuff I've found interesting and useful so I get the appeal but Christopher Hitchens would have continued to say, were he alive, that the appeal of a Chesterton to American evangelical Calvinists would be his arch-reactionary politics and doctrinaire disdain for things progressive and modern. I suppose so.
There are, Worthen notes, a couple of ways American evangelicals can like the Brits and she quotes from a former assistant to John R. W. Stott about how some people in American evangelicalism like British theologians because it may confer a halo of broad-mindedness that can mask what is ultimately a provincial approach to the life of the mind and thought about theology.
In the year after John Stott's death he can be appreciated for being a theological conservative American evangelicals left and right can look to who didn't anchor his ideas or life's work to specific political campaigns, which seems all but inevitable in American Christianity. As Mark Noll put it about twenty years ago in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, American evangelicals tend to want to bottom line into practical causes and crusades and not think too much about first principles and concepts so much.
For those who might only have come across the name Molly Worthen for her article "Who Would Jesus Smack Down?" this is a fun article you should read. Worthen was for a time considered to not be that fair or informed about Calvinism. I probably had that impression myself and if so I retract that if I bought into that. I've read enough of her other work that I get the usefulness of a pointed polemic. After all, if a preacher like Driscoll gets to be defended for making sharp and historically simplified observations a lecturer and published author should get the same lattitude, eh?
It's an interesting read and Worthen makes quite a few interesting observations about Anglophile American evangelicals and about John R. W. Stott.