For more than 60 years, Anglicanism as a whole has moved with increasing confidence in the direction of heterodox disobedience. At least that is the case in formerly dominant regions like the UK and North America.
By contrast, in the provinces of Africa and Southeast Asia, which now make up the vast majority of the Anglican world, Anglicanism has been predominantly orthodox from the outset.
Dr. Stott was a major presence in both worlds. His consistent, clearly articulated convictions about the essential truths of the faith greatly helped to shore up the confidence of besieged Western-world believers tempted to give up on the Anglican Communion.
Likewise, Stott's witness and extensive travels to the Global South helped dispel the confusion facing younger Anglicans, namely this contradiction: You missionaries gave us the Bible and told us it was the Word of God, and now you tell us we don't need to take the Bible's teaching seriously.
The way things work is fairly clear cut: Where the church is faithful to the scriptures and "the faith once received" (Jude 3), Anglican communities grow and multiply. Where this is not the case, churches fall into ever more rapid contraction and death.
This seems to hold true both in regions where Anglicanism is waning rapidly as well as in the younger churches that are growing by leaps and bounds. Some signs of the former can be found in the Alpha church planting boom in England, and in the Anglican Church in North America (which has planted 250 churches and baptised more than 1,400 *adults* since its inception less than two years ago).
I was surprised to find Japan "outed" in this regard in one article I read on Dr. Stott. Dr. Vinay Samuel, founder of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, wrote this:
In the growing worldwide Anglican Communion, "where there was biblical evangelical and orthodox faithfulness, the churches grew. Where these elements were not present, the church died, as in Japan. The result today is that two-thirds of the non-western Anglican Churches are biblically faithful Anglicans of the evangelical variety."I must say, I'm not glad to be a part of a church that has been pronounced dead. But I also do not think Dr. Samuel is wrong.
Moreover, I think Dr. Samuel points us to the only possible avenue for resurrection in Japan. May God raise up faithful men and women to make it so.