Dr Stuart Olyott

Dr Stuart Olyott has  for many years, been a great blessing to Christians in the UK. His work amongst the churches in Wales, his preaching and conference speaking in the rest of the UK has been of the highest order. So too has his writing.  In preparation for my first sermon series at Geneva OPC (early in the New Year), I have been reading his work on the Epistle to the Ephesians entitled Alive in Christ.

Dr Olyott is known for his clarity of thought and expression, both in his writing and preaching. He is able to express complex theological concepts in a  simple, accessible and often a powerful manner. Simplicity of expression is often mistaken for shallowness of subject matter, but not so with Dr Olyott. Here is some of his commentary on Ephesians as he deals with the idea of being “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph 1:6)

“We have been in a far country, but he has been waiting for us. When we turn to him, he runs to meet us even when we are still a great way off. He throws his arms around us and treats us as dear children. He never hesitates. We approach him with tears, but find that his home is a house of joy. How is it that the just and holy God can give us such a reception? It is because his eternal Son has never disappointed him in any way, and he sees us being in him. He accepts us for Christ’s sake. In our unholiest moments, in the depths of our backsliding, even then the righteousness of Christ is reckoned to our account, and the Father sees us as having no faults. There is no cloud between us and our God, not ever.”


7 Responses

  1. Agreed, Matt. I’m in chapter 4 of my expository series in Ephesians and although Olyott is probably the most brief of my commentaries, he is quite often one of the most helpful. He has a very good ability to get to the marrow of the text and present it simply. He’s also a good preacher if you get the chance to hear him in person.

    Peter O’Brien (in the Pillar NT) is probably one of the better technical commentaries.

  2. Dr Olyott is my understudy. When I am away he often preaches in my place. He and his wife are members of the church here. You can imagine my thoughts when leading one of our home group Bible studies on Ephesians when he is sat just a few chairs away. He is simply one of the greatest encouragers that I know.

  3. Matt Holst


    Thanks for checking in.

    I understand your predicament. It is daunting having someone of such learning and ability sat under your ministry. I’m glad Dr Olyott is such an encourager – that is a wonderful thing to say of a man.

    I too have a similar experience: when I came to Cambridge Presbyterian Church, Ian Hamilton told me I would be “fitting in” to the same series he was preaching! I think my jaw hit the ground when he told me. However, like Dr Olyott, Ian has been nothing but gracious, gentle and encouraging, even, perhaps,especially when I get things wrong. It is such a gift to have oversight (whether formal or informal) from godly men.

    Hope all is well on Deeside.

  4. I would like to get in contact with Dr. Olyott. Could you assist in this endeavor? I am a professor of Missions and Ministry at Central Christian College. My interest is concerning his work in Wales. Also, what he might know about the European Theological Seminary.

    Thank you,
    Micheal J. Curtice, Th. D.

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