I’m reading Stott’s commentary on the Sermon on the Mount and loving this classic. Such a combination of solid reflection, rhetorical excellence, and spiritual fervor. Listen to his words on “salt and light.”
The basic truth which lies behind these metaphors and is common to them both is that the church and the world are distinct communities. On the one hand there is ‘the earth’; on the other there is ‘you’ who are the earth’s salt. On the one hand there is ‘the world’; on the other there is ‘you’ who are the world’s light. True, the two communities (‘they’ and ‘you’) are related to each other, but their relatedness depends on their distinctness. It is important to assert this clearly in our day in which it is theologically fashionable to blur the distinction between the church and the world, and to refer to all mankind indiscriminately as ‘the people of God’.
John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7), Christian Counter-Culture, The Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1985), 58.