Some Thoughts on the Importance of Christian Biographies, and Recommended Reading
A few months ago, someone asked me on my Facebook page what Christian biographies I would recommend. Reading and discussing biographies of faithful believers can give both children and adults footprints to follow, especially through our suffering. When we read the biographies of missionaries and reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, William Carey, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, Harriet Tubman, William Wilberforce, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael and countless others, we find the pages riddled with suffering, all of which God used to build their characters and expand their ministries.
Rather than depressing us, these stories inspire and challenge us to say no to time-wasting trivia, seize the day and invest it in what matters. As Robert Moffat said, “We have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but only one short hour before sunset in which to win them.”
Some biographies I’ve read and appreciated:
- Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
- William Wilberforce: A Hero for Humanity by Kevin Belmonte, story of William Wilberforce (the book which the movie Amazing Grace was based on).
- Here I Stand, Roland Bainton's classic bio of Martin Luther.
- John Newton: Disgrace to Amazing Grace by Jonathan Aitken.
- Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George Marsden.
- 131 Christians Everyone Should Know is a collection of bios from Christian History magazine, and most of them are great.
- Also good is Warren Wiersbe's 50 People every Christian Should Know. If you read the short bios, it will help you pick out those people you want to read more about.
Do you have a favorite biography you would recommend?