Over at The Gospel Coalition, Justin Taylor’s been tearing it up lately with biography recommendations from some amazing scholars, which, in some ways has helped give me some new ideas to read. I wondered, what 5 bios would I recommend to someone who had some time to read… Here’s my list:
1) George Muller: Delighted In God (HistoryMakers) by Roger Steer (Christian Focus, 1999)
Maybe the most influential biography I read in seminary, who doesn’t need a refresher to be consistent in prayer and find delight in the lover of their souls? Steer writes in a way that is engaging and will leave you encourage and praising God Himself.
2) The Forgotten Spurgeon by Iain Murray (Banner of Truth, 2009)
The most memorable bio I read in my college years, I find that I need to return to this consistently to learn some valuable lessons. In my neck of the evangelical woods, it’s all Gospel all the time and this bio reminds us how that is in danger and needs to be defended.
3) David Brainerd: May I Never Loiter In My Heavenly Journey by Piper (Desiring God, 2012)
Just finished this in Small Group and found it helpful. Specifically, with many prone to complain about their lot in life on Facebook and Twitter, Brainerd is like an alien, lamenting how he needs more patience in affliction.
4) Agape Leadership by Alexander Strauch (Lewis & Roth, 1995)
Unlike 1 Timothy 1:5 commands, the aim of most instruction in the church is to be right, correct or fix something. But, if we heeded that simple command, not only would our churches have a different environment, but hard truths might be received more eagerly. Specifically, leading in love as Strauch models through the life of R.C. Chapman would be great for many to read today.
5) A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards (Library of Religious Biography) by George Marsden (Eerdmans, 2008)
I loved reading Marsden’s biography and seeing some basic facts on the life of one I had heard so much about. Yes, Edwards is known for many things, but Marsden helps us understand what the life of this man was like in the amazing days the wind of the First Great Awakening was blowing.
So, there’s my list. Most of these are fairly easy reads and would greatly help you. I hope you find something here encouraging.