We read in the book of Hebrews chapter 11 of men of whom the world was not worthy. These were individuals of great faith and whom God had chosen to glorify Him through extraordinary circumstances. These great fathers of the faith serve as incredible examples to us today and we should consider ourselves indebted to God for allowing us this testimony of their lives.
With that said, God didn’t stop working in this present age when the last word of the book of Revelation was written. Too many today don’t really appreciate that God is active in history and even today continues to accomplish the good pleasure of His will. He further has given us men throughout history who we can look at as great men/women of faith who serve as incredible examples to live by.
I have had the pleasure of reading many biographies throughout my few years as a Christian and I would like to share with you, my readers, some of the biographies that have influenced me the most. I pray that perhaps you will take the time to pick up these volumes and be blessed by the lives of those who have done so much and left us a testimony to the glory of God.
There is no question that the most precious biography that I have read was George Muller of Bristol: His life of prayer and faith written by A.T. Pierson. Muller is the famous founder the Ashley Downs Orphanage in Bristol who took upon himself the care of hundred of orphans without any governmental support. He relied solely on the charity of Christians and the provisions that God would supply. He honestly believed that if Christ said that if we ask anything in His name that it would be granted that anything was possible even the care of these orphans. I appreciated his lifelong dedication to the teaching of the word of God. Muller had travelled far and wide to teach the precious truths found in the page of scripture. This biography is tremendously uplifting and I encourage you to pick it up.
I recently had the pleasure of reading a biography authored by Iain H Murray who is one of my favorite biographers. His work on Jonathan Edwards is a masterpiece. I was taken by the life of Mr. Edwards in many ways especially as a devout young man striving to know the will of God for his life. He was an incredible theologian but what truly influenced me about Edwards was the care he had for the things of God, his long and constant meditations upon Christ, how serious he took his pastorate and his life as a husband & father. Edwards suffered persecution in the latter years of his life which resounds very deeply with me. I believe that what touched me the most is the affection and devotion of his wife Sarah. If I was to name a devout Christian wife by which women could use as an example, Mrs. Edwards would definitely be my first choice. I will say that nobody brings out the life of Edwards quite like Murray!
There have been many books written on the life of John Calvin whether historical or theological but one of my favorites is a book written by Robert Godfrey titled John Calvin: Pilgrim and Pastor. Godfrey delves deep into the person of John Calvin touching upon his life fleeing from his home country of France on his way to Strassburg which Calvin, through the providence of God, was convinced to stay in Geneva. He was also a man who took the church to a new level of seriousness and care. Calvin saw the utter importance of worship and what that entailed from scripture and proved to make every effort to reform the churches to a more biblical means of worship and care. This is a must read for anyone who has it out for John Calvin.
The next title on my list is again by Iain Murray this time touching upon the life of the prince of preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The book is called “The Forgotten Spurgeon” and sets out to prove that Spurgeon’s life and convictions as a pastor and teacher were influenced greatly by his passion for what is called “Calvinism”. The book helps us understand Spurgeon’s thinking through three major controversies that Spurgeon had experienced including the famous Baptismal Regeneration controversy and the ever famous Down-Grade Controversy. This biography is more of a theological biography but serves to show how Spurgeon dealt with these items based upon Calvinistic thinking.
My final recommendation comes from the pen of Iain Murray once more. It is based upon the life of A.W. Pink titled “The Life of Arthur W Pink”. Murray sets out to demonstrate how God led this man through troubled experiences in his life all due to writing a book called “The Sovereignty of God”. Pink was often dismissed from churches and preaching assignments due to this perspective. This all led to Mr. Pink finally picking up his pen and using it mightily to write numerous volumes of works which were only accepted after his death. Unfortunately, Mr. Pink’s rejection turned him into a semi theological hermit and away from church fellowship. This made me realize that we cannot allow ourselves to be put down so low as to abandon God’s place of worship no matter what the circumstances.
I pray that these will be of great benefit to you. As I read further biographies from great men of the faith I will be sure to share them with my readers! Please feel free to share any biographies that you have read and enjoyed.