I love reading biographies of Christian leaders who have gone before me. I am inspired by them. I get ideas from them. Often the nature of their struggles make me grateful to God for the nature of my own. These are subjective reasons to read biographies, but there are biblical reasons to read biographies as well. Consider these verses:
“Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church” (1 Cor. 4:16-17).
“Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do” (Phil. 3:17).
A sinful, fallen, but redeemed follower of Christ is exhorting other Christians to follow his example; to imitate him. Some of us get nervous about this. But this is a case and point where we need to let Scripture correct our discomforts. Imitating someone who is following hard after Jesus is a good thing!
This is a biblical reason to read biographies. Not only do they contain interesting information about times past, they can offer us examples to imitate. Below are three biographies of Christian leaders from times past. Read them and learn from them. Enjoy!
Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther – Roland Bainton
John Calvin: Pilgrim and Pastor – W. Robert Godfrey
Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word: A Model of Faith and Thought – Edwards