The Joy of Meaty Christian Biographies

Do you ever read meaty biographies, where you literally immerse yourself in someone’s life?

“Meaty Christian biographies can be a feast.  The two volume biography of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the 20th century pastor-preacher by Iain Murray  was a spiritual treat.  The two volume biography of 18th century evangelist George Whitefield, by Arnold Dallimore, sparked revival in my life.”

 

It is counter cultural, anti-twitteral, and to many people simply a colossal waste of time.  But not to wise people.  For them it’s a joy and sometimes a feast!  I am talking about reading meaty biographies.

Do you read?  Do you read biographies?  Do you ever read meaty biographies, where you literally immerse yourself in someone’s life?

A few years ago, the fourth installment of Robert  Caro’s, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson came out.  Then there was the final volume of the series started by William Manchester on the life of Winston Churchill.  I’ll take Churchill over LBJ any day.

I love biographies.  I’ve recently read biographies of Augustine, Mozart, and C.S. Lewis.

Meaty Christian biographies can be a feast.  The two volume biography of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the 20th century pastor-preacher by Iain Murray  was a spiritual treat.  The two volume biography of 18th century evangelist George Whitefield, by Arnold Dallimore, sparked revival in my life.   And the two volume Biography of John Stott, by Timothy Dudley-Smith re-aquainted me with 20th century evangelical history.

Why read a good biography and especially Christian biography?  I can think of lots of reasons.  Here’s what a good biography does for me.

First, biographies are a great way to relax.  Like picking up a good novel, you can escape and go somewhere else.  Martin Lloyd-Jones once said, “when I need a vacation, I go to the 18th century!”  He would go there by reading the lives of other Christians during the Great Awakening.  Entering another world, is way to wind down.

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