John Piper exclaims, “Hebrews 11 is a divine mandate to read Christian biographies.” Before you begin to read this blog post please go prayerfully read through Hebrews 11.
For many of us this chapter may become more familiar to us if I were to mention this chapter is also known as the “Hall of Faith”. John MacArthur calls the men and women mentioned in this chapter the “Heroes of the Faith” or “The Saints Hall of Fame.” These are men and women who persevered through many tribulations and then entered into the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22) MacArthur notes that all these saints “attest to the value of living by faith.” TheseFollowers compose the “cloud of witnesses” that give a powerful testimony to the Hebrews that they should come to faith in God’s truth in Christ. This is the picture that we need to look at and see deeply into. The “heroes of the faith” continue from the start of the first century to today. Men and women all over the globe have fought the good fight of faith taking hold of the eternal life to which they were called and about which they made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12)
“We read biographies because worthy portraits of our fellow human beings help us to make sense of the world. We are especially fascinated by the lives of those who have made a difference in the world — whose mark remains visible even now. The lives of the famous and the infamous make for compelling reading. Reading the biographies of persons whose lives represent a significant influence on the Christian church is especially enriching.” R. Albert Mohler
5 Reasons to Invest and Digest Christian Biographies
1.) There are men and women who have exemplified 1 Timothy 6:12 and Hebrews 11 and exemplified it well. There are martyrs, pastors, foreign missionaries and their wives, and bold theologians who counted the cost of following Jesus. (Luke 14:28) These men and women have to our benefit written down notes that have been picked up by numerous biographers.
2.) Biographies are helpful because they “charge the Christians batteries and give them guidance.”
3.) If you are struggling with certain decisions in your life after you have gone to God in prayer find a book of man or woman who have struggled with the same decisions. If you want to be a missionary look for men and women who have engaged the life of a missionary. If you want to be a pastor look for men who have went on the less traveled road in pastoral ministry.
4.) Christian Biographies are in the libraries on this campus.
5.) Other than the Bible finding good Christian literature is nutritious for the mind and the heart.
3 Don’ts’s of reading Christian Biographies
1.) Don’t lay down your Bible just to pick up and read only Christian Biographies. The Author of the Bible is perfect in every aspect. However humans are not. We are full of error just like the men and women who we look up to. (Isaiah 2:22)
2.) Don’t forget that there are men and women in the Bible who have lived God glorifying lives, and died God glorifying deaths. (Esther, Elisha, and Stephen are a few) I recommend reading their biographies too.
3.) Don’t be reckless but dig. Dig deep into the Internet, and your trustworthy sources that surround you. Find a living author and find out whom he/she reads.