Friday, January 18, 2008

A Great Source of Edification: Reading Biographies

Jaeson Ma wrote a great blog posting today on the significance of reading biographies and autobiographies of great men and women of God whose lives made a difference in their generation. Although I have not yet met Jaeson, we have communicated a few times through Facebook. I believe God is raising him up in this hour. On his blog Jaeson shares how he has been inspired as he engages the biography of Watchmen Nee. It is worth reading: Watchmen Nee-Spiritual Discipline.

It reminded me of a posting that I wrote last year with a few recommended biographies that I had read up to that time. Check it out here: The Dead Still Speak. I had quoted Winkie Pratney concerning the need to read biographies:

"Read biographies of God’s great men. Try to read at least one book a month. These dead still speak. Time proves a man’s work. Dwell on the lives of those who had power with God and prevailed. Look for secrets of their Christian walk. What did these men have that you can develop?"

For Christmas I received a number of books including two biographies: Out of the Depths of Sexual Sin by Steve Gallagher; and the fascinating account of a former slave trader turned preacher, John Newton by Jonathan Aitken. I finished Gallagher's book within two days—now I am slowly devouring the story of John Newton whose life had such a tremendous influence during his era. It is a book that I've enjoyed immensely.

Many of you may recall his brief appearance in the movie Amazing Grace, which examines the life of William Wilberforce, a Christian abolitionist who brought the slave trade industry to its knees during a life-long battle. Interestingly it was John Newton who penned the famous hymn that we have all heard, Amazing Grace. Larry Kreider, president of The Gathering, wrote, "Not long ago I watched the movie Amazing Grace and was deeply moved by Albert Finney's portrayal of Newton, the repentant ex-slave trader. Today I have read John Newton: From Disgrace to Amaing Grace and found it to be the most engaging and edifying biography of my spiritual journey."

I will do a write up on each of these books in the coming days.

Also please share any recommended biographies or autobiographies that you have read. I'm always searching for new biographies to read!

For the Cause,

Brian Francis Hume

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