Examples to Follow: Recommended Biographies

Hello Cross Creek!

On Sunday we looked at Philippians 2:19-30, where the Apostle Paul commends Timothy and Epaphroditus as examples to follow. We saw that being an "example to follow" isn't about having it all together, but is about seeking to much make of Christ, rather than ourselves – so that when we fail, we are quick to look to Jesus in repentance, to mend broken relationships, etc., and when we succeed, we don't get puffed up with pride, because we understand that we are simply instruments in the Redeemer's hands. When we are used by God, it is because of Christ in us, the hope of glory. 

I challenged all of us to look for examples to follow in the Bible, in history, and in our lives. I made a list of recommended biographies for you to consider reading. This is just a starting point – there are countless other wonderful biographies out there, for these people as well as others who are not on this list. I also included some documentaries that you can find on Amazon Prime, as well as biographies for kids. Check it out!


Augustine of Hippo (354-430) – African pastor & theologian
Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (1967).

Martin Luther (1483-1546) – German pastor & theologian
Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (1950).

John Calvin (1509-1564) – French pastor & theologian
Bruce Gordon, Calvin (2009).

 This is one that I just started reading!

This is one that I just started reading!

John Knox (1513-1572) – Scottish pastor & theologian
Jane Dawson, John Knox (2016).

John Bunyan (1628-1688) – English pastor & author
Faith Cook, Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan (2008).

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) – American pastor & theologian
George Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life (2003).

John Wesley (1703-1791) – English pastor & theologian
A. Skevington Wood, The Burning Heart – John Wesley: Evangelist (1967).

Selina Hastings (1707-1791) – English philanthropist
Faith Cook, Selina, Countess of Huntingdon: Her Pivotal Role in the 18th Century Evangelical Awakening (2001).

George Whitefield (1714-1770) – English evangelist in Great Britain & America
Harry S. Stout, The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism (1991).

John Newton (1725-1807) – English pastor & hymn writer
Jonathan Aitken, John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace (2007).

Lemuel Haynes (1753-1833) – African-American Calvinist pastor
Thabiti M. Anyabwile, ed., May We Meet in the Heavenly World: The Piety of Lemuel Haynes (2009).

Elizabeth Prentiss (1818-1878) – American author
Sharon James, Elizabeth Prentiss: More Love to Thee (2006).

John Paton (1824-1907) – Scottish missionary to South Pacific
John Paton, John G. Paton: The Autobiography (1889).

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) – English pastor
Arnold A. Dallimore, Spurgeon: A Biography (1985).

Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) – Dutch statesman & theologian
James D. Bratt, Abraham Kuyper: Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat (2013).

Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) – Irish missionary to India
Iain H. Murray, Amy Carmichael: Beauty for Ashes (2015).

J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937) – American Presbyterian theologian
D.G. Hart, Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America (2003).

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) – Irish scholar & author
Alister McGrath, C.S. Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet (2013).

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) – Welsh medical doctor & pastor
Iain H. Murray, The Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, 1899-1981 (2013).

Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) – American Presbyterian pastor & theologian
Colin Duriez, Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life (2008).


Ligonier, 5 Minutes in Church History with Stephen Nichols.


CHRISTIAN HISTORY INSTITUTE biographical series – Stream on Amazon Video

KNOX (Murdo MacLeon, 2015) – Stream on Amazon Video



Diane Kleyn & Joel R. Beeke, Reformation Heroes

Irene Howat, Light Keepers – Book Series

Janet & Geoff Benge, Christian Heroes: Then & Now – Book Series

Mindy & Brandon Withrow, History Lives: Chronicles of the Church – Book Series

Paul L. Maier, Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World

Simonetta Carr, Christian Biographies for Young Readers – Book Series 

The Torchlighters: Heroes of the Faith – Video Series – Stream on Amazon Video

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2)

See you Sunday!