1) I find biographies easy to read when I’m too worn out to read heavier genres like theology, philosophy, history, etc.

2) I get to “hang out” with and learn from men and women who lived exceptional lives.

3) I get to experience places and cultures and events through the written page that I will never experience personally.

4) I learn about history, not from mere factual statements about geopolitical events, but by immersing myself in the lives of real people living in those settings.

5) I gain a broader perspective on current world events and theological difficulties.

6) I learn a thousand life lessons from the daily minutia of others.

7) I get to walk beside others as they suffer and watch how they respond to it.

8) I see that even great people have weakness and sin and need a Saviour.

9) I learn about how God has been working in others’ lives in the many centuries before I was born into this world.

10) I am reminded that nothing is new. For thousands of years, people have faced the same struggles, joys, sorrows, and disappointments that I face.

11) I see profound expressions of the glory of God in the condensed accounts of men and women who walked with God.

Grace to you.

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About Jason Harris

Dr Jason Harris is a writer, pastor, and academic. He has authored multiple books, articles, and papers including his book Theological Meditations on the Gospel. Jason has a PhD from James Cook University as well as degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research. Jason has lived in Cairns, Australia since 2007 and serves as pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@jasonharris.com.au.


  1. Lucas M 27 September, 2011 at 10:55 am - Reply

    These are all great reasons that i concur with! I’m always encouraged to read of the faithfulness of men toward their ministries and toward our God, as much as in the ‘small’ things as in the ‘big’.
    What are your top Christian biographies that you would recommend?

  2. Kez 27 September, 2011 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Why 11 points? Why not 10 or 12? This is gonna bother me all day now… =P

    Good post though…

  3. Jason Harris 27 September, 2011 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    @Lucas M,

    Thanks for the comment. The biographies that have had the deepest impact on my life, I would say, are:

      D. L. Moody, The Greatest Evangelist of the Nineteenth Century (Bailey, Moody Press)
      Tortured for his Faith (Haralan Popov, Zondervan)
      More Precious Than Gold (John and Brenda Vaughn, Revell)
      Through Gates of Splendour (Elliot, Tyndale)

    As far as one’s I would recommend:

      Missionary Patriarch, The True Story of John G. Paton (Paton, Vision Forum)
      God’s Outlaw [William Tyndale] (Edwards, Tyndale)
      George Whitefield (Dallimore, Crossway)
      Spurgeon (Dallimore, Crossway)
      Spiritual Secret of Hudson Taylor (Taylor, Whitaker House)

    I think these would have to be among my top recommendations.

    What would your recommendations be?

  4. Lucas M 28 September, 2011 at 10:02 am - Reply

    thanks for the reply!
    i’d say my top couple of recommendations would include:

    George Müller, Delighted in God (Roger Steer, Shaw Books)
    Spiritual Secret of Hudson Taylor (Taylor, Whitaker House)

    The problem i’ve found with Christian biographies such as these in the past, is that they would too often become a fall back to legitimate personal bible study if i was tired or not feeling particularly motivated.
    Recently though, i’ve taken to reading them when i would otherwise be seeking ‘less edifying’ activities and it has become something i enjoy and take challenge from.

    Thanks for your recommendations, i appreciate it. I’ll pick a couple up today! $20 well spent i’d say.

  5. Jason Harris 28 September, 2011 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    @Lucas M. Thanks for the recommendations Lucas M. I’ll have to look into the Muller one.

    @Others, What biography has most impacted your life?

  6. Steve 28 September, 2011 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    C.T Studd’s biography by Norman Grubb had a big impact on me when in my early twenties.

  7. Kez 28 September, 2011 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    I think Ann of Ava (Adoniram Judson’s wife) by Ethel Hubbard had a pretty big impact on me as a kid. I must have read it through at least 20 or 30 times by my early teens. I loved it! I also loved Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson on the life of Stanley Dale (missionary to the Yali tribes-people) in my later teens. That was an incredibly eye-opening book for me.

    My childhood and teens were filled with biographies probably more than any other type of book. George Muller’s autobiography was an incredible look at prayer. I loved Jim Elliot and read pretty much everything I could get my hands on about him and his friends and Elisabeth Elliot’s life. =)

  8. Jason Harris 29 September, 2011 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    I haven’t read any of those suggestions. I’m really interested in reading C. T. Studd’s biography though. Will have to keep an eye out for it.

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