The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
L. P. Hartley
A good Christian biography can be described as theology with hands and feet. We love to read about the lives of those who have gone before us and finished the race well, calling to us from the pages to persevere in the race God has set before us. And what adventures they take us on as we read page after page late into the night.
Along with the adventure, we also get a glimpse of their struggles and pain, even their weaknesses, and how they trusted God in the valleys as well as the mountain tops. These were men and women of flesh and blood just like us. It’s almost impossible to not put ourselves in their places and wonder, could I have done that? Would I have been that courageous or discerning or loving or humble or patient?
There’s a sense in which a good biography is like a medical check-up—the pages probe us deep in our souls as we read them. We close the cover inspired, encouraged, strengthened, renewed, and stirred up to love one another and keep our hands on the plough.