As I’m often asked for book recommendations on various subjects, I decided to put together an online list of my top ten books in various categories. Basically, if I was only allowed 10 books in my library on that subject, these are the ten I would choose. Other posts include:

Today I’m listing my Top 10 Biographies of Christian Men. Of course, these are personal preferences, so after my list you’ll find a poll where you can cast three votes for your favorite books and help others choose the best books on the subject. Click on “View Results” to see what books are most popular.

You can also add any book not on the list by writing the title in “Other” or in the Comments  I’ll add these to the end of the post under “Reader Suggestions.”

1. Charles Spurgeon’s Autobiography: The Early Years 

Companion volume, The Full Harvest. These two books were the first biography I read as a new Christian in my early twenties, and I’ll never forget it. Hugely influential in my call to the ministry and in my view of the ministry.

2. Life of Martyn Lloyd Jones by Iain H. Murray.

Condensed and partly re-written version of Murray’s earlier two-volume set, Vol. 1: The First Forty Years and Vol. 2: The Fight of Faith. Personally I’d choose the two volumes, but you’ll need a lot of time. As so many battles Lloyd-Jones started fighting are still being fought today,  especially over the nature and authority of Scripture, there’s so much to learn from his life.

3. Andrew A. Bonar: Life and Letters by Marjory Bonar

First book I read in pastoral ministry and it left an indelible impression. I’ve got pages and pages of quotes that I still refer to and use. A passionate lover of Christ and of souls.

4. Robert Murray McCheyne by Andrew Bonar

One of the shorter biographies, but it will leave a lasting impact. It will make you more holy; or at least long for it.

5. Asahel Nettleton: Life and Labors by Bennet Tyler

Stirring book about the second Great Awakening; it will make you long for similar outpourings of the Spirit in our own day.

6. David Livingstone: The Truth Behind The Legend by Rob Mackenzie.

A balanced and realistic look at Livingstone’s life. It emphasizes the Christian motivation and mission behind his explorations, but it doesn’t sugar coat his shortcomings either, especially in connection with his wife that he left at home for years at a time.

7. J. I. Packer by Alister McGrath

Hugely influential in English-speaking evangelicalism for the past 60-70 years. No one has introduced more people to the doctrine and piety of the Puritans.

8. Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George Marsden.

One of the most highly acclaimed biographies of recent times and rightly so. Beautifully written with many incisive observations. Also consider Jonathan Edwards by Iain H. Murray

9. Here I Stand: A Life Of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton

Takes you not just into Luther’s life, but his mind and heart. And while you are at it, read Calvin by Bruce Gordon.

10. Defending The Faith: J. Gresham Machen by Daryl Hart.

A pivotal figure and time in modern church history.  See also J Greshem Machen by Ned Stonehouse

Now you decide, what are your favorites? You can cast three votes and add a book if it’s not in the list.

Honorable Mentions

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor by D. A. Carson.

George Whitefield: Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Arnold Dallimore.

Herman Bavinck by Ron Gleason.

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards.

Augustine of Hippo by Peter Brown.

C.S. Lewis by Alister McGrath

John Stott: The Making of a Leader by Timothy Dudley-Smith. Companion Volume John Stott: A Global Ministry.

Amazing Grace: Biography of William Wilberforce by Eric Metaxes. See also this excellent  biography of Wilberforce.

Shadow of the Almighty: Life and Testament of Jim Elliot

Reader Suggestions

The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson.

Constrained By His Love: A New Biography of Robert Murray McCheyne by L. J. Van Valen

John Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides

To The Golden Shore: Life of Adoniram Judson