One of the things I hope to do in my blog is to point people to some resources that challenge me. So here is the first entry of that type. Too often, we lose sight that we are part of the larger story of God and His work in church history. I spent most of my life thinking that I lived in the only generation that was really Christian, only to find out that there have been some incredible people that influenced my faith without my even knowing it. While Jesus is the only true hero, over the 2,000 year history of the church, scores of faithful believers have changed the course of history as they followed Jesus. Knowing about these people can inspire us, help us stay the course, and move us away from some of the pitfalls they encountered.
The book 131 Christians Everyone Should Know from the editors of Christian History Magazine and published by Broadmand and Holman Publishing gives three to five page biographical sketches of some of those incredible saints. In the pages you can learn about the great theologians such as Augustine and John Calvin, be inspired by the lives of missionaries like William Carey and Francis Xavier, and be challenged by those who gave their lives for their faith such as Polycarp and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The 131 biographical sketches are easy to read and to the point. I have enjoyed using this book as part of my devotional life and as a way to stay connected to the larger picture of the Christian faith. It might be something to check out, especially if you enjoy history.