For a long time now I’ve had a fascination with the connection between modern day Christians and those who came before us. That is to say, I love reading the works of great minds that came before me. I love learning from them as a pupil learns from a teacher. I love identifying with what God was doing for the advancement of the Kingdom, through another life and in another time. That being said, I was very intrigued by a question posed to David Platt on the Radical.net blog yesterday, “Who in church history would you most like to meet?” That’s a great question for God’s Kingdom is timeless. As I said before, I believe it’s important to identify with those saints that came before us. It’s important that we learn from them. We must understand that God was working through the lives of others before our time. It didn’t start with us. Therefore I’d not only like to answer the question myself, I’d like to pose it to you as well.
Outside of the Bible, I would most like to meet Jonathan Edwards, John Bunyan, and C.S. Lewis. For me, each of these men represents an unwavering commitment to thinking deeply about the things of God. However, their commitment did not end with their minds, in that their thoughts led to an overflow of emotion in their feelings for Him as well. And, all this was expressed through their great literary skills which they used so beautifully unto the glory of their Lord. If I had to be more specific, I’d say I am particularly grateful for the word pictures drawn by Edwards and Bunyan. While Edwards has given me a much deeper understanding of who God is, Bunyan has painted an amazing picture of how life with Him looks. Lewis has taught me about the nature of worship and the roll of thinking in the Christian life. Some of the books that have particularly inspired me by these men would include:
- The End for Which God Created the World by Jonathan Edwards
- An Essay on the Trinity by Jonathan Edwards
- The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
- The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses by C.S. Lewis
What about you? Who would you most like to meet from church history (outside the pages of the Bible)? And why?
- Reading With Intentionality (matthewwynne.wordpress.com)
- C.S. Lewis on Reading Old Books (matthewwynne.wordpress.com)