131 Christians Everyone Should Know 9780805490404, 9781433672552

This book offers a succinct yet thorough introduction to 131 of the most intriguing, courageous, inspiring Christians wh

648 161 15MB

English Pages 320 Year 2010

Report DMCA / Copyright


131 Christians Everyone Should Know
 9780805490404, 9781433672552

Table of contents :





Five-time exile for fighting “orthodoxy”

Augustine of Hippo
Architect of the Middle Ages

John of Damascus
Image-conscious Arab

Reluctant bishop with a remarkable mind

Thomas Aquinas
The brilliant “dumb ox”

Martin Luther
Passionate reformer

John Calvin
Father of the Reformed faith

Jacob Arminius
Irenic anti-Calvinist

Jonathan Edwards
America's greatest theologian

Karl Barth
Courageous theologian

Evangelists and Apologists

Justin Martyr
Defender of the “true philosophy”

Clement of Alexandria
Theologian for the intelligentsia

Gregory Thaumaturgus
“The Wonder Worker”

Antony of Padua
“The hammer of heretics”

Blaise Pascal
Scientific and spiritual prodigy

George Whitefield
Sensational evangelist of Britain and America

Charles Finney
Father of American revivalism

Dwight L. Moody
Revivalist with a common touch

Billy Sunday
Salty evangelist

Billy Graham
Evangelist to millions

Pastors and Preachers

Ambrose of Milan
Most talented bishop of the early church

John Chrysostom
Early church's greatest preacher

Richard Baxter
Moderate in an age of extremes

John Newton
Reformed slave trader

Charles Simeon
Evangelical mentor and model

Lyman Beecher
Revivalist who moved with the times

Thomas Chalmers
Unrelenting advocate for the poor

John Nelson Darby
Father of dispensationalism

Charles Spurgeon
Finest nineteenth-century preacher

Harry Emerson Fosdick
Liberalism's popularizer

Musicians, Artists, and Writers
Rembrandt Harmensz Van Rijn
Dutch painter of the soul

Johann Sebastian Bach
“The Fifth Evangelist”

George Frideric Handel
Composer of Messiah

John Bunyan
Pilgrim who made progress in prison

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Author of Uncle Tom's Cabin

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Russian novelist of spiritual depth

George MacDonald
Fabled Victorian writer

G.K. Chesterton
“Enormous” essayist, poet, writer

Dorothy Sayers
Mystery writer and apologist

C.S. Lewis
Scholar, author, and apologist


Dante Alighieri
Worldly creator of divine verse

Geoffrey Chaucer
Medieval England's greatest storyteller

John Donne
Poet of God's love

George Herbert
England's greatest religious poet

John Milton
Puritan author of Paradise Lost

Anne Bradstreet
America's first poet

Isaac Watts
Father of English hymnody

Charles Wesley
Greatest hymn writer of all time

Fanny Crosby
Prolific and blind hymn writer

T.S. Eliot
Modernist poet

Denominational Founders

Menno Simons
Anabaptist peacemaker

John Knox
Presbyterian with a sword

John Smyth
The “Se-Baptist”

George Fox
First Friend

Nikolaus von Zinzendorf
Christ-centered Moravian “brother”

John Wesley
Methodical pietist

Francis Asbury
Methodist on horseback

Richard Allen
Father of the American Methodist Episcopal Church

William Miller
Mistaken founder of Adventism

Alexander Campbell

Aimee Semple McPherson
Foursquare phenomenon

Movers and Shakers

Benedict of Nursia
Father of western monasticism

Bernard of Clairvaux
Medieval reformer and mystic

Founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans)

Francis of Assisi
Mystical founder of the Franciscans

John Wycliffe
Medieval “protestant”

Joan of Arc
Teenage war hero with visions

Ulrich Zwingli
Militant Swiss reformer

Ignatius of Loyola
Founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits)

Phoebe Palmer
Mother of the holiness movement

Søren Kierkegaard
Christian existentialist


Patron saint of Ireland

Irish missionary to Europe

Cyril and Methodius
Apostles to the Slavs

Francis Xavier
First missionary to Japan

Matthew Ricci
Controversial evangelist to China

John Eliot
Apostle to Native Americans

William Carey
Father of modern Protestant missions

David Livingstone
Missionary-explorer of Africa

Hudson Taylor
Faith missionary to China

Inner Travelers

Antony of Egypt
Greatest Desert Father

Hildegard of Bingen
Benedictine abbess, visionary, and writer

Catherine of Siena
Mystic and political activist

Thomas à Kempis
Author of the most popular devotional classic

Teresa of Avila
Carmelite mystic and feisty administrator

John of the Cross
Spanish mystic of the soul's dark night

Brother Lawrence
Practitioner of God's presence

William Law
Champion of the serious, devout, and holy life

Andrew Murray
Leading student in Christ's school of prayer

Oswald Chambers
Preacher who gave his utmost


John Woolman
Quaker mystic and abolitionist

William Wilberforce
Antislavery politician

Elizabeth Fry
Prison reformer

Sojourner Truth
Abolitionist and women's rights advocate

Lord Shaftesbury (Antony Ashley Cooper)
Godly English statesman

William Gladstone
Prime Minister of impeccable morals

Harriet Tubman
The “Moses” of her people

Catherine Booth
Compelling preacher and co-founder of the Salvation Army

William Booth
First General of the Salvation Army

Walter Rauschenbusch
Champion of the social gospel


First Christian emperor

Theodosius I
Emperor who made Christianity “the” Roman religion

Justinian I and Theodora I
Greatest Byzantine rulers

Leo I
Pope and international diplomat

Gregory the Great
“Servant of the Servants of God”

Christian ruler of a “holy” empire

Innocent III
Warring “Vicar of Christ”

Louis IX
Saintly king of France

Henry VIII
Defender of the faith

Scholars and Scientists

Biblical scholar and philosopher

Eusebius of Caesarea
Father—and maker—of church history

Bible translator whose version lasted a millennium

The Venerable Bede
Father of English history

Pious humanist who sparked the Reformation

Nicholas Copernicus
Revolutionary astronomer

William Tyndale
Translator of the first English New Testament

John Foxe

Francis Bacon
Philosopher of science

Galileo Galilei
Misjudged astronomer


Ignatius of Antioch
Earliest post-New Testament martyr

Aged bishop of Smyrna

High society believer

Apostle to Germany

Thomas Becket
Murdered archbishop of Canterbury

John Huss
Pre-Reformation reformer

Thomas Cranmer
Genius behind Anglicanism

Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer
English reformers who died together

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
German theologian and resister

Subject Index

Polecaj historie