I will introduce Iain Murray, pastor and author, by saying that I regard his Revival and Revivalism as one of the most important Christian books of the last fifty years. It tells the story of Christianity in 19th century America with fascinating insight, scrupulous fairness, and the careful detail that reveals painstaking research. These qualities are the hallmark of all of Murray’s books, including his great biography of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Many regard the Lloyd-Jones biography as Murray’s magnum opus, but I believe Revival and Revivalism is his most important work. It tops my “must read” list of Christian books because by giving us the history of evangelicalism in the 19th century, it explains why we are where we are today. Christians could not learn anything more important!
Iain Murray has authored a number of biographies of great servants of God. I consider Murray to be the finest contemporary Christian biographer. He is able to weave history with the important lessons to be learned from it better than anyone else. His books never fail to both inform and edify to a degree rarely seen. I heartily commend to you everything that has come from his pen. I recently read again Murray’s brief sketches of the lives of some of the Christians he admires most in his book Heroes. Anyone who has made it a practice to read biographies will agree with A. W. Tozer that, “Next to the Holy Scriptures, the greatest aid to the life of faith may be Christian biographies.” The Bible itself is filled with biographies. And as I wrote, Iain Murray is without peer as a contemporary biographer and historian. He not only gives us his take on famous Christians, but is to be especially commended for bringing to light the inspiring sagas of many unsung heroes. In the following days I hope to share some of these enriching stories and the unforgettable people I have come across in my recent forays into Murray’s golden pages.