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The Theologians on the Christian Life series, edited by Stephen J. Nichols and Justin Taylor, provides accessible introductions to some of church history’s greatest teachers. It explores their personal lives and writings, especially as they pertain to the walk of faith, and gives insights into how each one viewed the Christian life.
Organized around themes that characterized their lives and teachings, these portraits of famous theologians are more than biographies—they are wisdom from the past for life in the present.
In the preface to the Theologians on the Christian Life, series editors Stephen J. Nichols and Justin Taylor explain:
Some might call us spoiled. We live in an era of significant and substantial resources for Christians on living the Christian life. We have ready access to books, online material, seminars - all in the interest of encouraging us in our daily walk with Christ. The laity, the people in the pew, have access to more information than scholars dreamed of having in previous centuries.
Yet for all our abundance of resources, we also lack something. We tend to lack the perspectives from the past, perspectives from a different time and place than our own. To put the matter differently, we have so many riches in our current horizon that we tend not to look to the horizons of the past.
That is unfortunate, especially when it comes to learning about and practicing discipleship. It's like owning a mansion and choosing to live in only one room. This series invites you to explore the other rooms.
As we go exploring, we will visit places and times different from our own. We will see different models, approaches, and emphases. This series does not intend for these models to be copied uncritically, and it certainly does not intend to put these figures from the past high upon a pedestal like some race of super-Christians. This series intends, however, to help us in the present listen to the past. We believe there is wisdom in the past twenty centuries of the church, wisdom for living the Christian life.
“On the one hand, there is theology; on the other hand, there is spirituality—and never the twain shall meet, except perhaps accidentally. That, at least, is the common perception. This series puts the lie to the popular polarization. The theologians treated in this series do not add ‘spirituality’ to their theology, as if it were an optional extra. Rather, theology and spirituality are so intertwined, as these theologians gladly bend their minds and hearts under Scripture, that it is utterly impossible to have one without the other. And thereby they teach us, by their modeling, what theology and spirituality should be.” - D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“Evangelicals tend to think that we invented discipleship ministry in the mid-twentieth century. Truth be told, however, churchly theologians have long been keen about infusing Christian practice with the wisdom of the Lord. This excellent series does just that. These books are far more than biographies. They are guides to daily living that help us learn from some of the wisest life coaches the Christian church has ever had.” - Douglas A. Sweeney, Professor of Church History, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“I am grateful for Crossway’s innovative Theologians on the Christian Life series. No mere biographies, these books reveal how some of history’s greatest pastors and scholars—luminaries such as Augustine, Calvin, and Edwards—weave together the life of the mind and the heart in practical devotion to the triune God.” - Thomas S. Kidd, Professor of History, Baylor University; author, The Great Awakening
“I love biography and history. But it’s not always apparent how I can apply their lessons and insights to my life today. That’s why I’m thankful for the Theologians on the Christian Life series. In these books, today’s top scholars search for treasure in the writing of some of history’s most remarkable Christians and share the bounty with us. Get these books and watch them invigorate your spiritual life.” - Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists
Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. He has written over twenty books and is an editor of the Theologians on the Christian Life series. He also hosts the weekly podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.
Justin Taylor (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher at Crossway. He has edited and contributed to several books, including A God-Entranced Vision of All Things and Reclaiming the Center, and he blogs at Between Two Worlds—hosted by the Gospel Coalition.