Top 30 Historical & Biographical Theology Ranked by Reviews

See an Overview of this Rating System and Algorithm Here

Top 10

#1 Winn Collier’s A Burning in My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene Peterson


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

“This hunger for something radical—something so true that it burned in his bones—was a constant in Eugene’s life. His longing for God ignited a ferocity in his soul.”  Encounter the multifaceted life of one of the most influential and creative pastors of the past half century with unforgettable stories of Eugene’s lifelong devotion to his craft and love of language, the influences and experiences that shaped his unquenchable faith, the inspiration for his decision to translate The Message, and his success and struggles as a pastor, husband, and father.  

#2 Carl Trueman’s The Rise & Triumph of the Modern Self


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Since the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision in 2015, sexual identity has dominated both public discourse and cultural trends—and yet, no historical phenomenon is its own cause. From Augustine to Marx, various views and perspectives have contributed to the modern understanding of self. In The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Carl Trueman carefully analyzes the roots and development of the sexual revolution as a symptom, rather than the cause, of the human search for identity…

#3 Carl Trueman’s Strange New World


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

How did the world arrive at its current, disorienting state of identity politics, and how should the church respond? Historian Carl R. Trueman shows how influences ranging from traditional institutions to technology and pornography moved modern culture toward an era of “expressive individualism.” Investigating philosophies from the Romantics, Nietzsche, Marx, Wilde, Freud, and the New Left, he outlines the history of Western thought to the distinctly sexual direction of present-day identity politics and explains the modern implications of these ideas on religion, free speech, and personal identity. 

#4 Sinclair Ferguson’s The Whole Christ


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Since the days of the early church, Christians have wrestled with the relationship between law and gospel. If, as the apostle Paul says, salvation is by grace and the law cannot save, what relevance does the law have for Christians today? By revisiting the Marrow Controversy—a famous but largely forgotten eighteenth-century debate related to the proper relationship between God’s grace and our works—Sinclair B. Ferguson sheds light on this central issue and why it still matters today. In doing so, he explains how our understanding of the relationship between law and gospel determines our approach to evangelism, our pursuit of sanctification, and even our understanding of God himself.

#5 Jamar Tisby’s The Color of Compromise


Rating: 4 out of 5.

An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically–up to the present day–worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response. The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don’t know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.

#6 Pope Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth Biographical Trilogy

4.25 avg.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In this bold, momentous work, the Pope––in his first book written as Benedict XVI––seeks to salvage the person of Jesus from recent “popular” depictions and to restore Jesus’ true identity as discovered in the Gospels. Through his brilliance as a theologian and his personal conviction as a believer, the Pope shares a rich, compelling, flesh-and-blood portrait of Jesus and incites us to encounter, face-to-face, the central figure of the Christian faith. 

#7 Micheal Reeves’ The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Burning pyres, nuns on the run, stirring courage, and comic relief: the Protestant Reformation is a gripping tale, packed with drama. But what motivated the Reformers? And what were they really like? The Unquenchable Flame, a lively, accessible, and fully informative introduction to the Reformation by Michael Reeves, brings to life the movement’s most colorful characters (Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, The Puritans, etc.), examines their ideas, and shows the profound and personal relevance of Reformation thinking for today…

#8 Mircea Eliade’s A History of Religious Ideas Trilogy


Rating: 4 out of 5.

This extraordinary work delves into the subject of religion in the prehistoric and ancient worlds—humankind’s earliest quests for meaning. From Neanderthal burials to the mythology of the Iron Age, to the religions of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Israel, India, and beyond, it offers both an appreciation of the wide-ranging diversity of religious expression—and a consideration of the fundamental unity of religious phenomena.

#9 Courtney Anderson’s To The Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson


Rating: 4 out of 5.

On February 12, 1812, Ann and Adoniram Judson sailed from Salem aboard the brig Caravan as two of the first missionaries to go out from North America. Watching the shoreline disappear from view, they could not have foreseen the impact of their journey on the future of the Christian world mission or on the thousands of men and women who would follow in their footsteps. After a short stay in India, they carried the Good News of Jesus Christ to the golden shore of Burma. Drawing on letters and church records, Courtney Anderson paints a poignant portrait of Judson’s early life in dealing with the conflict between his desire for material success and the inner call to serve God…

#10 Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler’s concentration camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the twentieth century. In World War II she and her family risked their lives to help Jews and underground workers escape from the Nazis, and for their work they were tested in the infamous Nazi death camps. Only Corrie among her family survived to tell the story of how faith ultimately triumphs over evil. Here is the riveting account of how Corrie and her family were able to save many of God’s chosen people. For 35 years millions have seen that there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.

Top 30

  1. Eswine, Zack. Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those Who Suffer From Depression. (4.12)
  2. Muller, George. The Autobiography of George Muller. (4.08)
  3. Vischer, Phil. Me, Myself, and Bob. (3.97)
  4. Piper, John. The Hidden Smile of God. (3.95)
  5. Thi, Kim Phuc Phan. Fire Road. (3.95)
  6. Elliot, Elisabeth. These Strange Ashes. (3.95)
  7. Richardson, Don. Lords of the Earth. (3.95)
  8. Mangalwadi, Vishal. The BookThat Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of the Western World. (3.93)
  9. Wrumbrand, Richard. Tortured for Christ. (3.93)
  10. Packer, J.I. A Quest for Godliness. (3.91)
  11. Elliot, Elisabeth. Through Gates of Splendor. (3.91)
  12. Shetler, Joanne. And The Word Came With Power. (3.89)
  13. Marsden, George. Jonathan Edwards. (3.89)
  14. Wright, N.T. Paul: a Biography (3.89)
  15. Olson, Bruce. Bruchko. (3.89)
  16. Piper, John. The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: Augustine, Luther & Calvin. (3.82)
  17. Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition: 100-600. (The Christian Tradition 1) (3.80)
  18. Brown, Peter. Augustine of Hippo: a Biography. (3.80)
  19. Taylor, Charles. A Secular Age. (3.74)
  20. Walton, John. The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2–3 and the Human Origins Debate. (3.74)