One of the reasons it took me five years to write Patron Saints for Postmoderns is the sheer volume of reading necessary to get a handle on the lives of ten complex people. It was worth it—and not just for the book: I discovered some bibliographic treasures along the way.

So, if you're looking for some excellent historical reads, have I got a line-up for you!

John Comenius: The Labyrinth of the World and The Paradise of the Heart (Classics of Western Spirituality)

John Comenius: The Labyrinth of the World and The Paradise of the Heart (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Howard Louthan, Andrea Sterk

This edition of Comenius's fascinating allegory has a simply wonderful introduction–one of the best I've seen for any historical book. It provides excellent biographical data and demonstrates real insight into Comenius's life, personality, and work.

The Life & Spirituality of John Newton: An Authentic Narrative (Sources of Evangelical Spirituality)

The Life & Spirituality of John Newton: An Authentic Narrative (Sources of Evangelical Spirituality) by John Newton, Bruce D. Hindmarsh, Bruce Hindmarsh, Introduction by Bruce Hindmarsh

This edition includes John Newton's Narrative (his autobiography up to the point of his conversion) and a few of his famed letters of spiritual direction (to the best of my memory). Bruce Hindmarsh, a professor at Regent College, Vancouver, has the only modern critical biography of Newton, listed separately under "books." Get it, along with John Pollock's shorter, more popular bio of Newton (also listed but out of print).

John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition: Between the Conversions of Wesley and Wilberforce

John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition: Between the Conversions of Wesley and ...

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