Broad Street, Oxford, England: The stones in the center of the street mark where Latimer and Ridley were burned at the stake.

Every summer, I attempt to read a dozen or more books. And in my reading, I always include a few biographies. 

There’s something about a well-written biography about a great Christian’s life that stirs my own passion for God and desire to live more fully consecrated to Him. 

Truly, we have a rich Christian heritage. Our history is replete with men and women who followed Christ, hungered to know Him, and gave their lives to make Him known. Some gave their lives through martyrdom, some through service. All gave because the love of Christ constrained them. 

You’ve heard it said,” The men and women who have changed the world have been the men and women the world could not change.”

This is a true statement, but it doesn’t mean the world didn’t try to change them. It did. Sometimes desperately. 

The world has threatened, offered bribes, ignored, scorned, and even martyred various leaders in an attempt to make them like itself. Yet throughout history, there have been courageous men and women who have followed Christ “outside the camp” (Hebrews 13:13), standing outside the religious and cultural norms of their day, in order to propagate the gospel. 

Over the years, the Lord has allowed me to visit many of the locations where these leaders have come to faith in Christ, preached the gospel, or given their lives for Him. 

As I’ve…

…walked down Broad Street in Oxford (pictured above) and seen where Latimer and Ridley were burned for preaching the gospel, 

…or stood at the River Lamat in Zürich and seen where Felix Manz was drowned for his belief in believer’s baptism, 

…or touched the prison door behind which John Bunyan spent twelve years for his conviction of preaching,

…or stood in the pulpit of John Newton who preached the gospel in Olney, England, after an amazing encounter with God’s grace,

…or sat at the desk where George Müller recorded his many answers to prayer for ten thousand orphans, 

…or toured Westminster Abbey and seen the prominent burial of David Livingstone who opened the continent of Africa to the gospel…

…or visited the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London where over six thousand people came to hear Charles Spurgeon weekly,

…these encounters have stirred me, and I’ve wanted to share them with others. 

I’ve done so in my newest book. It is titled Outsiders: 15 Leaders Who Followed Christ and Changed the World. Each chapter features an overview of a life that has profoundly touched mine. I am excited to introduce these leaders to you. Their testimonies will stir your faith, strengthen your commitment, and renew your dedication to Christ. 

You can read the first chapter for free, or you can purchase the book in print or as a kindle edition. 

I pray this book will be an encouragement to every Christian who reads it. I hope it will give a greater appreciation for those who stood for our faith, and I hope it will challenge readers to likewise take a stand for Christ. 

Especially, I hope many young people will read it. Many have no idea of the sacrifices that make up their heritage, which is why I’ve asked my own grandchildren to read it and why we will be using it as a textbook in our Christian school next year. 

The book releases from Striving Together Publications on May 14. You can read the introduction and first chapter here.

Additionally, Striving Together is offering a few bonuses for those who order during the release week (May 14–20):

Order one or more copies, and receive…

  • Access to a behind-the-scenes video interview with the author, exploring the people, locations, and photos related to the biographical sketches in the book. 

Order ten or more copies, and receive…

  • The behind-the-scenes video interview.
  • A discounted price of $10/copy.
  • Presentation slides and study questions to use in group study or Christian school classroom. 

“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”—Hebrews 13:12–13

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