In yesterday’s post I mentioned that over the past 7 years, ever since I entered into seminary, I have found that there have been a handful of people who have significantly impacted the way I view and approach my role as a pastor. Ā  I also mentioned in that post that I have a list of people who are still alive and those who are not. Ā  My lists are as following.

1. Tim Keller – preaching and the gospel
2. NT Wright – theology, story and the person of Jesus
3. Dallas Willard – spiritual formation and discipleship
4. Ravi Zacharias – preaching and apologetics
5. Mike Breen and the 3DM Team – discipleship and mission

1. C.S. Lewis – you name it…
2. Jonathan Edwards – preaching
3. John Owen – temptation & sin – be killing sin or it will be killing you
4. Dietrich Bonhoeffer – discipleship & community

Who is on your lists?


8 Responses to “People who have significantly shaped my thinking & ministry.”

  1. Linda

    Hi Bryan,
    Thanks for asking this wonderful question. Charles Spurgeon, Oswald Chambers, David Jeremiah, Beth Moore and Kay Arthur are several who have had great impact on my faith. Of these, Kay Arthur and Precept Ministries have had the greatest effect on my personal life because of the inductive study method of seeking out the truth for myself. I also enjoy reading C.S. Lewis and Dave Wilkerson’s, The Cross and the Switchblade. My reading material is almost all focused on Christian Literature, history and study. When I read fiction I really enjoy the writings of Jody and Brock Theone. I have read many of your suggestions over the past year and have really enjoyed reading them.

    • bryanmarvel

      Hey Linda – those are great individuals to read. And I am glad to hear that you mention reading fiction. I think that our imaginations need to be enlarged and reading fiction is a wonderful way to do that. One of the things that strikes me about people like C.S. Lewis and Jonathan Edwards is that both of them were incredibly deep thinkers and had a lot of substance to their ministries, but they also had vivid imaginations that gave them the ability to not only connect with the mind, but the heart as well.

  2. Melissa Martin

    No Longer With Us: Bonhoeffer – community, CS Lews – everything, Henri Nouwen – drawing closer to God and how to recognize his presence

    Alive & Kicking: Patsy Clairmont – joy, Joyce Meyer – daily living out my faith, Donald Miller – authenticity (and I realize Donald Miller is seen as controversial by some – I consider him brave to share very truthfully his thoughts among the Christian community when it would be safer to just concur with Christian status quo). I’ve also recently discovered J. I. Packer – and am liking what little I’ve read of his stuff so far.

    I agree with Linda’s inclusion of fiction too – as you know, I am an avid reader and I have gleaned keen insights and understandings about various things through reading fiction.

    I LOVE THIS BLOG ENTRY btw. You’ve been very prolific with the blogs lately, keep it up friend!

  3. Melissa Martin

    Ah – how could I have not included Brother Andrew – the “God Smuggler” – his bravery is inspiring to me and I encourage anyone not familiar with his story and life’s work to give “God Smuggler” a read.

  4. Kristin

    I love this. You, Melissa, and I totally need to form a book club because we like a lot of the same people. I don’t think I can split my list up into dead and alive–it will have to be fiction and non-fiction.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer–living a life of humility before God, community
    Philip Yancey–grace
    Corrie Ten Boom–humility/trusting God in suffering
    Susan Wise Bauer, E.D. Hirsch, and Diana Senechal (writers on education/philosophy/history/theology all wrapped up into one)
    Chiam Potok–my absolute favorite
    Ken Follett
    Robert Rutherfurd
    T.S. Eliot and Longfellow (poetry)
    Avi (really good children’s novels)

  5. Kristin

    oops, I meant Edward Rutherfurd. And I am also adding G.K. Chesterton to the non-fiction list. šŸ™‚

  6. Mark Mathia

    What a great list of influencers! Thank for asking the question Bryan. While many are repeated I would add Thomas A. Kempis, Martin Luther and A.W. Tozer. Living would be John Eldredge, Dr. Henry Cloud, Pastor Bill Hybels, Erwin Mcmanus and Pastor Mark Driscoll. Perhaps I should send thank you cards? Appreciate your post!


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