Biographies for Book Lovers – MBFLP 254-2

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Biographies that you might enjoy as much as Hal did

Finishing up a listener’s question from episode 245, (“What Are You Reading Right Now?”), this episode Hal is talking about some of his favorite biographies, and why he likes reading this special form of history.

Biography is more than just the facts

Some years ago, Hal started reading biographies to learn more about figures in local history. What impressed him was how, when he’d been reading the life stories of men who had faced challenges and lived life with honor, faith, and courage, it started to show up in his own thinking — “How would such-and-such have handled this?”

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, after all. Paul wrote to the believers at Phillipi,

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, 
whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, 
whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, 
if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. 

(Philippians 4:8, NKJV)

A life well and truly lived will show evidence of these things. What better way to consider them than to observe how other humans have applied them to the struggles of life?

People are complex

A well-written and honest biography will include the facts of the person’s lifetime, as well as the cultural context he or she dealt with. Much of the current “cancel culture” betrays an inability to recognize the good that a person accomplished in spite of their times, instead forcing long-passed people through a filter of 21st century sensibilities. At the same time, an accurate biography will acknowledge the faults and failures of the subject. Humans are highly complex and inconsistent beings, which may prevent us from reaching our best potential as well as hindering us from sinking as low as we might!

An account of someone whose life work has been assessed through the lens of time, whose impact has been seen by the outcomes of his actions and words, can be a powerful encouragement and example to follow — or an earnest warning of ways and ideas to avoid! And that’s why biographies can be good for the character and soul. It’s worth considering!

Why reading biographies can be good for the soul

 


If you’d like to know more about biographies Hal mentioned, links are here

(and for history, here are links to books from the first episode )

If you’d like to leave a comment, question, or request, our Listener Response Line is (919) 295-0321

 

 

 

 

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