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10 Dead Guys You Should Know: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (Maddock)

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Christian Focus Publications

Ten fascinating bite–sized biographies of the Christians people expect you to know.

While Christians have always prized the Bible as our ultimate authority in matters of faith and practice, we also recognize that the Christian life is an intergenerational and communal activity. This collection of ten short biographies will introduce you to Christians from a variety of places and times, who all boldly preached the gospel, despite the risk to personal reputations and safety. How short–sighted it would be not to glean insights from our ancestors, whether that entails learning how to walk in their steps – or else avoiding their missteps.

Written by Ian Maddock, Rachel Ciano and Stuart Colton, who all teach church history and edited by Ian Maddock. Each chapter has suggested further reading, and additional suggestions ‘for the adventurous’.

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Chapter Headings:

1. Athanasius: Against the World

2. Augustine: The Grace of God Defeated Me

3. Anselm: Faith Seeking Understanding

4. Martin Luther: Here I Stand

5. Thomas Cranmer: Lord Jesus, Receive My Spirit

6. Richard Baxter: Keep These Hearts Above

7. John Wesley: A Brand Plucked from the Burning

8. Hudson Taylor: These I Must Bring Also

9. Spurgeon: Preaching, Prayer and Perseverance

10. Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Discipleship


This book is ideal for anyone wanting a brief, entertaining and illuminating overview of the lives and beliefs of these ten giants of Christian history.



Ian Maddock (PhD, University of Aberdeen) serves as Senior Lecturer in Theology at Sydney Missionary and Bible College. He is author of ‘Men of One Book: A Comparison of Two Methodist Preachers, John Wesley and George Whitefield’ and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.



"… an excellent read to stir the passion for Church history and to encourage the development of a historical awareness for our faith." - Leonardo De Chirico, Church planter in central Rome

"I warmly commend this page–turner, not least as an appetizer which will encourage you to delve more deeply into various aspects of Church (including missionary) history across the centuries. May these sketches challenge, perhaps correct, yet also motivate you to emulate significant aspects of these examples of committed, costly Christian discipleship." - Hector Morrison, Principal, Highland Theological College, Dingwall

"This insightful collection of ten Christian leaders from different times and places reveal that knowing the past can be both liberating and illuminating.  Maddock, Coulton, and Ciano ably demonstrate how earlier theologians, pastors, martyrs, and missionaries sought to live out the gospel and challenge contemporary readers to be faithful disciples of Jesus as well.  This welcome introduction is well–researched, reflective, warm–hearted, and witty." - Tom Schwanda, Associate professor Emeritus, Christian Formation and Ministry, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois

"Each snapshot combines a brief biographical presentation with important lessons for the church to learn about obedience, faith, holiness, perseverance, courage, and mission. If readers are not familiar with these ten towering figures from the past, this book will bring them alive for today!" - Gregg R. Allison, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

"… the lives, thinking and impact of ten of the most important ‘dead guys’ have been brought to life. Famous names become interesting characters and big ideas are explained simply and clearly in a way that shows why they are still important today." - Clare Heath–Whyte, Speaker and author of several books, including ‘Everyone a Child Should Know’ and ‘First Wives’ Club’