I am a lover of open-ended questions. Perhaps this has made me annoyingly inquisitive, like a four year-old who repeatedly asks “Why?” while his parents are trying to get un-lost on vacation. But, I truly believe that if we are going to be more dedicated servants and more passionate worshipers of Christ, then we should learn to ask open-ended questions while talking to other Christians, reading the Bible, and reading things like… Christian biographies. Christian biographies are usually on my summer reading list, and in case they’re on yours as well, below is a list of open-ended questions that I hope will help you get the most out of the lives of faithful saints who have gone before us. First, here are a few bios that you should add to your list: Spurgeon by Arnold Dallimore, George Whitfield by Arnold Dallimore, John and Betty Stam by Vance Christie, and just out last month, John MacArthur by Ian Murray.
1) How did God use this person’s upbringing to shape the person he/she would later become?
2) Describe how God brought this person to faith in Jesus Christ. What events and people did God use to humble this person and bring him/her to the Savior?
3) In what ways did the Gospel continue to affect this person’s life after his/her conversion?
4) Describe this person’s relationship to Christ. What quotations or activities reflect his/her heart for God?
5) What role did the Bible play in this person’s life?
6) What forms of discipline did this person use to help bring himself/herself closer to Christ?
7) What was this person’s primary ministry? How did his/her love for God show itself in how he/she served other people?
8) What encounters did this person have with suffering and what was his/her response?
9) How did this person respond to the presence of sin in his/her life?
10) How did this person approach death?