I’m pleased the essay has been helpful!
As per reading lists, a tremendous book I believe may be neglected in our times, is Frederick Douglass’ autobiography, “My Bondage and My Freedom”. (The BioLogos staff picked his photo for the header of this essay, not me, but I was very happy with their choice!) He was a very gifted writer (and apparently also a very gifted speaker). It is a long book, but hard to put down once started. I value reading the lives of Christians from places and times and experiences different from my own. In Douglass’ case, he never knew his father, b/c he was a white man who had, it is implied, forced himself on his mother. His mother was sold to another plantation when he was a very little boy. He describes firsthand, atrocities he observed growing up, that really put the torch to some of the sentimentality one sometimes hears about an idyllic Christian America in some golden past.
The key turning point in his life, was when two Christian men, one white and one black, led him to faith in Christ. The presence of Christ in his life changed everything, including galvanizing him to first, learn to read, and, then step-by-step, to escape slavery and later become a leading spokesman for abolition, as his calling from God. He’s usually just one of the faces on the wall of classrooms for Black History Month. To read his own words about his life, his convictions, and how they unfolded, is gripping. I wish more Americans of all ethnic backgrounds would rediscover his work. Until I read his autobiography, I had no idea what a Christian giant he was, much more than only a political activist. The two were inseparable in who he was, and the fight for abolition flowed from his faith and transformed life thru Jesus Christ. Later in his life, he was also active in working for women to get the vote.