Christians: Who are some of the most outstanding christians of the last five centuries?

34 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    Rather than give you a laundry list, I will concentrate on those Christians who were seminal primarily in Christian thought or action, with a little explanation of each.

    Martin Luther - pretty much singlehandedly responsible for the Reformation, though obviously others followed him. He was the first person to stand up to the Catholic church successfully. His understanding of doctrine was unsurpassed, and what is even more remarkable is how he had to rethink just about everything he had been taught. We must give part of the credit to Gutenberg, because without the printing press, Luther would have been martyred just like his predecessors. Of all the reformers, he had the clearest thinking on doctrine, though this was obviously partly due to his command of various languages. He translated the Bible into German from the original languages: Hebrew and Greek, and his translation has been unsurpassed in German ever since. His choice of Hochdeutsch established it as the literary German. He also supported literacy movements so people could read the Bible for themselves.

    Corrie ten Boom, for hiding Jews during the Nazi regime, and her sister, for their intense faith and acting out under threat of death. Her sister actually died as a result of being in a concentration camp.

    Francis Schaeffer (and his wife), for his work on Christian apologetics, and his establishment of l'Abri in Switzerland, also his opposition to the deterioration of the arts as a result of the nihilism propagated by recent philosophers who were largely atheist, and his opposition to abortion and euthanasia, as well as raising a godly legacy in this area through his son Franky Schaeffer V, who went into cinematography. Too bad he wasn't successful. Franky Schaeffer made a series of films based on the two books by his father, How Should We Then Live? (about the arts) and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? (about abortion and human life).

    Mildred Jefferson, MD, who was the first black woman surgeon to graduate from Harvard, and C. Everett Koop, former surgeon general of the United States, both of whom toured with the Schaeffer family when they toured with the films based on Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Some people believe Dr. Koop sold out when he said that there was no evidence that he could find that abortion harms women, although he simply didn't uncover any. It was NOT a claim that abortion isn't harmful, and a lot of people have tried to misrepresent what he actually said.

    Many very excellent Christians have been involved in the attempt to eliminate abortion in the United States and worldwide, and there are simply too many to name. I have known a number of them, and they are a real inspiration.

    Chuck Colson for his seminal work in prisons, and his clear writings. He has had tremendous influence, and his model of prison reform would greatly reduce crime and recidivism.

    Josh McDowell, whose works More Than a Carpenter (about the evidence for the Christian faith) and his two book series Evidence That Demands a Verdict, for his work in apologetics. He began as an atheist and set out to disprove Christianity. He also wrote excellent books on human sexuality.

    Walter Trobisch and his wife, missionaries to Africa, who wrote excellent books on human sexuality, including some which explained the sexual and marriage practices of Africans in their areas of ministry, which were very enlightening.

    John Warwick Montgomery, another atheist who set out to disprove the Christian faith. He is now a Lutheran theologian, who has earned eight degrees, six of them on the doctoral level, last I heard. He wrote a book similar to Josh McDowell's on evidence, called History and Christianity, along with some 50 other very scholarly books. He is also fluent in French and has taught at the Sorbonne, and is an accomplished French chef and connoisseur of wines. He used to lead tours to Germany, to Luther's territory, and later on, was dean of a Christian law school.

    Henry M. Morris, Duane Gish, Steven Austin, and other outstanding scientific creationists, who have done seminal work on establishing the veracity of Genesis, and Ken Ham of Australia who presented a case that belief in evolution undermines the Gospel, also a scientific creationist. There are too many to name here, but their contribution has been significant. Also, some of the Intelligent Design advocates, though not all, and all are not Christians anyway. These solid scientists have done significant work showing that the earth is young, and that evolution would have been impossible.

    William Wilberforce, for his work which resulted in the abolishment of slavery in England and led the way for the abolishment of slavery in much of the Christian world.

    C.S. Lewis, another atheist who set out to disprove Christianity, who then wrote some seminal books on the faith, including Mere Christianity, and fiction such as the Chronicles of Narnia series, the trilogy that begins with Out of the Silent Planet, and a lesser known work, The Great Divorce. He also wrote a very amusing book called The Screwtape Letters, which were letters from a senior devil to a junior devil. He was, I believe, a founding member of The Inklings, which was a stable of Christian authors and included such people as Dorothy Sayers and J.R.R. Tolkein.

    R. Brownell McGrew, a southwestern artist who painted in a very Renaissance style, absolutely gorgeous, whose primary subjects were Native Americans. He was dearly beloved by his artistic subjects. If you ever have a chance, Google his name and take a look at his exquisite paintings.

    Charles Finney was a very brave man for renouncing Freemasonry the way he did, because he put his life on the line. Just how effective his campaigns were that resulted in so many apparent conversions is really hard to say. I've read his book on Freemasonry, by the way, and it was outstanding.

    J.S. Bach, who has been called the musical evangelist or the fifth evangelist, for his outstanding Christian music, which has appealed to people the world over and shown what Christian music should be, along with another outstanding composer, Hebrew Christian Felix Mendelssohn, grandson of Moses Mendelssohn, a famous Jewish thinker. Mendelssohn wrote several outstanding major choral works, including Elijah, which I have personally sung, along with several of Bach's major choral works, and also, I have had the opportunity to learn to play some of Bach's organ music.

    I would also like to mention the thousands of Christian missionaries who went to foreign lands and established Christianity in many parts of the world, some of whom were martyred. Along with that, I would like to mention Christian chaplains and military people who lay their lives on the line to defend our nation as well as innocent people who have been subjugated to tyrants, including those in the two world wars, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They quietly serve. Chaplains have often ministered to military people who wish to come to Christ. I should specifically mention a few missionaries I have known personally: Lee and Deanna, missionaries to China, Roger and his family, missionaries to Indonesia, and Alina, missionary to Africa and the Philippines.

    Also, the many workers in apologetics that define cults and tell us how to guard against their heresies.

    There are many others I regard as somewhat lesser lights that probably should be mentioned, but it would make this answer a book rather than just an answer. :)

    Last but not least, my mother-in-law, who was only a Christian for a few days before she died, but in that time, was a shining witness of her new faith to everyone around her.

    The most important thing to remember is this: We are ALL part of the body of Christ, and we work TOGETHER seamlessly, many of us simply growing where we are planted, and doing the work of Christ quietly and unpretentiously. In a way, it is wrong to single out famous Christians, but always good to have role models.

    There are some people I am deliberately excluding, such as Benny Hinn (who is really the leader of a cult and not a Christian at all), Robert Schuller who preaches prosperity heresy, and Paul Yonggi Cho, who teaches church growth heresy, which has been VERY detrimental to many solid denominations including my own, most televangelists who are either downright wrong in their theology or badly confused, not to mention they are constantly trying to make money and often misuse it. They have given Christianity a bad name in many people's eyes. And then there are people like Billy Graham, who failed to discern persecution of Christians in the USSR, and whose concept of how people are won to the Christian faith was flawed, even if he did win some to Christ, and who forgot that Jesus always made evangelizing a one-to-one activity, not the result of a mass crusade. Also any Catholics because we have no way of knowing if they are truly saved, since they believe in work righteousness. Some of these people may well be Christians and simply flawed in some way, but we shouldn't hold them up as outstanding examples of Christians because their testimony is mixed, and we simply don't know for sure.

    Source(s): A lifetime of reading. I also was able to meet the Schaeffer family, R. Brownell McGrew, and John Warwick Montgomery, as well as a number of scientific creationists, including Henry and John Morris, Duane Gish, Ken Ham, and others.
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  • BERT
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    For me the MOST outstanding was

    D. James Kenndy

    and also

    George Washington

    Billy Graham

    C. S. Lewis

    James Dobson

    Jan and Paul Crouch have given us countless hour of spiritual food throufg TBN

    God bless!!

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  • 4 years ago

    The factor to don't forget this is that, People are men and women first and for so much. And so much men and women are actually not anything greater than Sheeple. Sheeple are a mass that may be herded into considering and doing as people who manipulate them want. So the query of hate isn't such a lot Christians, Jews, Muslims. But the precise rationale of people who lead them. “Some guys see matters as they're and say why I dream matters that on no account had been and say Why no longer” GB Shaw We ought to don't forget our historical past! Christians have hated different Christians. Jews have prosecuted different Jews, allow us to no longer put out of your mind that there have been many Jewish men and women combating and dealing for the Nazis' And Muslims have killed Muslims. And all have Killed different men and women who don't seem to be of the Book! And thereafter any combo of the above! Flags and Rally facets are harmful matters. As are ignorant minds. Though it ought to be stated that the hatred closer to the Islamic international has reached a fever pitch in up to date years. The most effective option to remedy this on going state of human carnage is for the entire Banners to be diminished and for all people to upward push the only banner of Humanity.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Billy Graham

    Max Lucado

    Mother Theresa

    Charles H. Spurgeon

    John Newton

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  • 1 decade ago

    I haven't looked at any of the other answers yet, so I will just give my opinion.

    I would not doubt that most would say that Billy Graham is one of the most outstanding Christians of the last five decades. Not only an outstanding evangelist, drawing many hundreds of thousands of men, women and children to salvation through Christ Jesus, but also, an honest man who has demonstrated love, kindness and faithfulness to those around him and beyond.

    Another man of God, whom I believe is an outstanding teacher among Christians, is Pastor Jack Hayford. His writing and teaching have helped shape many lives to walk righteously with the Lord. He is also a man of integrity and has had great influence upon the Christian community by working to bring unity among Christian leaders.

    There are some women whom I would put on my list, too. I really don't know a lot about her, but what I have learned leads me to say that Mother Teresa was an outstanding Christian who did work during some of the last five decades. She showed courage, tenacity and great faith in doing the work she felt God had called her to do.

    Another woman who may not ordinarily be considered is Dale Evans. She learned early to trust in Christ and demonstrated Christian motherhood, even through the trials and losses she experienced. Even after losing her husband, she went on to write and hostess a television show. She also showed great courage by continuing for years after her health began to fail. She may have touched the lives of thousands and brought encouragement.

    Truthfully, my knowledge is limited in regards to the Christians of other nations, but I will mention another American woman, Joni Ereckson Tada. (I hope I spelled that correctly.) What an example of perseverance she has given to all who know her story! And the absolutely God-breathed paintings she has done with a brush in her teeth are amazing. She gives us another story of courage, showing us that life is not about what you can get, but what you can give.

    I'm sure there are others of whom I may be unaware. But, that's my list. Thanks for asking!

    Source(s): Oops! I should have looked at the other answers first. For some reason, I was thinking decades rather that centuries. Well, excuse my mistake, please. And, as far as the last five centuries is concerned, I agree with some of the answers which have already been given. But, there are lots more who may never have been in the public spotlight.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Jack Hyles, Charles Spurgeon, AW Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, Parris Reidhead...

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  • 1 decade ago

    A.W. Tozer: Otherwise Known As:

    Aiden Wilson Tozer (April 21, 1897 - May 12, 1963)

    I LOVE his inspiring work, passionately consumed by the love of Yeshua, clearly indwelt by the Holy Spirit; sincerely one of my favorite "forerunners"..teeheehee.

    T.S. Elliott 1888-1965

    "This is the way the world ends

    Not with a bang but a whimper" ~The Hollow Men

    "In my beginning is my end" ~"East Coker," Four Quartets

    Increase Mather (June 21, 1639 – August 23, 1723)

    Especially concerning the "Blackstone's Formulation" and the Salem Witch Trials..... Increase said: ""It were better that Ten Suspected Witches should escape, than that one Innocent Person should be Condemned"".

    George Whitefield (December 16, 1714 - September 30, 1770) ~Considerations that are noteworthy are a) Was considered to be most prominent thru-out the U.S. before George Washington. b) Spoken of for his open-air, outdoors, booming voice preaching. and c) Was considered to be one of the fathers of Evangelicalism. "Various are the pleas and arguments which men of corrupt minds frequently urge against yielding obedience to the just and holy commands of God." ~George Whitefield

    Charles Grandison Finney (1792–1875) : A major player in the "2nd Great Awakening" in America. *Some historians estimate his preaching led to the conversion of over 500,000 people! <<<--(source: Wikipedia)-->>>Finney was involved with the abolitionist movement and frequently denounced slavery from the pulpit. Beginning in the 1830s, he denied communion to slaveholders in his churches. Prior to his conversion, he had been (as most lawyers of the time were) a Freemason, but became a staunch opponent of Masonry, and wrote an extensive book attacking it, entitled "The Character, Claims, and Practical Workings of Freemasonry". **ARE THESE NOT AWESOME works?!!!!

    **There are so many more, untold millions of those who rose to prominence, and SURELY many children, teens, wives and unknowns; who simply GREW WHERE THEY WERE PLANTED, AND CHANGED LIVES IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL COMMUNITIES!

    ALL GLORY BE TO GOD, and by the faith we have in the foretelling prophetic WORD, the miraculous conception, birth, life/ministry, death and resurrection of our LORD; YESHUA HA'MOSHIACH (Hebrew for JESUS CHRIST/MESSIAH)), and in the beauty of the MINISTRY of the INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT in the innermost depths of every BELIEVER!!!

    Great Q!!!

    Love ya sister in Y'Shua,


    Source(s): Wikipedia and many different books in my collection! YHWH ALMIGHTY, as enveloped wholly in THE TRINITY!~
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  • 1 decade ago

    Smith Wiggleswroth, Oswald Chambers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Saint Innocent of alaksa Saint Herman of Alaska SaintTikhon of Moscow Saint Eliabeth the new Myrter Saint John of San fransico Saint Raphel of brooklyn

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  • 1 decade ago

    Mother Theresa

    John Paul II

    Billy Graham

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  • 1 decade ago

    Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, Billy Graham, Winston Churchill, CS Lewis.

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