In George Marsden’s excellent biography of Jonathan Edwards, the author tells of his having numerous “theological mentors from across the ages” (502). The idea is intriguing, isn’t it? Obviously, Edwards is one of Marsden’s favorites.
It’s one thing to say you might have a favorite or two (or more) historical figures. Perhaps you have read one or two biographies, some of their writings, and picked up a few favorite quotes.
But to say that someone is a “theological mentor” from the past ascribes a level of connection far deeper than just interest or respect. It also shows a realization that you can only read so many books and open yourself to influence from so many people. To have someone as an historical mentor means you’ve decided to take in a disproportionate amount from just a few sources.
Saying they are your theological mentors also refines the topic further. It means you are turning to this person’s writings and life to help hone your view of God. It probably involves a certain amount of spiritual discipline to read, think, and process things on a deeper level than casual reading at the beach.
I’d be curious to hear who might fit the bill as a theological, historical mentor for you. At this point, I look to C.S. Lewis, John Stott, and Jonathan Edwards. Any other suggestions?