Michael Haykin has posted an interesting thought exercise. I thought it was interesting how similar and how different some of our choices would be. Here is my list of nine (in order):
1. D. G. Hart, Defending the Faith (an intellectual biography of J. Gresham Machen)
2. Iain Murray, Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography.
3. Andrew Dallimore, George Whitefield, 2 vols.
4. Iain Murray, D. Martryn Lloyd-Jones, 2 vols.
5. J. I. Robertson, Jr., Stonewall Jackson.
6. Michael Hall, The Last American Puritan (a biography of Increase Mather)
7. Rudolph Nelson, The Making and Unmaking of an Evangelical Mind (an intellectual biography of E. J. Carnell)
8. H. G. C. Moule, Charles Simeon
9. A. T. Robertson, Life and Letters of John A. Broadus
It is interesting to me that I couldn't, in good conscience, listed a number of academic biographies that I enjoyed, but that didn't impact me (I'm thinking here particularly of Harry Stout's A Divine Dramatist and George Marsden's Jonathan Edwards: A Life). Since I've read all the books I've listed multiple times, I would consider these my most impactful, influential, and important. And I still believe that D. G. Hart's biography on Machen is simply the finest book I have ever read--a model intellectual biography in every sense of the word.