Ethan Magness’s Thought Leaders

We asked 35 Christian leaders, “Who is the influencer with the biggest impact on your life and ministry?” Most of these leaders listed several influential thinkers, writers, innovators, and leaders more of us should get to know. This response is from Ethan Magness, pastor of spiritual formation with Mountain Christian Church, Joppa, Maryland.


I feel like I am learning so much right now in ministry. So many people are participating in fruitful experiments of ministry and biblical study, and I am grateful to get to learn from them. Here are a few who are especially influential to me right now.

In the area of New Testaments studies, I am especially grateful for N.T. Wright. His scholarship and his ability to write is tremendous.

In Old Testament studies, I would point to John Walton. This Wheaton professor is doing great work on helping his students understand the genre and cultural settings of Genesis and applying that to contemporary hermeneutical problems.

Ruth Haley Barton
Ruth Haley Barton

In the life of the church, I am learning from so many, but I would point to blogs by David Fitch and Scot McKnight as regular places of inspiration, as well as the writing of Tim Keller and Greg Boyd.

In my life of personal faith and devotion, I have been so deeply blessed by the ministry of Ruth Haley Barton. Her books and her teaching have led me back to prayer and a robust spiritual life as the foundation for my ministry. Her influence has been deeply profound, and I am extremely grateful for her ministry in my life and in the lives of so many.

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