Bio, Books, and Such: Mack Stiles


During the summer I’ll be posting micro interviews on Fridays (mostly). I’ve asked some of my friends in ministry–friends you probably already know–to answer questions about “bio, books, and such.” My hope is that you’ll enjoy getting a few more facts about these folks and getting a few good book recommendations.

Today’s interview is with Mack Stiles, CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions and general secretary for the Fellowship of Christian UAE Students (FOCUS) in the United Arab Emirates.

1. Where were you born? Louisville, Kentucky

2. When did you become a Christian? July, 1972 at a skiing race camp in Zermatt, Switzerland.

3. Who is one well known pastor/author/leader who has shaped you as a Christian and teacher? Mark Dever

4. Who is one lesser known pastor/friend/mentor who has shaped you? Mike Spencer, the internet monk

5. What’s one hymn you want sung at your funeral? “We Rest on Thee” by E.G. Cherry

6. What kind of nonfiction do you enjoy reading when you aren’t reading about theology, the Bible, or church history? I love Biographies.

7. Other than Calvin’s Institutes, what systematic theology have you found most helpful? We have used Wayne Grudem for years in training our young staff in Dubai.

8. What are one or two of your favorite fiction authors or fiction books? I’ve enjoyed the Patrick O’Brian work on Captain Jack Aubery-a series of nautical historical novels set during the Napoleonic wars.

9. What is one of your favorite non-Christian biographies? Usually the one I’m reading, (which is currently the biography of Woodrow Wilson called Wilson by A. Scott Berg) but my all time favorite would be a toss up between William Manchester’s The Last Lion volumes 1 and 2, or Taylor Branch’s first two books in his trilogy called Parting the Waters, America in the King Years 1954-63 and Pillar of Fire, America in the King Years 1963-1965.

10. What is one of your favorite books on evangelism? I like J.I. Packer’s Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

11. What is one of your favorite books on apologetics? Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli’s Handbook of Christian Apologetics, (with lots of asterisks, and there are better books that I would recommend, but it meant much to me in 1994.)

12. What is one of your favorite books on prayer? I’m reading (my ancestor) Edward Taylor’s book called Edward Taylor’s Gods Determinations and Preparatory Mediations.

13. What is one of your favorite books on marriage? When Sinners Say I Do

14. What is one of your favorite books on parenting? We benefited personally from John Rosemond’s books on parenting when our children were young-back in the early 90’s (interestingly, I hear that he has become a Christian since writing them).

15. What music do you keep coming back to on your iPhone (or CD player, or tape deck, or gramophone)? I love Love and War and the Sea In between by Josh Garrels, and I like Acoustic Alchemy’s work, and most all Jazz.

16. Favorite food? Pizza, all ethnic food.

17. After the Bible, a hymnal, and a shipbuilding guide, what book would you want with you on a desert island? Recently South Shore Baptist Church, (Pastor Jeramie Rinne) purchased the top bible commentary for each book of the Bible for me. I can’t imagine anything better than being on an Island with those books. If I had to pick one of those… well, I love Dale Ralph Davies OT commentaries or maybe D.A. Carson’s commentary on John…or William Lane’s commentary on Mark… I don’t know.

Learn more about the relationship between TGC and the blogs we are honored to host.