Bunyan the Christian

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9780002159951: Bunyan the Christian

The Pilgrim's Progress is the most popular work of Christian spirituality ever written in English, and perhaps the first novel in the language too.
John Bunyan's own life story has become part of the legend. The son of a tinker from Elstow near Bedford, he joined Cromwell's Parliamentarian army at the age of sixteen, and was plunged into a hotbed of radical religious ideas. In 1647 he returned and, helped by two books received as a wedding dowry, he began his own spiritual journey.
Bunyan's imagination would never let him rest, and he was immediately overcome by a vivid sense of his own sinfulness. He fell into a kind of madness, described brilliantly in Grace Abounding, but emerged as a highly committed preacher in the radical Puritan tradition.
His fervour brought him into conflict with the Restoration government in 1661, and he was imprisoned in Bedford until 1672. The Pilgrim's Progress was written in jail either then or later in 1677. By the time of his death he had written some sixty works.
Gordon Wakefield's book is an outstanding new biography of John Bunyan. It is a book that sees his faith not primarily as a code for social change, nor his theology as covert politics. Rather, it promises a Kingdom transcending the world, and a City beyond our mortal life, made and built by God.
When the Church of our time so often sees 'the middle way', there is still something to be admired in the uncompromising dedication of Bunyan the Christian.

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Gordon Wakefield
Published by Harpercollins (1992)
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