Thursday, November 14, 2013

From the Author of The Pilgrim's Progress

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. By John Bunyan. Audiobook by christianaudio. Read by Simon Vance. 2013.

Next to the Bible, John Bunyan’s classic The Pilgrim’s Progress is probably one of the most widely read books of all time. Generations have been encouraged by this allegory of the Christian life, but few know much about its author. Bunyan was a Baptist minister in the 1600s who spent much time in prison for operating outside the authority of the state-supported Church of England. During this his imprisonments he wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress. Sometime before, in 1666, he wrote an autobiographical account of his journey to faith, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.

Bunyun’s autobiography touches on his life both before and after placing his faith in Christ, and he gives an explanation as to how he came into the ministry and ended up in prison for preaching the Word. Much of what he writes centers on his struggle to accept Christ, believing that his sins committed after coming to a knowledge of Christ were unforgiveable. He hoped that his struggle, as well as his ultimate rest in Christ, would be an encouragement to others who may have similar worries about becoming a Christian.

Reading a book written three hundred fifty years ago would pose some challenges because of archaic spelling and language, but listening to it read by Simon Vance eliminates or reduces most of these. The spoken word is much more intelligible, and gives a more contemporary feel to the book than you get from just reading it.

Christians should become familiar with the lives of faithful believers from times past. Bunyan’s autobiography is a rich resource giving insight not only into the events of his life, but also his thought processes and inner struggles as well. A welcome insight into the man who wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Disclosure of material connection: I received a review copy of this work from the publisher.

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