John Bunyan’s extraordinary spiritual autobiography
In an age when religious radicalism was regarded as socially subversive, Bunyan’s Grace Abounding describes the spiritual regeneration of one who came from ‘that rank that is meanest and most despised’. God and Satan are the chief protagonists in Bunyan’s drama: they exist not as theological concepts but as terrifyingly immediate adversaries in the competition for Bunyan’s soul. ‘What care I,’ says Satan to Bunyan, ‘though I be seven years in chilling your heart, if I can do it at last?’ Bunyan finds his spiritual defences not so much in God as in the Bible, and Grace Abounding charts his passionate and imaginative involvement with this ultimate source of spiritual wisdom.
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John Bunyan was born in 1628. In 1644 he was caught up in the Civil War and drafted into the Parliamentary army. Four years later he entered a period of intense spiritual struggle (chronicled in Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners),… More about John Bunyan