Wednesday, 26 February 2014

More about John Bunyan: a Baptist hero

It is high time that I wrote more about John Bunyan, the great Baptist preacher and writer. (Please my post of Tuesday 4 September 2012.)

John Bunyan died before he reached 60 years of age, was a tinker, soldier and self educated theologian.  He wrote many books, some still being published and read today. In fact I obtained the complete works of John Bunyan via Kindle, which cost me just the time to download it.  I have loved reading Pilgrim's Progress, Grace Abounding, and his book on prayer, which were all available in paperback and probably still are in print. His clear, concise Anglo Saxon English is a joy to read, and he does tell such a good story.

Not only did he write quality books about the Christian life and experience of God from a Puritan perspective, but he preached by all accounts fervently and passionately.  He was not a strict Baptist or a particular Baptist; John was a general Baptist who shared the Lord's table with a wider fraternity of believers than some of his Baptist colleagues.   Of course we know that this ministry of proclaiming the Gospel and the whole counsel of God caused him suffering and grief.  John Bunyan languished in Bedford gaol for unauthorized preaching, but continued to write from his cell.

I particularly like what John Owen, the Puritan divine and highly regarded academic, said to King Charles II, the decadent Stuart monarch:

May it please your Majesty if I could possess the tinker's abilities to grip men's hearts, I would gladly give up in exchange all my learning.


Johli Baptist said...

John Owen was Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford in the 17th century. His works are still widely available in print and in many electronic forms.

Johli Baptist said...

Bunyan could really draw the crowds. People travelled for miles to hear him preach. They related to what he taught, for he scratched where they itched and he communicated clearly and concisely. Bunyan was a great communicator for his day and generation. And today will still read and admire his works.


River Stour