Thoughts on life and Scripture...

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Bunyan's "Holy War"

We just finished listening to "The Holy War"  by John Bunyan. Since this book was a blessing to me, I want  to encourage you to read or listen to the entire book. This allegorical book was written in 1682. It is lesser known than Bunyan's more famous book, "Pilgrim's Progress." But "The Holy War" is just as rich in spiritual truth, if not more so. Both these books have more solid theology than 99% of the books in your local Christian bookstore. "The Holy War" teaches many great truths of scripture such as, the fall and corruption of man, the work of the law and the gospel, the use of the conscience, forgiveness and redemption, sanctification and glorification. This book is almost a treatise on sanctification for you will learn about the putting to death of sin, resisting temptation, and how to grow in holiness. Many more truths from the Bible are found in this book under the guise of this allegorical story, which can't all be related here.

A summary of the book is as follows: King Shaddai built a city called Mansoul in the country called Universe. All things are well and good until Diabolus shows up. By using deception, he convinces the town of Mansoul to let him in to the city so he can rule over them instead of Shaddai and his son Emmanuel. Diabolus corrupts the town of Mansoul in every possible way. When Shaddai hears of it, he sends some of his army to take the town back. While this attack does some good, the city is even more set on rebellion than before. So Emmanuel is sent with an army to take the town. This attack is successful. Diabolus is humiliated and banished from town. In a marvelous act of grace, Emmanuel pardons the town and begins to reign over them. But there is a problem, for among the natural inhabitants of Mansoul, there are Diabolonians. These are men inside Mansoul who are Diabolus' people seeking to bring Mansoul back under the bondage of Diabolus. All is well between Emmanuel and Mansoul until the people start to listen to the wicked ideas of some Diabolonians. Then Emmanuel leaves his Mansoul for a time. Diabolus hearing of Mansoul's low condition, raises an army to take back Mansoul. Poor Mansoul! She is attacked from without by Diabolus and from within by the Diabolonians. So the rest of the book records this great struggle; the ending of which I will not tell you as I hope you will find out by reading the book.

The Holy War is worth the effort to read. It is a little tedious at times and the language is old and archaic (I am an Old English Only when it comes to these books; no modern updates for me), but plod on. Digging for diamonds takes hard work, but it is worth the effort. Glorious truths are illustrated in new and fresh ways. There are countless illustrations that can be used to color your sermons, Bible lessons, and conversation. And if you ever hear me teach, you will understand all the references I make to "The Holy War" and "Pilgrim's Progress" and then I won't have to explain them. So take the time to read or listen (it is an audio book) to "The Holy War" and then read "Pilgrim's Progress" while you are on a roll.


In honor of this John Bunyan themed post, We are giving away a CD. It is called "Pilgrim's Praise" by Judy Rogers and Craig Pitman. It has a number of songs based on "Pilgrim's Progress." You can find out more about Judy Rogers at her website. If you want the CD, leave a comment below and we'll draw someone's name at random in a few days.

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