21 March 2014
All throughout history, the world has seen the affects of great men, who have made it their life’s goal to further the word of God. There have been pastors who travel all around their nation preaching at every church they can find. There have been pastors who have had to hold services in secret or else be imprisoned for the rest of their lives. There have been missionaries who have risked their lives to bring the gospel to the most remote places of the world. There have been astounding Christian authors, who have written some of the most compelling books to ever hit the best-seller list. However, there is a man who has taken part in all of these extraordinary tasks; a man whose entire life revolved around the Bible. Not only was he known in his hometown of Bedford, London but in all of Europe and all throughout Asia. (In fact, one of his books sold 200,000 copies in the first three days in China alone (Sadler).) This man, John Bunyan, has influenced the lives of many people all over the world. In fact, John Bunyan’s life, works, and struggles have proven to be some of the most influential in Christian history to this point; his writings have also pioneered the way for theological allegories.
John Bunyan was born November 28, 1628 in Elstow, England. There is very little known about his childhood until he joined the Parliamentary Army. His father was a tinkerer and a very poor man. John Bunyan had very little education and was thought to only amount to a tinkerer. However, when he was just a boy his mother passed away; and his father remarried only two months later. John Bunyan was so appalled by his father’s expedient remarriage that he left to go join the Parliamentary Army (Latham). There is very little known about his career as a soldier, but in his writings he speaks of military life in such a way that only a soldier would know. However, all throughout his writings there have been no indications for which side he fought.
When he returned home from the army, he became a tinkerer and was married. He and his wife had four children. Though there is no record of his wife’s name, it is speculated that her name was Mary. It was custom back then to name your first born daughter after Mother Mary. Also, his first daughter was also named Mary. Strangely enough, Bunyan’s influence to live a life of reverence came from his wife “Mary”. Her parents were very religious, and they had given her two books: Arthur Dent’s The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven and Lewis Bayly’s The Practice of Piety. Bunyan read these books and was extremely convicted due to his past life of “cursing, swearing, and blaspheming the Holy name of God” (Latham). It was not an event nor a sermon that changed this sinner’s heart, but instead it was a book; and Bunyan did not soon forget the impact of the written word. Unfortunately, Bunyan’s wife passed away leaving him with four children without a mother. John then...