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He was the author of one of the best-selling Christian books of all time and his Bible-saturated works have inspired generations of believers all over the world. And yet, as influential as it is, John Bunyan's theology contains a unifying thread that is sorely neglected in the modern church: the vital importance of the fear of God.
Few things are more feared in contemporary Christianity than the fear of God, as many believe it to be at odds with belief in a God of love. Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley's John Bunyan and the Grace of Fearing God guides readers through Bunyan's life, delving to the core of his writings to illuminate the true grace of fearing God. Beeke and Smalley demonstrate through this biographical exploration how the only freedom from a guilty fear of God's wrath is in a joyful, childlike fear of his holiness.
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: P & R Publishing
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
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Paul M. Smalley is a teaching assistant to Dr. Beeke at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and a bivocational pastor at Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Joel R. Beeke (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, where he also serves as professor of systematic theology and homiletics. He is a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the author of several books, including Truth That Frees, The Quest for Full Assurance, and A Readers Guide to Reformed Literature.
"Wisdom requires it, Jesus emphasized it, the apostles encouraged itand yet few things are more feared in contemporary Christianity than . . . the fear of God. This timely book . . . shows how the fear of God was, in contrast, the heartbeat of one of the most loved and admired of all Christians."
—Sinclair B. Ferguson, Dean of the Doctor of Ministry program, Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies
We today need to read and treasure Bunyan. . . . Beeke and Smalley take the reader through the core of Bunyans corpus and whet the readers appetite to plunge afresh into Bunyans works.
—Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Israelite midwives exhibited it, the psalms are full of it, wisdom requires it, Jesus emphasized it, the apostles encouraged itand yet few things are more feared in contemporary Christianity than . . . the fear of God. In this timely book, Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley show how, in contrast, it was the heartbeat of John Bunyan, one of the most loved and admired of all Christians, and the author of the all-time best selling Christian book. Here is proofif any is neededto confirm C. H. Spurgeons famous comment on Bunyan: Prick him anywherehis blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. Read these pages and you will learn the truth that: They love thee little, if at all, Who do not fear thee much; If love is thine attraction, Lord, Fear is thy very touch.
We have come to expect fine introductions to the Puritans from Joel Beeke, and this book does not disappoint. Here we get to see both the life and heart of John Bunyan, and through them we enjoy a rich, sensitive, and well-applied exposition of an important and much-neglected theme: the fear of the Lord. May God use this book to stir up a new generation of Bunyans who fear God and not man.
John Bunyan deserves to be known for more than authoring The Pilgrims Progress and Holy War. He wrote, after all, more than sixty volumes. His lack of a formal education may have added to the suspicion that he does not rank among the greatest theologians, but this is a grave mistake. Erudite studies of Bunyan exist that demonstrate Bunyans wide knowledge and expertise in some of the most controversial theological topics. But we are in need of an accessible summary of the man and his writings that demonstrates Bunyans vast contribution to Reformed experiential theology. This volume fills that gap by focusing on Bunyans understanding of the fear of God which lies at the heart of his theology. A superb achievement.