John Bunyan and the Grace of Fearing God
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John Bunyan and the Grace of Fearing God

P & R Publishing / 2016 / Paperback

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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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: P & R Publishing
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1629952044
ISBN-13: 9781629952048

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Author Bio

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 Reader’s Guide to Reformed Literature.

Editorial Reviews

"Wisdom requires it, Jesus emphasized it, the apostles encouraged it—and 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 Bunyan’s corpus and whet the reader’s appetite to plunge afresh into Bunyan’s works.”

—Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Editorial Reviews

“The deep admiration of that remarkable theologian John Owen for the ministry of his fellow Puritan John Bunyan is good reason why we today need to read and treasure Bunyan, and this new overview of Bunyan's works is a very helpful guide to that end. ⷎUsing the unifying thread of the fear of God--one in which the Puritans have much to teach us--Beeke and Smalley take the reader through the core of Bunyan's corpus and whet the appetite to plunge afresh into Bunyan's works.”
“Israelite midwives exhibited it, the psalms are full of it, wisdom requires it, Jesus emphasized it, the apostles encouraged it—and 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 proof—if any is needed—to confirm C. H. Spurgeon’s famous comment on Bunyan: ‘Prick him anywhere—his 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 Pilgrim’s 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 Bunyan’s 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 Bunyan’s vast contribution to Reformed experiential theology. This volume fills that gap by focusing on Bunyan’s understanding of the fear of God which lies at the heart of his theology. A superb achievement.”

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