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Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Author John Bunyan
Narrator Simon Vance
Runtime 4 Hrs. - Unabridged
Publisher christianaudio
Downloads ZIP M4B MP3
Release Date November 1, 2013
Availability: Unrestricted (available worldwide)

In Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, John Bunyan recounts his inner thoughts as he grappled with his faith. Bunyan takes us through the struggle of his own sin and how grace led him from a conflicted conscience to a powerful preacher of the gospel.  Modern readers will find encouragement in Bunyan’s remedies for his own troubled conscience, as well as hope that God has used so greatly a man who struggled so deeply.

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In Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, John Bunyan recounts his inner thoughts as he grappled with his faith. Bunyan takes us through the struggle of his own sin and how grace led him from a conflicted conscience to a powerful preacher of the gospel.  Modern readers will find encouragement in Bunyan’s remedies for his own troubled conscience, as well as hope that God has used so greatly a man who struggled so deeply.

Customer Reviews

7 Reviews Add Review
A highly personal spiritual memoir
John Bunyan is best known for The Pilgrim’s Progress, the most famous of all Christian allegories. Kipling called him “the father of the novel.” But not as many people are aware of Bunyan the renegade preacher; imprisoned for sermonizing outside of sanctioned Church of England buildings and without approved Church of England materials (namely, the Book of Common Prayer). Bunyan’s post-Reformation England was an age of civil war, vengeful kings (and queens), religious oppression, and fear. A group of puritans had fled England for the religious freedom of the American colonies less than a decade before Bunyan’s birth.

This is the backdrop of Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, John Bunyan’s brief autobiography. There is hardly any commentary on the volatile political climate, and very little time spent describing his imprisonments and preaching career. Most of the book is concerned with his internal agonizing over the nature of grace and his own persistent sin.

He struggles and struggles and struggles. By the time he finally finds relief in the Scriptures, I was relieved along with him. Bunyan was one tortured guy, despite his external ministry success. His oppressive guilt and temptations could well have been demonic or related to a mental illness of some kind. Yes, this is a Christian classic, but it is also a deeply personal spiritual memoir,

Bunyan had an amazing knowledge of the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. Many of his spiritual breakthroughs came when he was meditating on Scripture, but not necessarily reading it. God would bring a certain scripture to his mind when he needed it. What a humbling picture of a true man of the Word! For Bunyan, every problem or challenge he faced was a theological one.

This is a great book. I particularly liked the last third of the book in which Bunyan discusses his preaching endeavors and imprisonment. His preaching was an overflow of his excitement for the Word, and he describes it as an almost involuntary reaction to his own study and application. He just HAD to preach the Word; he couldn’t help it even if he tried.

Despite its short length, Grace Abounding is not a particularly approachable book due to Bunyan’s complex Elizabethan English. Simon Vance, an Englishman, does a great job with the audio version narration, and I highly recommend this book for its theological, biographical, and historical value.

Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 9/25/2014)
Very Encouraging
I received this audiobook for the purpose of writing a review.

Narrator Thoughts: His voice was perfect for this role. Steady, yet full of emotion. As I listen he made the book come to life. Almost as if the real John Bunyan had invited me into his living room and was sharing this with me. I enjoyed it very much.

Book Thoughts: This was such an encouraging book for me. I've struggled with doubts of my salvation and fears about being close to God. To know that even those that are considered leaders in the church, have struggled and overcome fears, doubts, and attacks of the evil one.
In this book, Bunyan express his heart and struggle. He opens up about his deep inner thoughts and how God calmed him and gave him peace. He takes the reader on the journey of healing that God brought about in his life. It's an encouraging and refreshing book.
I liked one expression he would us in from time to time. "God dropped a thought in my head."
The only thing that was a slight drawback was that in was still in it's old english. I had to pay attention sometimes to understand what he was saying. But it did give me a good feel for the author and the times in which he lived.

If you would like a copy of this audiobook check out Christian Audio or Amazon
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 1/18/2014)
How can I critique a spiritual giant?
Writing a critique of John Bunyan is akin to questioning Job on his view of suffering. This man is a spiritual giant and wrote a book that has become a classic, a book I grew up with. (That will not be the case with many writers today whose words will die with them.)

In Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, Bunyan writes of his life before Christ, his conversion and his suffering for his faith.

I found it interesting that the section on his imprisonment is quite short. If he were writing today we would expect his imprisonment to be the keynote of the book.

The longest section of the book, which was about an hour or recorded time, was about his conversion. I admit it was painful for me to hear. For years it seems Bunyan was vexed over his spiritual state. He had doubts about his conversion or whether he could even be saved.

I found myself saying "Get over it. Move on" and wondering if he had healthy biblical teaching, had a psychological problem or if I was missing something. I found myself leaning towards my own lack of appreciation for the grace of God.

The book was well read by Simon Vance and his reading took me to Bunyan's time. It would not have been the same if it had been read with an American accent.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 12/9/2013)
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