Many Christians are familiar with The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan’s (1628–1688) famous book written from a prison cell, which portrays the Christian life as one traveling from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. During Bunyan’s life, however, he produced nearly sixty books and tracts. Roger Duke and Phil Newton, with Drew Harris, trace the significant events that shaped Bunyan’s life and thought in a biographical introduction and, in thirty-one excerpts from a variety of this great man of faith’s writings, give us a glimpse of his piety, which flowed from his desire to “venture all for God.”
Roger Duke is an author and professor at several institutions of higher learning, including Union University and Baptist College of Health Sciences.
Phil Newton is senior pastor at South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee.
Drew Harris is an account executive at a national marketing communications agency and is working on a master’s of divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“These excerpts from Bunyan capture both the heart and the thought of this great seventeenth-century preacher and spiritual guide. This is condensed Bunyan, like lemonade concentrate eaten from the can. Divine sovereignty, divine mercy, effectual grace, human culpability and need—all of these move together seamlessly and in the full context of biblical truth with such charm and artlessness that the reader discovers in each reading the true power of Bunyan. Phil Newton and Roger Duke deserve our thanks for their selections and their contextualizing material in this volume.” —Tom J. Nettles, professor of historical theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“If today’s Christians know John Bunyan at all, they vaguely associate him with Pilgrim’s Progress, a book they probably admire but have never read. In ‘Venture All for God,’ Roger Duke and Phil Newton introduce Bunyan to a new generation of readers by showing the joyous, daring faith of a man whose writings mirrored his own spiritual journey. Using Bunyan’s own words, the authors trace his story from an ungodly youth to his conversion by sovereign grace to his ministry in a time of unprecedented upheaval. They show conclusively that God always has a man for the moment and a moment for the man. Put John Bunyan in jail for preaching the gospel, and he writes a book for the ages. It is all to Bunyan’s credit that he had a deep sense of his own sinfulness and God’s amazing grace. Thus he understood by experience the problems and trials modern pilgrims make as they progress toward the Celestial City. When you finish reading ‘Venture All for God,’ you are likely to say, ‘I want a faith like that.’ Bunyan would say, ‘You can have it!’ And he’s right.” — Dr. Ray Pritchard, president of Keep Believing Ministries and author of An Anchor for the Soul, The Incredible Journey of Faith, and Fire and Rain: The Wild-Hearted Faith of Elijah
“I still remember reading The Pilgrim’s Progress for the first time. I was a young Christian captivated, like so many before me, by Christian’s exciting journey to the Celestial City. All the feelings that I experienced since becoming a Christian were there, in vivid print—from the burden falling off of Christian’s back to the temptations of Vanity Fair. ‘Venture All for God’ is a wonderfully concise introduction to the Bedford tinker’s life. But it is more than that. It is also a careful introduction to the theology that fueled Bunyan’s creative genius. After reading ‘Venture All for God,’ those who have yet to devour The Pilgrim’s Progress or The Holy War or Grace Abounding will wonder what they’ve been waiting for!” — Aaron Menikoff, senior pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia
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