Book Review: Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Or Brief Faithful Relation Exceeding Mercy God Christ his Poor Servant John

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Most people know John Bunyan as the author of ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’, who has had the second most influential book in Christendom. Bunyan spent time in prison for refusing to preach; he wrote extensively and fought in the English civil war. ‘Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners’ is Bunyan’s auto-biography, he tells of how in his early years he enjoyed his sin so much to come to God and lived like an atheist.

Privately he struggled with terrible dreams, but to everyone else he appeared to love his life of sin, and seemed to have everything together. Bunyan nearly died a number of times, yet even after this he did respond to God’s call. Later he married, this served to make him more externally religious, he became a professional hypocrite, living good on the outside, yet still doing totally as he pleased. One day after he had been at church, he went to relax with some sport and his friends, while there he heard a voice say, “Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to heaven, or have thy sins and go to hell?” John saw this as God’s anger on him, this resulted in a sinking into despair, desperation and turmoil; he was striving to save himself, trying to earn God’s favour. Bunyan explains his struggle with temptations and doubt for years. It is such a blessing to see one of the most used men by God, and realize that he also struggled with many sins, and inner turmoil as God used worked in His life to draw him to Himself. We read how Bunyan reasoned his way around things, made excuses, and attempted to justify himself. Bunyan exposes himself, is very open and vulnerable, he shares everything about his wrestling with being a confident sinner to a religious hypocrite till his final conversion. One of the most helpful aspects of this book is how Bunyan shares that after his conversion he struggled for long to find assurance of Salvation, and finally came to it by prayer and Bible reading.

This book will fulfil what the title suggests, you will see how God’s grace can abound to a wicked sinner and instead of abounding in evil one can swim in an ocean of God’s grace.

  2 comments for “Book Review: Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

  1. March 4, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Old dead guys rock. I’ve been meaning to pick this one up for a while.

    I’ve just downloaded the audio book for free from and will begin listening to it on the way home.

    How’s things going with the plant?

    • tyrellh
      March 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      Hey Mark. Good job with that audio link, I’ll check it out. he plant is going well, just did a report back at Bracken last night. How things that side, missed you at the fraternal last week

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