The Holy War

The Holy War


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Four years after John Bunyan released his instantly popular journey allegory The Pilgrim's Progress, he published The Holy War--a battle allegory and companion volume. His first book explores salvation of the individual Christian; the second portrays the battle for sanctification. While Christian struggles with questions about assurance of salvation, the collective Mansoul labors with the challenges of being led by and filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Pilgrim's Progress focuses on the individual's struggle against sin; The Holy War portrays the Church in a corporate struggle against systemic evil. Bunyan wrote that The Holy War originates in ""the same heart, and head, fingers and pen"" as The Pilgrim's Progress. Both books present separate dimensions of Bunyan's spiritual journey.

Taken together, the journey allegory and the battle allegory capture the full range and depth of the biblical message that consumed Bunyan's imagination. He credits his own salvation to these two things: The grace of God and tenacious, continual, holy warfare. The Holy War is testimony to a spiritual battle he fought, and won.

This edition provides annotations that clarify Bunyan's first edition language and message for readers in a post-Puritan world.

""Runyon's new edition of John Bunyan's neglected masterpiece The Holy War makes a spirited case for its literary and theological importance. The introduction and footnotes give readers the fullest and most up-to-date help with biblical, historical, and literary contexts.""
--Roger Pooley, Keele University and International John Bunyan Society

""In an era newly preoccupied with the oxymoronic pairing of 'holy' and 'war,' Runyon's edition offers a clarifying reminder about the interiority of Bunyan's theme . . . Based on the first edition of 1682 (including marginal notations), this is an excellent teaching text. I have already added it to my syllabus.""
--Arlette Zinck, The King's University College

""Runyon provides a useful resource for Christian devotion and discipleship in this version of John Bunyan's The Holy War, a work which explores in exquisite detail the dynamics of sanctification as a lifelong contest and probation. The framing metaphor here is a needed corrective for Bunyan's other primary metaphor of wayfaring on a generic and well-defined way.""
--U. Milo Kaufmann, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (retired)

About the Contributor(s):
John Bunyan (1628-1688) was an English Puritan pastor and prolific author of sermons, theological treatises, poems, and allegories. He is best remembered for The Pilgrim's Progress and his spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. [

Daniel V. Runyon, PhD, is Professor of English at Spring Arbor University in Michigan. He is the author of numerous books, including John Bunyan's Master Story: The Holy War as Battle Allegory in Religious and Biblical Context.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498260978
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 08/08/2012
Pages: 334
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

John Bunyan(1628–1688) was born the son of a metalworker near Bedford, England. He went on to become a famous preacher and writer and during his life penned over 2 million words, his most famous work being ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’.

Table of Contents

1. The Conquest2. Mansoul's Rebellion3. Commissioned by the King4. The Captains' Invitation5. Hindrances to Peace6. The March of Prince Emmanuel7. Proposals and Counterproposals8. Storming the Gates9. The Triumphant Entrance10. Trial of the Diabolonians11. New Appointments12. The Silent Departure13. A Diabolical Plot14. Exposing the Darkness15. The Army of Doubters16. Nocturnal Maneuvers17. Emmanuel's Message18. The King of Glory19. Prisoners of War20. A Glimpse into Paradise

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