Kevin Belmonte, wrote the book John Bunyan (Christian Encounters) ISBN 978-1-5955-5304-1. It was published in 2010 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. A biographical sketch about the life of the famed author John Bunyan. I loved Kevin's style of writing and the time line that was included in the appendix was very interesting to read. I have already checked out some of the books given in the bibliography page. Also there are extensive notes given for each chapter for those who like more information, don't worry about the small size of the book (although for this busy mama it was so cool that it fit in my purse so I could read on the go) it is jam packed with interesting facts and details about John Bunyan's life.
Having to write a paper on a classical text of English literature in his Senior year in high school Kevin learned how much of an influence Bunyan's book The Pilgrims Progress had on those who have read it. From the common man to Presidents, the book leaves it's mark on those who read it. But What about the man who wrote it? How and Why did the book come to be and how did it affect John Bunyan?
The book starts with John Bunyan's birth and moves fairly quickly through his formative years. The backdrop for his childhood showed many influences into the setting for scenes in "The Pilgrim's Progress" From the country side that Pilgrim fled, to Vanity Fair. Kevin is a writer that transports you into what he is writing about. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions that he gave through out the book.
Kevin takes you through the trials that faced Bunyan in his early adulthood. From his widowhood, to the challenges of raising a blind daughter. He explores Bunyan's human side and Bunyan's quest for peace that only the Lord Jesus could bring. There where many references to Bunyan's book "Grace Abounding" and Kevin explores Bunyan's conversion in depth.
To read of John's trials while trying to preach the gospel gives new light to the imprisonment of Pilgrim. And the enduring love of his wife was a wonderful example of unconditional love.
One thing I really enjoyed was the wonderful use of vocabulary. I really enjoyed stumbling upon a new word and being able to add it to my vocabulary. I love books that do that!
All in all it was a wonderful read. I enjoyed learning more of the background that has brought us the classic "The Pilgrim's Progress"
Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.