Wednesday, December 20, 2006

'Bunyan Characters in Pilgrim's Progress'

We feel strongly about this book. Our own copy is in two small, beautifully bound red volumes with gold lettering. It was our first introduction to Alexander Whyte, and we feel that it is one of his best works. These lectures (sermons, really) on the characters from Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress' seem to have brought out the best in Whyte. Alexander Whyte had a vivid imagination, and sometimes in his 'Bible Characters' he goes beyond the limits of the Scriptures. Working with the products of another man's sanctified imagination, however, he is in his element.
Whyte was a lover of the Puritans and of experimental preaching. Unless a sermon or a book was full of rich Christian experience, he would not touch it. Yet he was also a staunch Calvinist. These two elements, the experimental and the doctrinal, we feel to be central to Christianity. That is why true Calvinism is so powerful, it is rich experience with a firm foundation. Why were there 'giants in those days' of the seventeenth century? The Puritans grew tall because their roots were deep. We believe Bunyan to be not one whit behind the greatest of the Puritans, and Whyte's book wil enhance your enjoyment of the Pilgrim's Progress. Especially if you are teaching the Pilgrim's Progress in a Bible Class or Sunday School, you will find this book to be of first importance.
Whyte's sparkling imagination and verbal imagery are something lacking in too much modern Reformed preaching. It is our opinion that few modern Reformed preachers would be guilty of falling into imaginitive extravagance in their sermons, and therefore we would recommend this book to all.We applaud Tentmaker Publications for making this gem of Victorian Christian literature available once again. If you can, buy one for your pastor.

'Bunyan Characters in Pilgrim's Progress' by Alexander Whyte is published by Tentmaker Publications. The binding is hardcover and it costs £15.95
Whyte wrote two other Bunyan volumes, one on 'The Holy War' and one on Bunyan himself as revealed in 'Grace Abounding'. We value these books as pure gold, and recommend that you read them if you can. Neither book has been republished.



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