John Bunyan’s (1618-1688) The Holy War Made by King Shaddai Upon Diabolus for the Regaining of the Metropolis of the World or The Losing and Taking Again of the Town of Mansoul (1682), is a noteworthy classic to which the Christian world should give renewed attention. In the spring of 2008, we studied this treasure together as a church family, aiming to accomplish the following objectives:
- to enjoy Bunyan’s work devotionally and with heightened understanding
- to allow the details of the allegory to give insight into our salvation and spiritual warfare
- to demonstrate the strong, practical Scriptural nature of the allegory
Bunyan’s work is not merely a commentary on the Scripture, though it does shine illuminating light on Bible passages and truths. The work truly fits the description C. H. Spurgeon once offered for Bunyan’s other superb allegory entitled The Pilgrim’s Progress, "Next to the Bible, the book that I value most is John Bunyan's ‘Pilgrim's Progress’, it is the Bible in another shape."
The Holy War displays a refreshing grasp of the breadth and depth of Scripture, and Bunyan not only communicates the Scripture, but he uses the Scripture skillfully. The Holy War is essentially the teaching of the Bible regarding our salvation and subsequent growth in grace translated not only into English but into life.
We sell the Whitaker House updated version of The Holy War in our church bookstore. Also recommended is a wonderful re-telling of the story by Ethel Barrett in The War for Mansoul.
Free Online Editions
Downloadable study guides are available here.