A Comfortable Doctrine: John Bunyan's Theology of Grace

Michael Davies

in Graceful Reading

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780199242405
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602405 | DOI:
 A Comfortable Doctrine: John Bunyan's Theology of Grace

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Examines Bunyan’s soteriology as propounded in his doctrinal writings, concentrating on works in which Bunyan’s position on justification, election, antinomianism, and the role of human will in salvation are central. Bunyan’s salvatory emphasis lies less on the Calvinist doctrine of double predestination and more on salvation by grace and justification by faith, according to the Reformed tenets of his covenant theology. Bunyan’s purpose is to comfort rather than condemn anyone terrorized by the ‘law’ (i.e. by any attempt to achieve salvation by works). Two of Bunyan’s texts (A Mapp Shewing the Order and Causes of Salvation, and An Exposition on the Ten First Chapters of Genesis) are read ‘gracefully’: that is, with a revised understanding of Bunyan’s theology and as subversive of narrative expectations.

Keywords: antinomianism; Covenant theology; election; Grace; justification by faith; predestination; Soteriology; Will

Chapter.  28140 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology

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