John Bunyan famously records his own spiritual autobiography under the title borrowed from the Apostle Paul 'Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners', published in 1666. The shape of his tortuous testimony is most clearly reflected in Faithful's account of his conversion in The Pilgrim's Progress Part 1. Inevitably colored by retrospective motivations, autobiographies are necessarily selective and rhetorically charged - how could they be otherwise? The same is true of biographies too. I may come around to Grace Abounding later, but in the spirit of connecting with reception of Bunyan and his most famous work, I will be blogging about biographies of Bunyan, some by dedicated Bunyan scholars, or professional historians, others by popular professional biographers, pastors, and fans. All portray Bunyan's life and the possible and maybe inevitable blurring of history fact fiction and compelling story-telling reconstruction will make for interesting observation. Add to that the fact that biographies of Christians by Christians will often aim to see God glorified in the life of the subject, and you still then have a range of approaches, from wart-and-all to hagiography (writing the life of a saint, normally understood, unfairly in part,
to be a spiritual puff piece).