GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Christian Encounters Series: John Bunyan by Kevin Belmonte


Book Description from the Book Sneeze site:

Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience.

John Bunyan’s world was a turbulent age of regicide, civil war, and revolution. Against this backdrop emerged a man whose matchless literary gifts were burnished amidst suffering and who profoundly influenced western culture. This Christian Encounters biography presents the life story you’ve never heard—how, amidst the crucible of repeated imprisonments, civil war, and violent persecution, John Bunyan crafted The Pilgrim’s Progress, a testament unlike any other to the triumph of the human spirit.

My Opinion:

As a Christian and homeschooling parent I’m always on the look out for books that are safe for my children to read and that show great Christian character and morals. I’m glad that Thomas Nelson has put these book on the market in the form of the new series, Christian Encounters, as they are perfect for an adult or a child to read about upstanding Christians from the past but that can still be learned from today.

The book is short, 170 pages and that includes the end notes, acknowledgements, about the author and epilogue and while some may find this disappointing I thought it a great size for a short look into John Bunyan’s life. Although there are 21 chapters and we get to glimpse into the life of the man who gave us Pilgrim’s Progress . His exact date of birth is not known but he was in 1628 on November 30th and spent time in prison, a wonderful timeline in the back of the book gives more details and when they happened.

I enjoyed this book and will be using it in our school so that my children can learn about Christians who lived their faith and can be a good role model. The book is purse size and can easily travel for reading aloud times in the car while stopped at trains or in the doctor’s office. I think this is a great addition to any family’s library that wants good Christian books that focus on the person’s faith and devotion to God.

I was given a copy of this through Thomas Nelson’s Book Sneeze book review program.

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Christian Encounters Series: Jane Austen by Peter Leithart



Book description from Thomas Nelson’s website:

Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience.

Some may know Jane Austen simply as the English novelist whose books are required reading in high school and college. Perhaps it wasn’t until the BBC’s extremely successful TV miniseries of Pride and Prejudice or Emma Thompson’s film Sense and Sensibility that many became entranced. Now younger readers are flocking to Austen with a unique twist in the bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance, by Seth Grahame-Smith. In this Christian Encounters biography, fans of Jane Austen will discover the Christian faith that was in the weft and weave of her character and how it influenced her writing and her life.

My Opinion:

Whether you are an avid Jane fan or just want to know more about her then this book from the Christian Encounters series is a must read. As soon as I received the book I began reading it and it’s a quick read and a fascinating one at that! I have never read Jane Austen before, I take that back I read one page of one book that I can’t remember now which it was but I just couldn’t find myself engaged by the book. I’m not sure if because it’d been so hyped up or that that the amount of characters were hard to keep straight, whatever the reason I’m not ready to tackle some Jane Austen novels.

For a history buff, this book really provides a historical background on Miss Austen (that’s right she never married although she did have her share of suitors). This history isn’t overwhelming and actually takes on a fun aspect when put in the context surrounding Jane Austen. The author has done a wonderful job on giving readers the real Jane, not some Hollywood starlet – for instance she was a Preacher’s Kid and was a Christian all her life. We’re also introduced to many family and friends which got an ugly portrayal in a movie (I’ve never seen it but I know the truth now), this aspect makes Jane feel real and not some untouchable author, as authors seems to be nowadays.

I cannot stress enough this book is well worth reading. If you’re looking for something for you child to read as an autobiography/biography (yes it’s listed as both) or just for a relaxing read on history or your favorite author this is definitely the way to go. A fast read as well as ‘exposing’ Jane Austen’s Christian heritage will make for an inspirational and knowledgeable read. Especially good for a family read aloud – which if you’re a homeschooler, like me, this is an added bonus in the literature department.

**This book was provided to me through Thomas Nelson’s Book Sneeze program in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.**

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