John Bunyan could be said to have authored the most influential book in the English language (other than the King James Bible) - The Pilgrim's Progress. But he has also written another dramatic allegorical novel - The Holy War.
Bunyan's plan for his readers was for them to experience the struggles of the city of Mansoul as a fierce battle rages to take control of it. However, alongside this knife-edge drama Bunyan wished his readers to understand how the struggles of their souls ran in parallel to the struggles of the wretched inhabitants of that place.
The righteous and honourable ruler Shaddai and his son Immanuel rule Mansoul with justice and equity. But the ruler of darkness - Prince Diabolus - has other plans. With his evil captains and their battalions Diabolus plots the fall and destruction of the once happy city. The first to fall is Captain Resistance as Diabolus knows that there is only one route into the city and that it can only be breached through the permission of the people of Mansoul itself. With Captain Resistance gone, the city is laid open to Diabolic lies and the next to fall is Lord Innocency and then the city is lost.
So begins a story of treachery and deceit, foolishness and pride, forgiveness and final redemption. In fact this is, as Bunyan intended it, the story of a sinner saved by the grace of God.