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I was the first in a South African family of nine boys, and thus was expected to be a perfect example to my brothers. That is one reason why the Bible was the first book to make an impact upon my childhood days. Devotions every morning and evening were the strict rule of life, and so before I was twelve years old, I had read the Bible through around the table.

At age twelve, I had a profound encounter with Jesus as my Savior. From then on, I wanted to be like him. His earthly father, like mine, was a carpenter. But mine was also a reader, and in his bookshelf I soon found Pilgrim's Progress. Here in simple story language were the truths of the Bible. They rooted my life more firmly in the Word of God.

In later years, when more and more problems appeared, I found Bunyan's Holy War a great help. His writings so impressed me that I often wondered whether one would have to go to prison in order to write such wonderful books.

One such problem arose when my parents, because of their interest in ...

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From Issue:Spring 1983: The Sermon
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