Drinking Deeply

Friday, May 11, 2007 at 5:38 PM

Book Review: Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim's Progress, is an allegory of a Christian life written by John Bunyan, a puritan preacher who wrote a number of books. The book consists of two books, one of them following a character named Christian and the second following his wife and children as they journey in faith and meet a number of dangerous characters and places which are obviously named. Mr. Talkative, Fear-much, Do-Nothing, the Castle of doubting, Valley of the Shadow of Death, and so on. It's a very straightforward read and filled with various Scripture references and personal experiences, and the book I read was end-noted with explanations of a great portion of the symbolism and the like.

Personally, I greatly enjoyed the first book (focusing on Christian) a great deal. It convicted me when it brought forth characters that reminded me of myself, it challenged me to not follow in their steps, it encouraged me with all the trials that Christian faced and how he endured to the end through God's grace. There's much here that I would recommend, for younger and more mature Christians alike. The faith that the character showed in spite of all the trials and the way that he endured through it really challenged me and made me say to myself "man, I wish I had that kind of faith." Since it took on very much an auto-biographical sense, one could see the tears on John Bunyan's face as he wrote it, writing about people falling away to their own shame, people who've had to leave family and friends, who've lived a life of holy fear and were mocked for it. Just humbling.

The second book, while written in a similar style, seemed far more removed from the first. Many of the trials are easily overcome and avoided, and it seems like just a tour of Christian's achievements. This part was far less interesting, but still useful.

My Recommendation: Borrow it, and if you like it, buy it.

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Blogger ts said...

Apparently, a lot of phrases we commonly use in English today originate in Pilgrim's Progress. Vanity Fair magazine (and the novel before it) takes its name from Bunyan's story of the two pilgrim's at the fair, where they refuse the pleasures of this world. So interesting to read through Vanity Fair magazine and see what the world has to offer in form of expensive watches, clothes, political power, fame, and whatnot.  

~

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