Book Title: The Pilgrim’s Progress
Author: John Bunyan
First Published: 1678
Talk about an old book that still speaks to countless lives today, talk about The Pilgrim’s Progress. It will be a difficult if not impossible task for me to write a good review on this masterpiece in these few words, so I have simply chosen to share a little of what I learnt hoping you will rush off to the bookstore because this review is far less than a tip of an ice berg.
John Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress while in prison as an allegory and it has been regarded as one of the most significant works of English Literature. It is one of the few books that have never been out of print…wow!
This beautiful book tells the story of Christian (symbolizing you and I), a pilgrim laden with sin and in need of deliverance begins his search for the celestial city (the city of God). He leaves his town, the city of destruction (this world) after he meets Evangelist who directs him to the shinning light.
The road as we can relate is the roughest of all with so many dangers, distractions and pitfalls, yet he is determined to continue on his journey even when in despair. He meets a lot of people on the way, pilgrims and tempters alike who have large chunks of lessons to teach us as we travel this road.
This lovely book carefully illustrates how God does not leave the Christian without guide or hope but comes right in at every step of the way to guide and instruct. God strategically placed victuals along the road to sustain the pilgrim all through his journey, but he must be careful not to fall into the wiles of the enemy.
Every name is symbolic; whether it is vanity fair, giant despair, pliable, obstinate, slough of despond, hill of difficulty, faithful, hopeful or apollyon, each plays a role depicted by their names.
Christian finally makes it beyond the river and his family have to find their way into the celestial city as well.
This book is a must read for every Christian, and should be read again and again after some months or years… Yes, I am serious.
One important truth I love in this book is that it emphasizes that Jesus is the only way to God; Christian couldn’t get to the celestial city without passing through the cross. So many people are hoping to follow any means to get to God; they say the end justifies the means. Well, once again; Jesus is the only way to God.
I remember while seeing the movie of the book, one of the most troubling scenes was when Christian fell into the hands of the giant despair, I was in despair my self. We have all been there at one point or the other, but thank God that even when it seems our strength is gone, he rushes in with his power and might to rescue us and set us on the right path.
Whether you are a vibrant, firing Christian soaring on your way to the celestial city or you are a weary pilgrim tearfully walking through the thorns and thistles on your way and needing strength and comfort; you will find huge doses in this book as the Holy Spirit shines his light.
I don’t want to write a long post joor; it won’t even suffice but if you have not read the book, I beg you; please do asap. And if you have, I think you should read it again, or if you are book-phobia, grab the movie already. There couldn’t be a better time.
It’s truths are timeless.
I would really love to share in your lessons too and hear how the book blessed your life.
Cheers to the weekend!
PS: Just last week, I came across a short story titled “The Celestial Railroad” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, it’s a kinda sequel to the Pilgrim’s Progress written to address our modern day “civilized” Christianity. Don’t be scared; it’s very short and I find it timely. Here’s the link: http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Tracts/Tracts/TCR.pdf