Monday, July 19, 2010

Review of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

Author: John Bunyan

Pages: 400 pages

Publisher: Oxford University

Price: 7.46

Genre: Classics/Christian Allegory

Quick Summary:

Certainly you have already heard of The Pilgrim’s Progress. It was written in 1678 by tinker-turned pastor-turned prisoner John Bunyan. The Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the Christian life based in part on Bunyan’s own Christian experience. It is an exciting tale that is jam packed with Scripture and biblical theology.

What I Liked:

There are many instances in which Bunyan puts a face on a dearly held Christian truth. Rather than talking about sanctification in the abstract he causes the reader to see it and feel it. He introduces vices and virtues as characters that allows us to see their true nature. To really “get” this book causes the Christian life to come alive and rather than being stale and abstract it is lively and vivid.

What I Disliked:

It’d take a prideful fool to critique a bestseller since 1678. I may be a prideful fool in certain instances but I know that if there is a “dislike” in this book it’s probably more a reflection of my own dull heart and mind than it is of Bunyan. With that being said this book was a really tough read for me. I think it has to do with the fact that I had to read it in a small window of time for one of my classes, but it is also that I do not do very well with allegory. My mind just does not work that way. It was a stretch and I almost wish I had time to read it more slowly (I intend to make time to do this) or read it with a companion.

Should You Buy It?

Absolutely. It’s a Christian classic and it is worth the labor. It is a tough read because you have to sift through the language and the allegory but it is well worth it. Be sure to read an original like the Oxford edition because many others take out the great theology that undergirds this work. It’s under ten bucks and worth the effort.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars because it’s a classic (but 4 out of 5 for my own personal enjoyment)

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