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Friday, January 31, 2014

What makes "The Pilgrim's Progress" resonate?

I must have read it three times when I was growing up and what an impression it left on me. John Bunyan's classic allegory for many years was the best-selling book next only to the Bible. Even today its popularity is evidenced by the many various revisions and editions it has populated.

But why does this allegory resonate so well with people?

I think it has to do with Christian's evolution (the main character in PProgress). Through a nearly fantasy-type setting we can relate to Christian's victories and his failings. We desire the same thing he did: victory over the Evil One and Eternal Life. We must struggle with faith in a physical world populated with individuals who deny God's very existence or scoff at the necessity of repentance and a following after good works.

This book is timeless and powerful, encouraging us to be the men and women of God-granted potential.

Question: Have you read The Pilgrim's Progress? Did it inspire you?


Richard W. Daniels said...

Bunyan is one of my favorite writers and preachers, and Pilgrim's Progress one of my very favorite books. It is unparalleled. Before you were attending our church in Canterbury we went through it in our after Sunday evening service fellowship meetings, with different people reading different characters.

Writer4Christ said...

I've read it at least once, and yes it did inspire me. (:
Sad that not many people remember it anymore. I know quite a few people who have never heard of it.

Scott Appleton said...

Mr. Daniels,
Thank you for sharing that. I was not aware that Westminster did that. I have very fond memories of visiting at your house, though I must have been very young at the time I appreciated your zeal for the Lord.

I occasionally sing Psalm 19 to my children using the tune Sandy and you taught my family. Seems like such a long time ago.

The old books in the church's balcony are indelibly stamped in my mind. Someday I will probably write a book based around that old church. Perhaps a mystery story.

Scott Appleton said...

I agree. It seems I run into many people who have no clue what "The Pilgrim's Progress" is, or how it helped shape western culture.
It was an inspiring read and I still think in some ways it reads like a fantasy novel; a very powerfully allegorical fantasy novel.


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.