Friday, June 10, 2011

Booking it: A Pilgrim's Progress

I grew up reading and rereading The Little Pilgrim's Progress by Helen Taylor which, as I recall, is a fairly accurate rendition of The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan for children. So I'm familiar with the story, and it actually holds a special place in my heart. I've read Pilgrim's Progress before, but it's a classic, a Christian classic, so it's always worth another reading. I was pleased to add it to my reading list for this year when I saw that Jessica at Life as Mom had it on her "required" list.

I really, really enjoyed reading this book again. The truth it contains is timeless, and there is so much to be learned from it. I know that some people may be put off by the Old English that it was written in, but I enjoyed that part, too. Instead of reading through a passage, the difference in language made me slow down and really read, so I didn't miss anything (or much anyway).

I was put off a little bit by the long conversations between the characters, but when I thought about it some more, I saw the necessity. Bunyan uses these talks to teach his readers truth. Without these conversations, the story just becomes a journey from here to there without expounding on the whys and wherefores of the journey. I have to admit that a little more action would have been nice! On the other hand, in my real spiritual journey, those long stretches of quiet are awfully nice!!

When I finished Pilgrim's Progress, I started to reread the portion about Christiana...except that it wasn't a reread. I had thought that I had read it before, but I actually hadn't. So I was excited to dive into a new part of this book. Christiana's journey isn't as dangerous and exciting as Christian's; God takes care of widows and orphans. And Christiana's guide Great-heart fights her battles for her as any good man should do. It was fun watching her boys grow into men although it did seem to happen quickly. One minute they all seemed to be young boys, and the next minute they were getting married! I guess that's how it happens in real life, too, isn't it?

If you haven't read these two books, I recommend them. The story is interesting, and the theology is amazing. You should learn a lot by reading these books.

To see what others have to say about these books, head over to Life as Mom: Booking It with Pilgrim's Progress.

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