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Book Name: The Pilgrim's Progress (World's Classics)

Author: John Bunyan

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Overall Rating: (4/5) View all reviews (total 10 reviews)

"I like it, and my students like it. The notes will tell them what they need to know."--Gail McGrew Eifrig,Valparaiso University


For All the Sojourners

by Bethany McKinney

This book is essential reading for any Christian who wants to "fight the good fight" and to finish the race well. The excellent thing about this book is that it helps to give the big picture of life and what small events that happen in life can mean in the scheme of things. The first book is about about a man named Christian (you can see that the allegory isn't too hard to understand) and the things that happen to him after he starts on the journey on the road that leads to Heaven. We see how with each step and misstep along the way Christian has the option of continuing on the road to Heaven or giving up, and that helps us readers to realize that the same thing is true in our own lives. Another thing I really like about this book is how even when Christian totally goes off the path and in the wrong direction, God extends grace to him and he is able to return once again to the road to Heaven. The second book is about Christian's wife and family, and is also worth a read. One thing to note though, unless you are extremely comfortable reading old English (which I am not), it would be a good idea to get the modern language version instead of the original; because I read the original and there were several times when I thought about how I probably would prefer a more readable, modern translation. But whichever version you choose, make sure you read this book. It will help you to thoughtfully consider the here and now and also your final destination.

Still a Classic After All These Years

by Big D

Well worth the short time it takes to read it. Had heard of this book all my life, but had never read it. Now I know what I was missing. Not that there is anything new here in terms of faith or theology--there's not. But the manner in which this story is told is entertaining and captivating, still, after all these years. Truths we have been taught and learned through our life's experience are here, all told in a most entertaining and enlightening way. It makes one smile, laugh and, at times, touches one's heart. If it is your first time to read it or your first time in a long time, it's well worth the read. Well worth it. We're all pilgrims and we are all traveling through a foreign land...

Free SF Reader

by Blue Tyson "- Research Finished"

You could possibly write something more boring than this, but you would have to try really, really, really hard. Subtlety and sledgehammer are certainly two words you could string together in a sentence when describing how this comes across when slogging through it. Definitely in that order, as well.

The Christian Walk

by Joshua V. Schneider

In this classic work, John Bunyan paints a detailed picture of the Christian life/walk, giving true-to-life insights and experiences. The despair, sorrows, trials and temptations that a believer may face are depicted in an allegorical manner, as well as the hope, joy, and salvation found in Jesus Christ. The main character Christian (once named Graceless) sets out on a lifelong journey from the City of Destruction, where his family disowned him, and encounters many persons and difficulties along the way to the Celestial City (heaven). The characters he meets are given names that reflect their mindset or what temptation they bring. At times he stumbles and at times he perseveres, but all by the grace of God. The second portion of the book tells of the conversion and subsequent sojourn of the wife (Christiana) and children of Christian. The discussions of Christian in the first part and Christiana and her companions in the second part are very interesting, as they defend their faith and explain their purpose to those they meet along the way. The book is quite different from your ordinary novel, and has many interesting words of wisdom for the Christian life. Readers should be aware that some of the language is antiquated and has unfamiliar usages, so its a little bit of an adjustment to read.


by Mark Nenadov "arm-chair reader"

This book is a true classic. John Bunyan spins a wonderful tale of the spiritual walk to heaven. The language may be a bit hard and it won't be that easy of a read, but it is definately worth the while!It is spiritually edifying and also quite captivating.A must read!!!

underread classic

by Orrin C. Judd "brothersjudddotcom"

As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept, and trembled; and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, "What shall I do?"In this plight, therefore, he went home and refrained himself as long as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased. Wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and children; and thus he began to talk to them: "O my dear wife, said he, and you the children of my bowels, I, your dear friend, am in myself undone by reason of a burden that lieth hard upon me; moreover, I am for certain informed that this our city will be burned with fire from heaven; in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with thee my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin, except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape can be found, whereby we may be delivered." -John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's ProgressPilgrim's Progress, though hardly anyone reads it anymore, is one of the best-selling books of all time and was enormously influential for several centuries; in fact, we are still living under its influence. However, like Dante's Inferno, it has passed out of favor in recent years, not because of its pedantry and antiquated style, but because much of its message is simply too harsh for the tenor of our times.The narrator relates an allegorical dream in which Christian, having received knowledge that his city is to be destroyed by heavenly fire, leaves his wife and children and sets out on a quest for salvation which takes him to the Celestial City. In the Second Book, his wife, Christiana, and the kids follow. In their travels, they must pass through such places as The Valley of Humiliation and Death, the Slough of Despond, and Vanity Fair, and must resist the blandishments of folks like Ignorance and Hypocrisy. Ultimately, all of the pilgrims do make it and enter through the gates of the City, saved by their unbroken faith.It's easy to see why the story was so popular. First, it's an exciting tale of adventure; one reviewer aptly refers to Christian as a Protestant Indiana Jones. Second, it is triumphant, with Christian overcoming all the odds to arrive in the Celestial City, nor is there ever any real doubt that he is going to succeed. Bunyan, who had become a Baptist preacher after a lifetime of tormenting dreams and struggles with doubt, wrote the story (and an autobiography) during two periods of imprisonment, one lasting twelve years, for holding services that were not in accordance with the teachings of the Church of England. Especially in light of the author's circumstances, he expresses a bold certainty that Christian's path is in fact the path to Heaven.But it's here that we see why the book is no longer popular. Start with the idea that God's judgment is coming and that most of us face the fire this time. Then add in the concept that Christian's are embattled by temptation and the sinners around them, and that many will succumb. Top it all off with the notion that it is only by following in the Pilgrim's footsteps that you can attain salvation, that everyone else is doomed to Hell. These aren't exactly the humanistic, inclusive, permissive doctrines which inform modernity are they ?But there's one crucial tenet of Nonconformist Protestantism which Pilgrim's Progress captures and which is both the religion's greatest gift and worst legacy to modern times : the primacy of the individual. John Bunyan experienced the struggle for faith as an intensely personal battle and his protagonist, Christian, likewise makes his pilgrimage alone. It shocks our sensibilities for him to abandon his family and friends to their fiery fate, but such is his desire for "eternal life" that abandon them he does. Here lies the two-edged sword of the radical Protestantism of the 16th and 17th centuries, for if it is true (and I think it is) that this emphasis on the individual in religious matters also spread to economic and political matters and brought about the concurrent rise of protestantism, democracy and capitalism, it is also true that this emphasis on the individual, if unchecked by morality, ethics and institutions, leads to the complete atomization of society and a cult of selfishness which undermines the very free society that it creates. Personal freedom has been the greatest engine of progress that mankind has ever known, and it has been generated in large part by the Protestantism of which Bunyan was a part; but that same freedom, if torn loose from the laws, responsibilities and moral precepts out of which it grew, becomes mere license. The individual, though paramount, is not sufficient. Freedom, though vital, is not everything. In particular, extreme individualism and liberty are inadequate ideals around which to build a civil society.Christian's pilgrimage conveys the message that faith is the most important quality we bring to our approach towards God. As theology, this doctrine of "salvation through faith alone" is harmless enough, and for all we know it is absolutely correct. But in organizing Man's affairs here on Earth, we have to emphasize works as well as faith--works which manifest themselves in following the law, accepting one's responsibilities to one's fellow men, and behaving morally. Otherwise, come Judgment Day, God won't have to smite us with heavenly fire, we'll have destroyed ourselves already.Bunyan's book, besides being a rousing adventure tale, should be read both because of the influence it has exerted in shaping the modern world and because the issues it raises, of individualism and the like, are still just as important today, when they have gone to far, as they were when he was writing, and they had not come far enough. It is a brilliant, though flawed, work, one who's impact on English Literature and Western Culture can not be overstated.GRADE : A-


by Owen Sage "Roy Huff"

Here is another classic. Probably one of the greatest metaphorical works of all time. This book has excellent universal concepts that transcend religion. Definitely worth the read if you have the time.


by S. Stockdale "Steve-o"

Good, a fine story of my life or yours. I saw my life in there sometimes, you might see yours as well. It really helps if you know the scriptures.

Pretty much THE classic work on the Christian life

by The Actor

This is a brilliant work on the Christian life. Historically, it has been the second-best-selling book of ALL TIME, right after the Bible itself. I'd say its status is well-deserved; it is pretty much THE classic work on the Christian life.As fiction, this work is thoroughly engrossing. While many books will not "age" well, this classic is timeless. It has truly stood the test of time. It is very fun to read, and the old English is not hard to get past.This is great theology too. It belongs on the bookshelf of every Christian.

A remarkable look back

by wiredweird "wiredweird"

I can't pretend to understand the historical milieu from which this book arose, or the theological underpinnings that led to its writing. Instead, I come to the book as a modern and secular reader, trying to learn more about Western thought and literary tradition. Despite its archaic language and sometimes tedious preaching, I found my time well rewarded. The familiar aspects showed me as much as the unfamiliar ones did.Among the unfamiliar ones, I was struck by the pervasiveness of the religious sense in Bunyan's world. Seemingly ever action was seen in terms defined by religion. It almost appeared as the sole source of light in that world, without which nothing could really be seen, and tinting everything with its own color. Likewise, the literary tool of "morality play" naming sounded odd to my modern ear. Writers still use names in many ways, but characters names like Hope, Atheist, or Mr. Money-Love come across as heavy handed. Perhaps that mechanism helped in a semi-literate society, where subtlety of reading could not be counted on; perhaps it acted as a short-hand, invoking values shared consensually across a fairly homogeneous society.More familiar aspects of the storytelling also struck me, possibly because of their contrast to the ones no longer used in modern writing. Christian's journey, for example, has been copied repeatedly and in many variations by writers ever since. Not just allegory for seeking, it provides a natural way to expose the protagonist to a series of other characters and challenges, and foreshadows some destination for the story. The "journey" has been refined over the years since Bunyan and rarely takes such a central spot in more recent texts, but I enjoyed seeing it in this relatively pure and primitive form.In itself, 'The Pilgrim's Progress' holds only slight interest for me. As an historical document, reflecting the religious sense of its time, and as an ancestor of modern writing, I found it fascinating.-- wiredweird

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