Thursday, September 22, 2011


Last night I finished reading Young Pilgrim's Progress.

Here's my review, published at the above address.

Chris Wright's book is a revised edition of his original version, which is a retelling of Helen Taylor's Little Christian's Pilgrimage and Christiana. And these are revisions of John Bunyan's 17th century classic, Pilgrim's Progress and Christiana.

I have attempted to read the original work and have failed. But Chris Wright kept me interested and I have finished the task in a few days.

There is a lot to like about this version. I like the way that it is written in contemporary language, but not written as if it had happened last week.

The book shows that being a Christian is a lifelong project and is only possible with God's help. It shows that trusting in Christ as Saviour is the first step, but that it must continue. It shows that there are many dangers and distractions that can take us off the path and shows the importance of keeping going, or of getting back into the journey.

Wright (and presumably, Bunyan) presents prayer effectively and keeps reminding us of our need to keep in touch with our heavenly Guide.

I like the way Wright seems to use the charming old-fashioned names that Bunyan used, but also explains the words for modern readers.

After Pilgrim enters the Celestial City, you might feel that any more would be a let-down, but the second book, Christiana (which is included in this book), is well worth your time. I love the way it shows how God cares for us and adapts the journey to the needs of the individual. Everyone must enter the journey through Jesus, but our heavenly Father's compassion for those who doubt themselves or who can't believe God could love them, is winsomely conveyed through the way that the journey is different for Christiana and her fellow pilgrims.

I like the way both parts of the book show that being a Christian is both something we must do individually, whether or not others will join us, and a task best undertaken with guides and fellow travellers.

There are many retellings of Bunyan's tale and I have only read this one. I highly recommend it and hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

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