Booktober 4th: “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan

[This is Day 4 of #Booktober! Stay tuned for more recommendations!]

What It Is: An allegory of the Christian life, written in two parts by the Puritan great John Bunyan, while in prison for preaching according to his convictions.

Why You Should Read It: This is still the second highest-selling book of all time, behind the Bible, and for good reason. Bunyan’s tale of “Christian,” a pilgrim travelling from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City of Zion, has been a touchstone for Christian readers for three and a half centuries. While its critics point out that the book is too didactic and the narrative and characterization are too thin, I think they’re missing the point that it’s supposed to be a teaching tool. Bunyan was a pastor, not a novelist. Yet there is still something charming and heartwarming about following Christian through his many dangers and mistakes as he travels toward the city of his King. And don’t miss reading Part 2, in which his wife and children follow in his footsteps and meet different trials of their own. If you’re a Christian and you’ve never read this book, I can’t recommend it enough. It would do your soul some good to read a novel that’s so richly Biblical.

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