The Sojourner’s Adventure Through Pilgrim’s Progress
by CJ Lovik – Inspired by John Bunyan
A Beautiful Tribute to the Classic Work of John Bunyan!
Pilgrim’s Progress has been, until just recently, a perennial favorite among those who are followers of Jesus Christ. Bunyan’s allegorical tale has touched the hearts and minds of countless millions in the past 350 years, and it is not surprising that, second only to the Holy Scriptures, it has been the most distributed and published book of all time. When it was written in the late 17th century, England was well on the way to becoming the most biblically-literate nation in the entire world. Sadly, no longer is this the case for England or for America.
The Post Modern/Post Truth/Post Christian Age is upon us with a vengeance that can hardly be exaggerated. The biblical underpinnings of our country have all but crumbled under the unrelenting assault that has ushered in the seismic shift Christians now find themselves facing every day. Truth that only gave way by a fraction of an inch just a couple of generations ago is now disappearing with the ginned-up speed of a hurricane or tsunami. The results are clearly evident as we witness the night-fall darkening the souls of men. The once vibrant, biblical heartbeat which influenced our culture and restrained the pagans, skeptics, and unbelievers has flatlined.
John Bunyan wrote his classic allegory while suffering the consequences of his decision to ignore both King and Parliament, who took it upon themselves to regulate the Anglican Church of England, licensing only the pastors who met their approval. With that sad condition came all the other restrictive edicts which were clearly outside of Christ’s mandate to preach the true Gospel to all men. Bunyan would not bend to the tyranny of men and chose rather to obey the Lord as he preached the gospel without the permission of the state. For his obedience to God he suffered at the hands of men.
it was from a dank, moist prison cell built under a bridge in Bedford, England that Bunyan went to work, pouring out his grieving heart onto the pages of books and poems. these precious works have survived him in order that millions might be blest by the gracious grace and providence of God.
Who would have ever predicted the outcome of Bunyan’s pitiable circumstances? Who, but God, seeing the end from the beginning, chose to sequester Bunyan so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ might be glorified in ways unimaginable to humble Bunyan.
My love and respect for Bunyan and his allegorical legacy is evident in the work I was asked to produce almost a decade ago, and I am humbled by the response of Christian leaders and laity alike, who have praised the work.
The challenge I faced in writing the edited translation of Pilgrim’s Progress was to retain the voice of Bunyan, strictly adhere to the allegorical storyline, and bring clarity to the modern reader who would have trouble untangling the 17th century English metaphors and patterns of dialogue. The greatest compliment I have received for my effort in editing is that Bunyan’s original work was “lightly edited,” when in fact over 35% of his work was altered and edited without doing damage to the antiquity or character of the book.
So why write another version of Pilgrim’s Progress?
Any obvious alteration or addition to Bunion’s original work is going to be greeted with a woeful outcry from some of those that love Bunyan and are suspicious of anyone who attempts to improve on his masterpiece.
Over the years, there have been many efforts to repackage Pilgrim’s Progress in both print and film, including, most recently, a dramatized animation of the work, in an attempt to reintroduce this jewel to a new generation. The problem is that many of these new adaptions, although loosely following Buynan’s allegorical framework, are so “seeker-friendly” that the deep truths of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ are lost or discarded in exchange for whimsical entertainment. In short, these valiant attempts are sorely missing the beating heart of biblical truth, the very reason and foundation of Bunyan’s original work.
Can Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress be improved upon? To be clear I am not asking if it can be made more understandable to the English-speaking audience. This has already been accomplished. Rather, the question stands, can it be improved?
I believe the answer to this question is yes and amen! The Sojourner’s Adventure through Pilgrim’s Progress is clearly a tribute to Bunyan, as half the book is dedicated to the faithful retelling of his original work. The other half is my own original storyline, which uniquely meshes with Bunyan’s work in a way designed to captivate the reader and increase understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is accomplished using the same literary device used by Bunyan, the allegory. The purpose is to clarify, untangle when necessary, and relentlessly proclaim the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.
There have been hundreds of commentaries on The Pilgrim’s Progress. However, to my knowledge, this is the first time a work has been produced incorporating the same literary device used by Bunyan to expand on the biblical truths revealed in Pilgrim’s Progress, while staying within the boundaries and architecture of Bunyan’s original work.
I love Bunyan and have never stopped relishing the reading of Pilgrim’s Progress. The same Lord that is the inspiration of Bunyan’s work that has blessed millions, is the inspiration for this expanded version.
The Sojourner’s Adventure through Pilgrim’s Progress will never have the reach of Bunyan’s original work, but that does not dampen my joy or alter my purpose in writing this book. If even one person comes to trust in Christ as a result of this book, it will have been worth all the treasure and time I have invested in writing it.
May God bless you and the Lord draw you nearer to himself as you read this book.
If you’re trusting in Christ, my friend, then look up; our salvation is nearer than it was when we first believed!
See you in the Celestial City!
Hardback – Gift Quality