Over the years I have been encouraged to read Pilgrim’s Progress by Paul Bunyan. I purchased the book more than once, but each time, I just read a few pages of the book. Recently, someone suggested I read Pilgrim’s Progress, many times, after I explained how I didn’t feel as if I was making spiritual progress in my walk with God. The last time he suggested, he asked, “did you know Charles Spurgeon read Pilgrim’s Progress over 100 times.
Charles Spurgeon loved John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. He first read the book as a young boy, and he began his commentary on the classic with these words: “Next to the Bible, the book I value most is John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I believe I have read it through at least a hundred times. It is a volume of which I never seem to tire; and the secret of its freshness is that it is so largely compiled from the Scriptures.” As Spurgeon said elsewhere, he loved Bunyan because Bunyan bled Bible.Justin Taylor, The Gospel Coalition
I reluctantly dusted off one of my copies of Pilgrim’s Progress and began to read, figuring if Charles Spurgeon read over 100 times, I should at least read once. The version of Pilgrim’s Progress I have starts with a lengthy introduction about the author, noting how Bunyon spent time in prison twice, one time about 12 years. The historians are not exactly sure if Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progress while being in jail or not, but regardless, it seems the time in prison gave him much to read his bible.
I read the first 100 pages of Pilgrim’s Progress in print and then listened to the book in its entirety with an audio version. I now know why my friend kept encouraging me to read the book, as it has helped me wrestle with my relationship with God and understand the pitfalls of being of the world.
In January, the friend who recommended I read Pilgrim’s Progress and several other men and I will read through the book together. I’m looking forward to this journey with them. Please email me if you would like to join us. We will meet Wednesday evenings at 6:45 PM (in-person and via Zoom).