December 16th, 2009
Bunyan, John, edited by C.J. Lovik. Illustrated by Mike Wimmer. The Pilgrim’s Progress. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009. 240 pp. $24.99. Purchase at Westminster Books.
What more can be said about The Pilgrim’s Progress than has already been said? Truth be told, I would be spinning my wheels to heap praises on this timeless allegorical portrayal of the Christian life. Did you know, though, that The Pilgrim’s Progress is actually the #2 selling book of all time? Bet you can’t figure out which book is #1.
At any rate, the question should be running through your mind, “Why do we need another edition of The Pilgrim’s Progress?” Glad you asked! This particular edition has been meticulously updated and modernized in the areas that were needed. In other words, the entire book has not been updated. Only the antiquated metaphors and some of the allegorical phrases that are lost on modern readers today have been updated.
The end notes are extremely helpful in explaining what is being shared by Bunyan without interfering with the flow of the story. These can be read before or after reading a particular chapter though I would recommend that they not be read while reading the chapter unless you are greatly confused. Lovik, the editor, achieves his goal of maintaining the integrity of Bunyan’s writing while updating the language for the modern reader to understand (without the use of a 1600’s dictionary!) what is being said.
The beauty of this particular edition of The Pilgrim’s Progress is the illustrative work by Mike Wimmer. The colorful pictures will keep your children engaged as you read aloud the travels of Christian on his way to the Celestial City.
Reading this particular edition will be, for the many who have read The Pilgrim’s Progress, as though they are reading it for the first time. The reader will stop frequently and say something like, “Oh, that is what that means!” or “I never saw that before!” I pray that this edition would bring back the grandeur of Bunyan’s imagination.
For those interested in introducing The Pilgrim’s Progress I highly recommend the DVD to the right entitled Pilgrim’s Progress: Journey to Heaven. I have shown it to my children (5 and younger) and to the children at my church where I currently serve as the Children’s Minister. While they remove much from the book to adapt it to the movie, it certainly piqued the curiosity of many of the kids to the point that they wanted to read the book for themselves. It has become one of my own children’s favorite movies.