Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Making progress

It recently struck me that there were two books that I really needed to read. Somehow I had made it A) to age 36, B) growing up in a Christian home, and C) through seminary, without having read either John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, or C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.

How had I gotten to this point? I have no idea. I do have vague memories of having to read Mere Christianity while in high school, but I think I faked my way through it. Anyway, I am determined to rectify this problem.

Two weeks ago I ordered both books. Over the past few days I read "Pilgrim's Progress in Today's English." Some may say this is cheating because I did not battle my way through Bunyan's 17th century English. However, my point was to read and know the story, not to suffer through unfamiliar vocabulary. I suppose this would be like reading the "New Living Translation" of the bible. It might not be exactly accurate, but it is close. For me, that is not good enough for scripture, but for Pilgrim's Progress, I'll take it.

Frankly, it is kind of a relief to finally know who Christian is, where Beulah is, and what the Celestial City is. I had heard these terms all my life, and now I finally know what they refer to.

This book is a sweet allegory about the Christian walk. I'll leave the summary there because probably anyone who reads this blog has already read Pilgrim's Progress. I can see why this has been the most influential book in the English language after the Bible.

Tomorrow I will start making progress on Mere Christianity.

Are there any significant books you haven't read? Id like to know because maybe I need to add them to my "Books to be read" list. Thanks.


chandra said...

Hey Eric, I haven't read The Pilgram's Promise either. I actually checked it out of the library recently but couldn't make my way through the "old" version so I didn't finish it. Maybe I need to find a copy of it in the revised version as well!! As far as other unread books, would you believe I haven't read any C.S. Lewis books!!

Eric said...


Thanks for your comment. I would recommend "Pilgrim's Progress in Today's English". It is really a pretty easy read, and I think you would enjoy it.

As far as Lewis goes, I haven't read most of his books. My favorite of his is "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". I still love that book. If you read that one, you'll want to read the next six. Alice's favorite of that series is "The Last Battle."

Elder's Wife said...

I've got copies of "The Screwtape Letters" and "The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis, but have never gotten around to reading them in their entirety. I have read his book, "A Grief Observed", though, and would recommend that and his essays in "God in the Dock". He's a compelling thinker.

Eric said...


Thanks for the recommendations. I'm in the middle of "Mere Christianity" right now, and am really enjoying it.

I have read "Screwtape Letters." It was fascinating. My favorite of Lewis' books, however, is "The Great Divorce."

Lewis has amazing staying power. What an ability he had to take profound truths and express them in a language almost anyone can enjoy.

Thanks again, Eric