This book is probably one of the most important books to read, aside from the Bible. After I repented and placed my trust in Christ in 2005, I landed upon the web-version of this book and read it from start to finish. It really explains the life of a Christian and has often been called “the dangerous journey”:
So much can be said about this book, but I will only give 10 points that I found excellent for time’s sake.
#1. It rightly establishes from the start that every part of this allegory originates from a teaching in scripture.
#2. It gives an understanding that a Christian’s conversion to Jesus starts off as a “fleeing from the wrath that’s to come”, just like the pilgrim’s fleeing from the city of destruction.
#3. It establishes that a Christian before conversion has a conscience that is “heavily burdened” from the beginning. Knowing that he has violated the very Law that God established in his heart.
#4. The nature of True/False conversion as evidenced from the slough of despond.
#5. The spiritual warfare that ensues all the time, especially toward those that move toward Jesus, i.e. the fiery darts, apolyon.
#6.The fallacy of a works-based life as evidenced by “Mt. Sinai” and the prompting of shady fellows (Mr. Legality and others).
#7. The Giant Despair and his doubting castle is just like the inner turmoil that can take place in a Christian’s life when a believer trusts in works vs faith.
#8. The reality of persecution that comes from the world (vanity fair) because of faithful living for Christ.
#9. Characters like Hopeful and Faithful recount that other believers are going through similar journeys as well.
#10. The life of a Christian is defined as an uphill battle through the “valley of the shadow of death”, but God gives the believer tools (scroll, sword, Armor) that must be a constant companion for the Christian.
I had so many more things come to mind while recounting this book, but don’t take my word for it only, go read this “5 book” book yourself. If you are a believer, you will be amazed at how well John Bunyan nails it.