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There is little argument that no book, outside of the Bible, has had more impact on Christians throughout the last 400 hundred years than Bunyan’s classic The Pilgrim’s Progress. It is a clear and instructive narrative of so much of the Christian experience of being drawn to Christ, preserved by grace, and delivered into his presence.  In my own life I have anchored various moments in Bunyan’s imagery, whether the slough of despond or Mr Wordly Wiseman or our friend Goodwill at the Sheep Gate.  The book is just a literary and spiritual jewel.

But…there has often been a problem for me in personally getting all that I can get out of it and sharing it with my family.  I have often felt like I had to do a lot of extra reading (commentaries) and personal paraphrasing in order to explain the details to my kids (ranging from 4 mos to 14 yrs).

Thankfully the good folks at Crossway publishing have given folks like me a hand.  They have published this deluxe hardback edition filled with all kinds of helps to make things easier for us.  There are Scripture references at the bottom 0f each page to indicate the passages that correlate to narrative.  There is also a comprehensive commentary in the back of the book to further explain various passages.  This is not just a few but dozens of explanations of passages that may be hard to understand at first.

Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, C.J. Lovik has done a fantastic job updating the language for modern readers without compromising the literary beauty of the book.

With this also are forty all-new, full-page, color illustrations by award-winning illustrator Mike Wimmer.  This is truly a treat.  Wimmer is a terrific artist.  His art really serves to help you explain various features when reading the book aloud to a group, like in my case to my family.  Our kids often grab the book individually when a picture comes up and stare at it, dissecting the details and processing the reading.  It is truly a great combination.

This is a great tool to escort the younger generations into the world of Bunyan’s allegorical masterpiece.

Here are a couple of the endorsements:

“This classic has refreshed my spirit time and again when my soul has longed for Christ-centered guidance through a maze of modern detours and diversions. I’m so grateful this special edition of The Pilgrim’s Progress is now available to not only a new generation of Christians but to believers like myself who need direction and refreshment along our journey toward Home.”
- Joni Eareckson Tada, President, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

“If any smoothing of Bunyan’s seventeenth-century language plus new colored pictures can set Pilgrim’s Progress aglow in the hearts of today’s young readers, this lovely book will surely do it.”
- J. I. Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College

“This is one of the best books I’ve ever read.”
- Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church

You may get it on sale at Westminster Books or Amazon.


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2 thoughts on “Book Review- The Pilgrim’s Progress”

  1. Erik K. says:

    Thanks for the insightful review Erik. I first read Edward Hazelbaker’s version of The Pilgrims Progress last year and it instantly entered my top five. I’ve been looking for a version that was hardback, sewn, and that didn’t compromise the original characters or literary aspects of Bunyan. Now, I’ve discovered it.

    I pulled out my wallet and took the plunge. Thanks again.

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Erik Raymond


Erik Raymond is senior pastor of Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Ne. He and his wife Christie have six children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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