Sunday, June 24, 2007
We've reached the end of The Dangerous Journey
In the New Year we challenged people at church to read Pilgrim's Progress together. I am more convinced than ever that "the new kind of Christian" cannot improve on the "old kind of Christian" that mastered the Scriptures and was mastered by a "master narrative" that made sense of the junk of life and the calling of muscular, battling holiness that Pilgrim's Progress pictures.
I just finished reading the kid's picture book version with the 3 older boys. There were scary pictures ("why does that monster have fire coming out of the mouth in his stomach?") But we learned the scariest things on Pilgrim's journey were the dreaded short-cuts that turn into "longcuts" as Boy Blogicus reminded us. (Not unlike dad's attempts at saving time avoiding traffic jams and long lights by driving 3 km south and 1 km east.)
Some of the highlights were Giant Despair and his snaggly toothed bride, Diffidence. I had fun doing gravelly voiced Cockney accents for this beautiful couple. Lord Hate-good the unjust judge got some great toffee nosed British accents a la Curse of the Were Rabbit.
What I loved most about this book:
The boys learned that Christian had no armour on his back. Christians only go forward and it is shorter than going backward.
The Valley of the Shadow of Death, as well as the River of Death, is the way for all Christians as they go on to the Celestial City.
The best companions along the Pilgrim Way are Mr. Great Heart, Mr. Valiant at Heart, Hopeful, and Evangelist.
Don't lose the parchment, your passport as you take the narrow way that leads to life.
A Christian imagination fueled by biblical images will outlast the pretend Christian imagination that reads the latest productions of the Christian ghetto.
The Christian life through most of history has been gorey, rich in the company of the covenant community, and taking the kingdom by violence.
Go get the book and prepare the next generation of pilgrims for a valiant and victorious faith.