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A New Journey Begins

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
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January 17, 2022 12:01 am

A New Journey Begins

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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January 17, 2022 12:01 am

The Pilgrim's Progress is one of the most-read pieces of literature in history. Many people do not realize there is a second part to this masterpiece by John Bunyan. Today, Derek Thomas introduces the story of Christiania and her four boys.

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In part two of the Pilgrim's progress John Bunyan introduces new characters whose faith is weak, I think, is doing that for postural considerations after all. Pop one was a hero story and part two is now absent a minister and seeing in his charts. The fact that there are all kinds of believers and some of them a week and some of them are timid and some of these characters and are introduced into pots to the Pilgrim's progress is one of the most read pieces of literature in history many people that were not as familiar with to today on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. Derek Thomas gives us insight into the journey of Christian's wife and children to the celestial city on the way will learn lessons about our own journey to welcome back free stuff and new section on part two of the bunions Pilgrim's progress. I sometimes think that for every hundred people have read Pilgrim's progress maybe two or three have read parts two and get some of the most wonderful illustrations actually to be found in hot to Pilgrim's progress.

He begins just as he began with pop one with some poetry I kind of apology right at the very beginning and he says at the beginning of part two don't know my little book to every place where my first pilgrim husband shown his face call at the door, if any, say who's there, then answer though Christiana is here if they bid they come in. Then enter thou with all my boys and then as now noticed how tell who they all also from whence they came. Perhaps they will know them by their looks own name, but if they should not ask them yet again if formally they did not entertain one Christian pilgrim if they say they did and was delighted in his way than let them know that these related were unto him gay his wife and children are and that continues for several pages pops two of the bunions Pilgrim's progress the story of Christiana and before boys was written in 1684. This is six years after the completion of part one, which was written in 1678 now. Scholars think that part one was written during the true periods of imprisonment to was in prison for 12 years. Initially, from 1660 to 1672, and then he was released and then in 1676 and through into 1677 he was imprisoned for a second time and it's during that second period of imprisonment may be 6 to 8 months or so that Bunyan finished part one was published in 1678, actually couldn't find a publisher for it and it was John Owen. Yes, the grapes Puritan John: who at that time was in fairly close contact with King Charles II and King Charles II had tribute to John Owen for going to listen to the John Bunyan prediction when I said to him that he would give up all of his learning if you could preach one sermon like John Bunyan and Crane heard that John Bunyan said little book, the Pilgrim's progress they can find a publisher for it. He asked his own publishers to publish it so we have John Owen to thank for the publication of Pilgrim's progress. Part one.

Now there been some critics of Bunyan style one TS Thomas Sherman a general Baptists in the late 1670s objected to some of John bunions, theology, and particularly John bunions the theology of particular redemption and some of his more predestinarians doctrines and he wrote an improved account of Pilgrim's progress since it was published as part two in 1682. It was the story of Christiana and the boys told now by this man, Thomas Sherman and that there were maybe two maybe three other attempts under a pseudonym to write the sequel you can understand why persons progress was a runaway success. I think it actually brought Bunyan some much-needed revenue in his latter days and there were those who are ready to cash in on the success of part one them to write part two I which caused Bunyan himself to realize that he needs to write a pots to which eventually 1684, part two was published that there been some contemporary critics of Pilgrim's progress including CS Lewis, who was critical.

First of all, abundance theology, but he was also critical of Bunyan's literary style, and especially his account of enchanted ground. Lewis said that entering enchanted ground will not prevent drowsiness on the part of many readers and were still in Lewis's estimation was the section where talkative several pages on the Lewis sir criticized that on the tree point of view.

Now one of the objections that was made to part one of Pilgrim's progress was its lack of community lack of common or lifelike lack of corporate life, it's it was a story of an individual. It was basically a story of Christian awareness. In part two we have much more all the shirt she sort of feel a communal field. Plus, of course, is also the story of a woman. It's a woman story and it's a family story.

It's a mother and her four children that we encounter some of the same places and characters as in the first part enter we see something that perhaps reflects now the period of life in which Bunyan is released from prison is back with this family is the daughter of course, is now died in his sucrose remarriage he remarried before his first imprisonment, and this godly woman raised the children, not her children but so the first wife's children. She is a very very godly and esteemed a woman into this second part of Pilgrim's progress will tell this story from the point of view of a mother and four boys.

Part of the awkwardness of part two, especially the first two pages, and it may be the reason why folk haven't persevered with part two. You need to get over the first 10 to 15 pages, Bunyan introduces a accordance literary style. He tells the story through an array to through an interlocutor, the dreamer of dreams again. Instead of immediately seeing Christiana in his dream he meets this man Mr. sagacity who tells him about our Christiana on the four boys and it's in the kind of third person in the something about awkwardness to it. Eventually when they get to the wicked get Mr. sagacity leaves him and then we we read the story just like part one through the uses a twirl on the experiences of Christiana herself another dreamer asks sagacity about Christian to be told there's hardly a house in the country in which his name and exploits on known, of course, this is the success of part one of Pilgrim's progress is only six years later, but it was a was a runaway success every every Christian hole every person I'm suddenly in England in the late 17th century had a copy of Pilgrim's progress.

And then there's a beautiful description of Christian in heaven. Some say that he now walks in white that he is a chain of gold about his neck that he is a crown of gold percent with pearls about his head. Others say that the shining ones that sometimes showed themselves to him and his journey to become his companions that he is familiar with them in the place where it is, as here, one neighbor is with another.

Besides just confidently affirmed concerning him that the king of the place where he is has bestowed upon them already.

A very rich and pleasant dwelling at court and that he every day. Each of them drink Kirsten walk Catherine talkative with him and receive both of the smiles and favors of him that is judge of all their going on to say that the prince is so indignant about was done to Christian that is is as though what was done to him was done to the Prince himself that he is coming to ask for an accounting of it while that's how were introduced to part two where told about Christian was now of course in heaven, and the question that arises.

What about a Christians wife. What about Christiana and the four boys part two of Pilgrim's progress is first of all, the gospel story. Bunyan was a Puritan shape to everything that he wrote by the gospel. This was an Augustinian understanding and the Reformation understanding of the gospel gospel, which first of all, emphasizes natural inability in our fallenness that I'm the love of God in the gospel in providing the Lord Jesus, and providing a substitute urging sinners to repent and emphasizing their total inability to do anything to merit their own salvation bunions understanding of the gospel emphasizes three things. The atoning death of Christ where our punishment was diverted to him our justification through faith in which that we are closed reckons to be righteous closed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ sins are forgiven and we are closed with the righteousness of Christ and the gift of faith in Christ. Those of the three things that Bunyan emphasizes so much now in his dream, a Bunyan meets Mr. sagacity inquires after Christians wife and family and to hear that a great change has overtaken them and so they have packed up and have also gone after Christian Dr. Christian is gone over the river and she feels no more about him. She begins to be sorry for her behavior towards him in the stubbornness and refusing to accompany him at first. I think the motivation was purely a human one impelling a Christiana to begin this journey, but to her thoughts began to work in her mind.

First, for that she had lost her husband and for that the loving bond about relation was utterly broken betwixt them, but then it becomes something more than that. First she thought him mad but now she realizes that the light of life has been given him so that he had escaped the snares of death Christiana back in the city of destruction dreams and sees a parchment containing the sum of her ways. She begins to cry, Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner and then in the second dream she sees Christian in the state of bliss. The next morning. She is visited by someone called secret he comes with a message from the merciful one. An invitation to come into his presence. This is the invitation of the gospel coming to find statement I think of effectual calling that a summons from heaven to come into his presence. So this is an effectual call God's special working in the elect so that they respond with faith and tells her to go to the wicked gate comes with the message God is ready to forgive and that he taketh the lights to multiply parking to offenses. He also would have the no that he invited me to come into his presence to his table and that he will feed the with the fact of his house and with the heritage of Jacob by father is a gospel story.

Secondly, it's it's a road story pilgrimage Lisa stories of pilgrimages of course were already famous in this literature.

One thinks of for Chaucer's Canterbury tales.

As a Catholic tail in which the. The indulgences for sins programs. Progress was more along the line of Luke enacts you remember the new calls Christianity the way they were followers of the way there was a was a road along which Christians travel that begins with the passage through the wicked gate where one leaves the world behind one Knox and first becomes a Christian.

The next great issue is assurance. When you come to the cross and along the road. Christiana smudges Christian muscular on the way of holiness by Demos children certain spiritual truths along this path or to resist temptations to leave the road to keep on persevering, whether it's individuals like Dimas or the flatterer or madam one term or the allurements of bypass mental that will lead to the castle of giant dispel all of these things.

She also will learn. It's a road story with a great deal of adventure secret says to her at the very outset how must through troubles, as did he. That went before the enter the celestial city. I think Bunyan is alluding to Paul's statement annexed 14 of Mr. when he comes back to Antioch and he says through many tribulations we enter the kingdom of God. It's a it's a road story.

It's a road trip if you like onions parts to it's also a family story. A woman mother and the children it's about to the importance of family, religion and the Puritans in the 17th century saw that is very important that we submit personal life. There was a church life is also a family life. They talked about personal worship and church worship also talked about the importance of family worship the world of Pilgrim's progress. Part one is one of masculine heroism.

It's the story of heroes Christiana is story Christiana and the four boys are not converted with him and therefore they had to be abandoned update. They cried out after November, and he put his fingers in his ears, and ran away. Instead, life life eternal life now women have played a significant part in the church were Bunyan was the minister while Bunyan was 12 years in prison. During the 1660s. In the first half of the 1670s, women are paid a very significant part in the chart trip to Bedford and there are some very interesting minutes so that you can read in the church minute book. These are still extant. You can study this book Bedford church book of records. Regular meetings for prayer and for breaking of the bread and the mothers and children that more or less held the church together during that period. Of course his own second wife and children had survived on and she had raised diamond and run the house and engaged in a great deal of industry while Bunyan was in prison.

There was also in bunions church as something of a broadening of abusive church membership, especially those who could or could not take the Lord's supper in the church and Bunyan under an open communion will not have closed communion view and those who hadn't received believers baptism and were also entitled to become a member sentenced to participate in the Lord's table at the church that such was this broadening don't exaggerate this too much but but this broadening abuse in the church in Bedford have also led to women in the church demanding a separate crime he didn't know doesn't phase us in anywhere supposed today but in the 1670s. It certainly did an excellent Bunyan resisted that she contested the term undefeated that there's an account of it a case of conscience resolved in 1683.

Assessing your before part two. The story of Christiana to some of the issues about women and just how much freedom women could have been church life and on the whole issue of women in office and separate women's prayer meetings in some some of those issues have already raised themselves in the church in Bedford. Even the token of grace that comes to her from the king seems to be highly feminine. It's a letter, smelling of all the best perfume and during the conversation's shores remains a widow and the mother to her children. So is her family story and Bunyan is keen now to introduce family piety.

It's also a war story and adventure story right and start of the journey Christiana needs to ill favored ones who say what shall we do with this woman. She cries out for mercy, waking and sleeping if she be sufferance to go or she begins, we shall looser as we have lost a husband.

No sooner than mercy and Christiana set out to mercy as a friend.

Then we meet with two neighbor's women timorous and mercy and timorous leaves and mercy drawings Christiana on the journey mercy decides to walk this sunshine morning a little way with her to help her on her way timorous calls her neighbors Mrs. backsides. Mrs. inconsiderate Mrs. like to mind. And Mrs. know nothing in the gossip and its subsequent telling their conversations for gossip about to buy Christiana doubts of acceptance by mercy arrives in the portrait of mercy is a very interesting when she is some she's fearful she has so we can face Christiana invites her to accompany her and mercy is so conscious of having no personal invitation. What draws her initially as our friendship to Christiana. We will need to look at this in further studies.

The fact that Bunyan introduces a woman of considerably weak face into the narrative and I think he's doing that for pastoral considerations. After all, part one was a hero story and part two is now A Minister and and and Seeing in His Church.

The Fact That There Are All Kinds of Believers and Some of Them a Week and Some of Them Are Timid and Some of These Characters and Are Introduced into Parts to They Go to the Slough of Despond and the Pastor That Unlike Part One That Proves No Difficulty for These Women, and Then They Come to the Wicked Get Enter Mercy for a Season Is Left outside the Standard Gets through and Then It Is Christiana on the Other Side of the Wicked Go to Pleads for Mercy and Mercy Gets in, Not to Easily and Already Right at the Very Beginning of the Story You Have This Emphasis on the Weakness of Marcy's Face Some Some Critics of Bunyan and Liberals in the 20th Century Think That What Bunyan Is Doing Here Is to Say That the Nonelected Can Actually Get into Heaven and the Bunyan Is Now Walking down His Doctrine of Election Think Anything of the Sort Is Happening Think Bunyan Is Being a Pastor and Saying That There Is Strong Faith Is Also Weak, Timid Face like of Which Receive Mercy Continue This in the Second Lecture to and We Hope You'll Join Us for That Tomorrow Here on Renewing Your Mind. This Week Dr. Derek Thomas Is Taking Us through John Bunyan's Classic Work. Part Two of the Pilgrim's Progress We like to Send You the Complete Series Covering Both Parts One and 219 Message Series Is Contained on Three DVDs Simply Contact Us Today with Your Donation of Any Amount and Will Be Glad to Send Them to You Can Do That or you can call us her number is 800-435-4343 Dr. Thomas is senior minister of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia South Carolina in a teaching fellow here at regular ministries is careful explanation of the Pilgrim's progress shows is the pastoral care that John Bunyan had for God's people. This series is a helpful study companion for those who for the Pilgrim's progress many times or maybe never at all.

Perhaps you like to use it in the Sunday school class in your church work in a small group meeting in your home so contact us and request the series for your gift of any amount. Our phone number again is 800-435-4343 inter-web address is Renewing Your

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