In all its levels, programs, and teaching, Pinnacle Classical Academy seeks to glorify God through the Christ-centered, classical training of children. And part of the way in which we do that is by having our students read primary classical writings – as opposed to having them read someone else’s thoughts about those writings.
One of the writings that our students in 8th and 9th grade have the opportunity to engage is John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. As a consummation of the study of the book this past semester, one of the students wrote a piece for our Christmas Recitation that briefly discusses Bunyan’s life and the context out of which The Pilgrim’s Progress was born. The content of that piece – which was an introduction for other students’ work as well – is given below in order to applaud the excellence of the work of that student, and to share a specific example of the work our Upper School is accomplishing.
English Writer and preacher John Bunyan lived mid -17th century and is best remembered as the author of the religious allegory Pilgrim’s Progress. This book, second to the Bible, has had the most copies sold worldwide in Biblical and non-Biblical books. John Bunyan was a man unafraid to proclaim the authority of God’s word without compromise. His refusal to conform his preaching led to multiple incarcerations in the Bedford county jail. On one of those occasions he was asked to simply stop preaching, and he would be set free. He retorted, “If you release me today, I will preach tomorrow.” These words led to a twelve year imprisonment during which he wrote his classic work composed in the form of a dream of his own experience. The Pilgrim’s Progress is a spiritual allegory that follows the path of Christian, a man weighed down by his burden of sin. He leaves the City of Destruction and learns that nothing can remove his burden other than the cross of Christ. He encounters many obstacles and tribulations with fellow travelers and helpers, as well as tempters and enticers. However, his journey to the celestial city is indeed successful, where he receives his crown of glory to lay at Christ’s feet. This story is a representation of the spiritual journey of every true believer in Christ, to obtain the Kingdom of heaven through the trials that come with it. Tonight, you will hear a recitation of the portion of Bunyan’s artistry where Christian comes to the cross of Christ broken and torn, to be relieved of his burden. This passage is relevant for recitation because we celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas. Jesus was born so he could die for the sins of his people, and all those who look upon him in faith will be rescued from the wrath to come, having their burden of sin and condemnation relieved, just as Christian in Bunyan’s allegory.