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Reading the Next Classic Together
February 16, 2012
It was back in 2007 that I had an idea that genuinely changed my life. I wanted to read some of the classics of the Christian faith, but I knew that without some measure of accountability I would never have the self-discipline to make it happen. I realized that this accountability could come by reading classics together in community. I decided to launch a reading program called Reading Classics Together.
In the years since this program began we’ve read some amazing classics from years gone by and from the present time. These include titles like Holiness by J.C. Ryle, Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen, The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, and The Cross of Christ by John Stott. These books and others like them have benefited me immensely and I know the same is true of those who have read along with me.
It is time to embark on a new reading project and it only seems right that we should go to the bestselling and most enduring Christian classic of them all—The Pilgrim’s Progress. This is a book most of us have read at one time or another, or perhaps at many times, but if any book bears repeated readings, this is the one. It is, after all, the most widely-published book in the English language, not to mention one of the most influential and beloved books ever written.
Please consider this an invitation to read The Pilgrim’s Progress with me. I plan to begin reading it on March 8. Here is how you can read along. Simply find yourself a copy of The Pilgrim’s Progress and read chapter 1 prior to March 8. Then visit this web site on March 8 and I will share some thoughts on that chapter and we can discuss it together.
There is one complication: There are many, many versions of the book available and they sometimes break the story into chapters in different places. I intend to follow the ten-chapter breakdown you can find at CCEL. Also, some people may prefer to read a modernized adaptation instead of the original; if so, feel free. Finally, I intend only to read about Christian’s journey and not the further journey of his family.
Here are some options:
- A modernized but still-faithful adaptation from Crossway ($16.32 in hardcover, $3.96 in Kindle). It is a great version and easy-to-read, but the chapters are broken down differently. Still, it’s a great option.
- This Kindle version is a good one if you’d like to read the original text. It costs just $2.86.
- This softcover version is good for those wanting to read the original text. It has no chapter breakdowns and costs $8.80.
- Now, here’s another option. If you’d like to listen to the book, you can download it from Audible (an Amazon company). If you’ve never been an Audible member, you can join their program with a free 14-day trial that allows you to download one book at no cost. You can download The Pilgrim’s Progress and, if you don’t find that you’ll use the program or don’t like it, cancel your account and keep the book you’ve downloaded. It’s truly risk-free. To get started with Audible, click here.
If you’re going to read along with me, why don’t you just leave a comment below so I can get a gauge on interest.