Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of New Georgia Baptist Church.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Outline of "Pilgrim's Progress," Chapter 4

This spring, the 5th and 6th grade boys Writing & Literature class I am tutoring will be reading John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. In preparation for this class, I am re-re-reading the book and constructing a detailed outline for each chapter as I read. The following outline is for Chapter 4 (in the 1991 Tyndale House Edition).

I. Christian Reaches the Cross

A. The High-way on which Christian travels is protected on either side by a wall called Salvation.

B. As Christian approaches a Cross, his burden falls off his back and rolls into an open Grave.

C. Christian worships at the Cross.

D. Christian is visited by three Shining Ones:
1. The first comforts him and proclaims his sins forgiven.
2. The second takes his old garments and dresses him in new garments.
3. The third places a mark on his forehead and gives him a Scroll, and tells him to read it on his way to the Celestial Gate.

E. Christian departs, rejoicing.

II. False Christians Along the Way

A. Simple, Sloth, and Presumption
1. Christian sees the three men named above at the bottom of a hill with fetters on their feet.
2. Christian cries out to the men, warning them of danger.
3. The men dismiss Christian, each in line with the character indicated by his name.
4. Christian is troubled at the men dismissing him, since he had awakened them, offered them counsel, and had offered to help them remove their fetters.

B. Formality and Hypocrisy [I've quoted this section-- from an older edition of this book-- in a previous post found HERE.]
1. Formality and Hypocrisy enter the narrow way by climbing over the Wall.
2. They say they have come from the Land of Vain-glory and are going to Mount Zion to receive praise.
3. Christian asks why they did not enter the Gate, and warns them that "it is written that, 'anyone refusing to walk through the Gate, who sneaks over the Wall, must surely be a thief.'"
4. Formality and Hypocrisy answer that all the people from their country consider the Gate to be "too far away" and that their countrymen regularly find a shortcut.
5. Christian questions them about whether they, violating the revealed will of the Lord of the City, would be viewed as trespassers.
6. They respond that what they are doing is "a custom dating back at least a thousand years."
7. When Christian questions them about the legality of their custom, they respond that such a long-standing custom will doubtlessly be deemed legal, and that it does not matter how they got onto the way, as long as they are on it.
8. Christian challenges them, that they are following vain imaginations rather than the Master's rule.
9. They say they will keep laws and decrees as conscientiously as Christian, and that except for his Coat, he does not differ from them.
10. Christian responds that since they did not come in at the Gate, and do not have a Coat, a mark on their foreheads, or a Scroll, such as was given him, their law-keeping will be no benefit to them.
11. They laugh at him and speak no more, and Christian walks on ahead of them, reading his Scroll.

III. Three Ways From Which to Choose

A. The straight and narrow way leads up a hill called Difficulty; Christian takes this path.

B. The other ways branch off this way and go around the Hill to the right and the left.
1. They are called Destruction and Danger.
2. Formality and Hypocrisy split up, taking these ways.
3. One [the book does not say which] is led into a giant forest.
4. The other is led into a vast field full of dark mountains, where he falls to rise no more.

IV. Christian Loses the Scroll at the Pleasant Arbor

A. Halfway up the Hill, Christ comes to a Pleasant Arbor, made by the Lord of the Hill as a resting place for travelers.

B. Christian reclines and reads from his Scroll, he falls to sleep, and the scroll falls from his hand.

C. Someone wakes him, reproaching him for laziness, and Christian hurries to the top of the Hill.

V. Responding to Fear

A. Christian meets Timorous and Mistrust, hurrying toward him.

B. Christian tells them they are running the wrong way.

C. Timorous responds that there are increasing difficulties ahead of Christian.

D. Mistrust says that there are two Lions just ahead (though they could not tell whether the lions were asleep or awake).

E. Christian is afraid, but resolves to go forward toward the Celestial City, for going back to his own town means certain death.

F. Christian goes on toward the Celestial City, Mistrust and Timorous go the other way, but then Christian realizes he has lost his Scroll.

VI. Recovering the Scroll

A. Christian prays for God's forgiveness, and goes back to find the Scroll.

B. Christian expresses great regret that he had slept, rather than merely resting a while, as he should have, and that he had not remained vigilant.

C. Christian finds the scroll and hurries up the Hill.

D. The sun goes down, and Christian once again is sorrowful for his earlier sleep, for now he cannot sleep and must travel at night.

E. Christian thinks about the Lions (and especially about how they are nocturnal).

F. Christian sees the Palace Beautiful.

VII. Facing Lions in the Way

A. Christian sees two chained Lions (but he cannot see their chains).

B. The gatekeeper at the Lodge, named Watchful, tells Christian not to be afraid: that the Lions are chained, kept as a test of faith, and that if he stays on the middle of the way, he will not be harmed.

C. Christian passes the Lions unharmed and walks on, rejoicing.

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