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, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Outline of "Pilgrim's Progress," Chapter 6

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 6 (in the 1991 Tyndale House Edition).

I. Christian's Encounter With Apollyon
A. Christian sees Apollyon in the Valley of Humiliation, and is tempted to flee, but remembers that he has no armor on his back.
B. Description of Apollyon: scales like a fish, wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, fire and smoke belching up from within his belly, mouth like a lion.
C. Apollyon demands that Christian tell him where he is from and where he is going; Christian answers.
D. Apollyon says he is lord of the City of Destruction, and that Christian was his subject, which Christian admits; Apollyon says Christian is a traitor for leaving him, and invites Christian to return with him, using seemingly gracious words.
E. Christian answers that he loves his new lord and that his lord has the power to free him from all claims made by Apollyon.
F. Apollyon attempts to discourage Christian by recounting Christian's sins since beginning his journey; Christian pleads the mercy of his new lord, and he says that now he regrets his sins, whereas previously he was captive to them.

II. The Inevitable Conflict
A. Apollyon drops all pretense of civility, rails against Christian's new Prince, and fiercely attacks Christian.
B. Apollyon battles Christian for half a day, Christian blocks Apollyon's blows with his shield, but is severely wounded in the battle; Christian is beaten to the ground and drops his sword.
C. Christian recovers his sword and gives Apollyon a deadly thrust; Christian strikes him again, and Apollyon flees.
D. Christian praises God, and a hand gives Christian leaves from the Tree of Life [perhaps the hand belongs to the archangel Michael, who Christian had just mentioned in a hymn: the text is unclear], which heal all of Christian's wounds; Christian eats some bread and drinks from the bottle that he had previously received.

III. The Valley of the Shadow of Death
A. Description of the Valley of the Shadow of Death: located on the only way to the Celestial City, the Valley is a solitary wilderness made up of deserts, pits, and shadows.
B. Additional description of the Valley of the Shadow of Death from two unfaithful spies fleeing the Valley: the Valley is populated by hobgoblins, sartyrs, and dragons of the Pit, death hovers over the valley, and there is continual howling and screaming in the Valley.
C. The path through the Valley of the Shadow of Death: a narrow, dark path with a quagmire on one side and a deadly ditch on the other; halfway though the Valley, the mouth of Hell stood open beside the path, continually belching out fire and smoke.
D. As the fire and smoke did not heed Christian's sword, he put the sword away and used a weapon called "All-prayer."
E. A band of Fiends approached Christian and greatly frightened him, but he called out, "I will walk in the strength of the Lord God!" and they fell back.
F. Christian became so confused that he could not discern his own voice; a wicked creature came out from the mouth of Hell and began whispering blasphemies in his ear, and he was sorely vexed because he thought that the thoughts originated in his own mind.

IV. Christian Is Encouraged
A. Christian hears a voice call out, "Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me;" this encourages Christian for three reasons:
1. It lets Christian know that other faithful ones are enduring the same trial he is facing;
2. It reminds Christian that God is with him;
3. It gives Christian hope that he may meet up with the other traveler, so that they can keep each other company (as it turns out, Christian never sees the other traveler).
B. The sun rises:
1. Christian turns, and he clearly sees the dangers through which he has passed, giving praise to God for his deliverance;
2. Christian sees that the way ahead is even more dangerous than the first part of his journey-- with traps, holes, cliffs, etc.-- but he is able to navigate to the end of the Valley due to the gracious light.

V. Christian Passes the Place of Martyrs
A. Christian passes by a place of bodies, bones, and ashes: all of pilgrims who had previously traveled the path to the Celestial City.
B. The martyrs had been killed by two giants, Pope and Pagan, but Christian does not fear them, because:
1. Pagan had been slain long ago;
2. Pope had become too old and feeble to be a threat.
C. Christian sings a hymn to Jesus.

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