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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV

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Thursday, January 2, 2020

Starting January 8th - Wednesday, 7 PM Central

 This is a pivotal stop in the journey. Bunyan studied Justification by Faith in Luther's Galatians.

 The work has two parts. We will cover Part 1, about Christian. 

The Pilgrim’s Progress as an Allegory

 The burden on his back - his sins.
He is studying the Bible to find his way.

We use figures of speech in our normal conversation, but seldom think about their use. Some come from the Bible, where the best known ones are called parables. Luke 15 is an example of parables used to introduce one of the most significant parables.
Luke 15:1-7 is the Parable of the Lost Sheep.
Luke 15:8-10 is the Parable of the Lost Coin.
Luke 15:11 begins the Parable of the Prodigal Son, illustrating the Old Testament custom of moving from the lesser (the sheep and the coin) to the greater – the Prodigal Son. The two introductory stories get us accustomed to the feelings of loss and recovery. The story of the impetuous son, the forgiving father, and the self-righteous brother teaches us the nature of our gracious heavenly Father. Concrete images and associated emotions embed the Biblical lesson.

We are heirs of Greek and Latin literature as well. We use these figures daily:
·        I almost died – Exaggeration or hyperbole.
·        The salad was like twigs and pine cones – simile.
·        He is a dog – metaphor.
·        That was no small task – litotes, a double negative used for a positive, considered an understatement for effect.
·        He gave the wrong reason for the wrong evidence to the wrong person – anaphora, repetition of a phrase for emphasis.
Many more figures could be listed.

The allegory is the grandest tool of our language. An entire book can be an allegory. Used poorly, the result is odd or tedious. The Marriage of Mercury to Philology by Jupiter belongs in a special class – unread, unloved, and largely unknown, except among Medieval scholars. The Lord of the Rings can be seen as an extensive allegory, especially because J. R. R. Tolkien was a Roman Catholic. Likewise, the movie E. T. suggests similar themes, the script written by a Roman Catholic. Some allegories are quite obvious in their intent:
1.      Animal Farm, by George Orwell
2.      The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis – children see Aslan as Jesus, but adults miss that entirely.
3.      Plato’s Allegory of the Cave
4.      The Faerie Queen – by Spencer
5.      Herman Melville Moby Dick
6.      St. Paul – the armor of God – Ephesians 6

The Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory, which might be described as a parable with fictional characters. This means we should read The Pilgrim’s Progress slowly and considers its lessons. This work is not a novel, but a way to explain essential lessons from the Bible. The wealth of the book comes from its details. The author explored the challenges and temptations of Christian, the allegorical hero, on his way from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. The names and mishaps are often humorous and always instructive.