This thread was prompted by the recent thread entitled-- Biblical Argument For Spending Valuable Time Reading Fiction? I'm no prophet, but I'm expecting to take heat for this opinion. But I've no mind on that, and it's no great matter (bonus point if you caught the allusion). I think Pilgrim's Progress is over-rated and sentimental. Sure it was inventive for its day--but Bunyan is no Dante--not by a country mile. Not only is it overrated, obvious, bloated, and sentimental, but it has a hidden, insidious weakness that is usually overlooked: the hero certainly hasn't taken the lesson of Ephesians 5 to heart. He bails on his family to save himself--disgustingly un-Christlike and unmanly behavior. Oh, but he tries to convince them to wander off with him and they won't, you say. Sorry, but his wandering off and leaving his wife to take care of herself and the kids is "desertion", and Christ never leaves his bride to fend for herself. At least Milton's erroneous demonology is in plain view in Paradise Lost; Bunyan's faulty theology is shadowy. The "hero's" selfishness is nothing if not sinful. And his Quixotic wandering is more akin to desert monasticism--minus the solitude and quiet--than Reformed sanctification. This is a Reformed blind-spot. Bunyan might've been heroic, but Bunyan's hero is no hero. He's in clear violation of 1 Tim. 5:8--But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Confessionally, the "hero" is defiantly ignoring vast swaths of of WLC 129 & 130 (superiors and inferiors). The "hero" and his experiences are definitely "radical", so David Platt would approve; he's "wild at heart" so John Eldredge would approve; he's rugged, individualistic, and untamed so Erwin McManus would approve; he's not content to utilize the ordinary means of grace, via the visible church, so all of the 20th and 21st century non-confessional, ecclesiastical anarchists would give him bracing applause. So there it is! I await the inevitable shockwaves. And I expect to be fixed into a formulated phrase, and left sprawling on a pin (second hint at the poem I allude to).