Kyle Mann and Joel Berry, The Postmodern Pilgrim’s Progress (Washington D.C., Salem Books, 2022), 210 pp.
Between 1672 – 1677, John Bunyan penned a book in the confines of a jail cell. Pilgrim’s Progress saw the light of day in 1678 and has since been translated into at least 200 languages and is arguably the best-selling book of all time (behind the Bible of course). Bunyan’s allegory is a theological tour de force that touches on a wide variety of topics from evangelism, to justification by faith alone, sanctification, temptation, discouragement, and our battle with sin.
Spurgeon drove this point home in one well-known remark about John Bunyan: “Why, this man is a living Bible!” Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God.”
Almost 350 later, the minds behind the Babylon Bee, Kyle Mann and Joel Berry have endeavored to write a new book that explores similar themes that were important to John Bunyan. The Postmodern Pilgrim’s Progress is a book for our times. Mann and Joel skillfully utilize the framework first created by Bunyan and manage to build a new story that addresses sin, anger, hypocrisy, discouragement, hope, fear, and the scourge of social justice – among other things.
The Postmodern Pilgrim’s Progress tackles subject matter that is unique to our day including the prosperity gospel, humanism, evolution, skepticism, and abortion.
The writing is typical Babylon Bee – witty, creative, and sarcastic. The authors demonstrate a good working knowledge of Bunyan’s work but are quick to draw the attention of readers to specific contemporary concerns that relate to postmodernism.
As usual, the Babylon dudes have written a real winner. My hope is that young readers will gobble up The Postmodern Pilgrim’s Progress and move on to read the original.