Pilgrim’s Progress: A Pope in a Cave

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About 500 years ago today, Martin Luther tossed a pebble into a lake of corruption in the Roman Catholic establishment that rippled into waves, sparking the beginning of what we call the Protestant Reformation.  Luther’s development of the doctrine of justification (that men are declared right before God, not by any virtue of their own, but by virtue of Christ’s righteousness, imputed through the channel of faith alone) was not a “new idea,” but rather a recovery of Jesus’ own gospel.  Freely going to a church that conducts the entire worship service in my own language and reads from a Bible in my own language is the fruit produced by the efforts of such men.  On Reformation Day, we honor these leaders for handing us down the doctrines of grace.  In good allegorical style, John Bunyan in his Pilgrim’s Progress illustrates the outcome of the work of the Reformers.  Starting at the end of Pilgrim’s journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death:

In this light, therefore, he came to the end of the valley. Now I saw in my dream, that at the end of the valley lay blood, bones, ashes, and mangled bodies of men, even of pilgrims that had gone this way formerly; and while I was musing what should be the reason, I espied a little before me a cave, where two giants, Pope and Pagan, dwelt in old times; by whose power and tyranny the men whose bones, blood, ashes, etc., lay there, were cruelly put to death. But by this place Christian went without much danger, whereat I somewhat wondered; but I have learnt since, that Pagan has been dead many a day; and as for the other, though he be yet alive, he is, by reason of age, and also of the many shrewd brushes that he met with in his younger days, grown so crazy and stiff in his joints that he can now do little more than sit in his cave’s mouth, grinning at pilgrims as they go by, and biting his nails because he cannot come at them. 


Written by keywoodblog

November 1, 2011 at 3:56 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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