A Pilgrims Progress: The Story of John Bunyan

Additional Information
  • Producer: Ambassador Films
  • Languages: English
  • Run Time: 60 Minutes
  • Screen Format: FS
  • Region Code: 1
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A Pilgrim’s Progress: The Story of John Bunyan

It is the story of a Pilgrim wandering in search of the Celestial City. A pilgrim on a journey to find hope and redemption. The story of “Pilgrim’s Progress” is one of the greatest works of English literature, but what is the story of the man behind it? What of his long journey which led him to put pen to paper? From Ambassador Films comes the story of John Bunyan, and the journey which led to the work known today as “Pilgrim’s Progress”—A Pilgrim’s Progress: The Story of John Bunyan. Featuring Derick Bingham as narrator.

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John Bunyan

John Bunyan was born in 1628 to a tinker and his wife in a small town in Bedfordshire, England. As a young boy he received some rudimentary schooling, but the majority of his education was comprised of learning his father’s trade of tinkering. At the young age of sixteen, however, John Bunyan gave up his education and joined the Parliamentary Army during the first years of the English Civil War. After three years in the army John Bunyan returned to his hometown and trade, and within a few years, by the age of twenty-one, was married.

John and his new wife were among the poorest of newlyweds. John’s trade was not yet brining in much income, and his wife’s only dowry were two Puritan books. Although they seemed inconsequential at the time, these two books would shape the life of the man in A Pilgrim’s Progress- The Story of John Bunyan. Slowly his wife’s Puritan books introduced John Bunyan to new ideas of faith and conversion. And equally gradually he began to give up many of his old temptations and attend church. He was especially drawn to the hope, joy, and community he saw in believers. Only a few years after he joined a nonconformist church in Bedford he was drawing crowds for his preaching. Unfortunately, John Bunyan’s rise in popularity came about during the same time Charles II was restored to the throne. Charles was not a fan of nonconformists and separatists, and those, like John Bunyan, who refused to ally with the Church of England found themselves targets of persecution, as viewers see in A Pilgrim’s Progress-The Story of John Bunyan. By January of 1661 John Bunyan sat in jail. Though he would have been released if he promised to give up preaching, John Bunyan refused, and found himself imprisoned for the next twelve years—separated from his wife and children. But these years produced fruit in John Bunyan’s life, both tangible and intangible. His long imprisionment only strengthened his faith and assurance of salvation. For the sake of the story told in A Pilgrim’s Progress—The Story of John Bunyan, however, the most important piece of his imprisonment is that it allowed him to write. And write frequently. By the time of his release in 1672, John Bunyan had written nine books, including his autobiography “Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners” and the well-known “Pilgrim’s Progress.” But there is more to the story of the penning of “Pilgrim’s Progress” than a simple imprisionment, and it is this story, along with John Bunyan’s own, that is told in the film A Pilgrim’s Progress—The Story of John Bunyan.

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Pilgrim’s Progress

One of the most well-known English works of literature, as well as one of the most influential works of Christian literature throughout history, John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” was not published until after John Bunyan’s second release from prison. The story, which tells of the journeys and trials of a young man named Christian from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City, is in many ways an allegory of Bunyan’s own conversion. Yet, the book, who’s story is told in A Pilgrim’s Progress—The Story of John Bunyan, holds many truths and comparisons that will be impactful to viewers in the twenty-first century, just as much as they were to the readers in the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. The book itself became the bestselling book, after the Bible, in all of history. Understanding the story behind the book, John Bunyan’s personal story, will help viewers of all ages better understand this powerful work of Christian literature.

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Conclusion

John Bunyan’s life story, and the story of Pilgrim’s Progress, is gripping and impactful. It is filled with soldiers, love, Civil War, imprisonment, and most importantly a powerful active God. His own personal story, and the story he wrote will encourage and inspire viewers of all ages and backgrounds. A Pilgrim’s Progress: The Story of John Bunyan is the perfect documentary for those studying John Bunyan, influential men of faith, Western Civilization, the spread of the Reformation, or Church History. The film A Pilgrim’s Progress: The Story of John Bunyan will better help viewers understand the work of literature itself, and the profound impact it has had on the church and the western world in the three and a half centuries since it was published. Be inspired, encourage, and challenged by the story of a man who used his circumstances to change the faiths of millions.

 

A Pilgrim’s Progress: The Story of John Bunyan has not been rated by the Motion Picture Association of America and may include topics, scenes, and issues that may not be suitable for viewers of all ages. As always, it is recommended that parents preview all content to determine what is suitable for their children, but the film A Pilgrim’s Progress: The Story of John Bunyan is generally considered appropriate for most audiences.

 

If you enjoyed learning about the life of John Bunyan you may enjoy some of these other films featuring the life of the same great man. Torchlighters: The John Bunyan Story from Voice of The Martyrs is an animated film, part of their Tochlighters series, that is perfect for helping younger viewers understand the life of John Bunyan. John Bunyan: The People’s Pilgrim focuses on the life and legacy—especially the work of literature “Pilgrim’s Progress”—of John Bunyan and may be interesting to older viewers.

 

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"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. - Luke 4:18, 19