To Be a Pilgrim: a Novel Based Upon The Pilgrim's Progress

I'm a pastor and I've written 40+ eBooks & paperbacks. Help me put a twist on The Pilgrim's Progress and get it to a whole new audience.
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Jon Cardwell
Writing
Anniston, Alabama
United States
2 Team Members

HAVE YOU EVER READ THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS?

John Bunyan's famous allegory, The Pilgrim's Progress, is one of the most read books in the English language, second only to the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

Today, however, there is a generation of Christians who have never read The Pilgrim's Progress. Some have attempted to read it, but seventeenth century puritanical English was much too difficult for the reader to grasp. Others may have read a more updated and modern version of John Bunyan's allegory, yet for them, the book needed more explanation or commentary.

I am attempting to solve those problems with a slight twist by creating a book that goes beyond a mere modern translation: a new work, which will provide particular insights into Bunyan's famous story without diminishing the allegory with a great deal of doctrinal commentary thrown in here and there to disrupt the poetic beauty of the work… and I'll do this by writing a novel entitled, To Be a Pilgrim: A Novel Based Upon The Pilgrim's Progress and Other Works by John Bunyan of Bedford.

TO BE A PILGRIM AND WHY I'M CREATING IT

Because my closest friends and associates in ministry know me as one who has read The Pilgrim's Progress approximately twice per year since about 1986, and also as one who has been greatly ministered to by the written works of John Bunyan, the wife of a dear friend asked me to edit and publish a new modern translation of The Pilgrim's Progress so that her home-schooled children could enjoy the famous allegory without having to learn Cromwellian English.

As one who loves the book, second only to the Bible itself, I was quite flattered but adamant that the endeavor to embark upon such a project was something to which I was so ill-qualified. I initially reasoned that

  • (1) there were already so many other modern translations available; and
  • (2), I didn't believe that I could ever write a modern edition that could maintain the power and impact of the original.

During this last Christmas and the New Year, I was sick for the week covering December 25, 2013 with a fever of 103-104 degrees F. I was well enough to preach at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church on December 29th, but had developed pneumonia so that I required inoculations from the Veteran's Administration Clinic on December 30th.

My wife said that I was delirious during the days and nights with the high fever (I was later scolded by the nurse at the VA for not going to the Emergency Room when my fever was that high). I do remember one of my dreams when I was feverish, and in it, I was in the Bedford Jail with John Bunyan, the preacher of Bedford. We conversed in my dream and I seemed to remember I dreamed as if he were telling me the "dream" he dreamed; that is, he told me the story of The Pilgrim's Progress. Certainly, it was merely my subconscious mind in the state of delirium, but afterwards, it prompted me to think about telling that story in order to tell Bunyan's.

ABOUT THE BOOK, TO BE A PILGRIM

In novel form, the presentation of John Bunyan's great allegory can be told while maintaining the power, impact and poetic beauty of the original classic. Alternate chapters also present fictionalized conversations with Bunyan, which provides some additional commentary and doctrinal insights into the story overall.

WHY IS THIS BOOK UNIQUE?

This book is unique because of the story within the story in order to convey in word pictures and allegorical form the "Old Story" of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this way, the story itself may be told in a modern way, maintain the doctrinal truths that Bunyan initially desired to convey (which is the most important thing), and provide some additional commentary through the natural flow of the narrative in order to give the clearest presentation to the reader.

Certainly, a work like this will not be without its critics, cavilers and opposition. Mr. Bunyan knew that he would have them as well, and wrote is poetic defense prior to The Pilgrim's Progress' first publication in 1678. Some of the objections today may be addressed in typical Bunyan fashion right here:

  • Objection: Wouldn't an allegory actually oppose the straight-forward proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
  • Answer:  First, as Mr. Bunyan's chief justification was the scriptures themselves, Hosea 12:10 and its use of the word 'similitude' being the primary truth, we should recognize that God's normal and ordinary means for advancing the gospel was through the agency of redeemed men, preaching itself from the pulpits is rather allegorical, is it not? The preacher takes God's truths and explains them by use of corresponding scriptures, as well as word pictures and illustrations in order to convey them to his hearers. Second, the "dark sayings" of Christ in parable, produce the same effect as an allegory, to get those whom God has called, or is calling, to get themselves alone with Christ so that He could expound the meaning to His disciples (Mark 4:33-34). Third, although the allegory may have an effect upon unbelievers, the novel, like the Bible, is written primarily to believers, so that those who have been saved by grace through faith may be provoked to pursue more deeply the things of Christ.

We don't want you going just from my say-so. You can download a FREE .pdf copy of the FIRST FIVE CHAPTERS so that you can see for yourself the style and form by which the allegory and this novel will unfold. CLICK HERE to download the FREE Sample of To Be a Pilgrim.

...AND just for stopping by, please accept this FREE eBook edition of my Amazon.com bestseller, CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED. CLICK HERE to access your FREE copy now.

WHERE WILL THIS BOOK BE SOLD?

This book will be sold on the Internet and at traditional book stores. It will also be made available to public libraries.

We are planning to make this book available in hardcover edition, trade paperback, and electronic form (eBook).

HOW YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL BE USED

This is an estimate of how we plan to put your contributions to use:

  1. Printing Costs: $25,000 (this also covers my expenses for the last three weeks in completing the project)
  2. Editing & Proofreading: $7,500
  3. Marketing (including, social media, press releases, publicist, promotional material & miscellany, etc.): $6,700
  4. Cover Art: $1,500
  5. Typesetting: $2,500
  6. Print Production (including shipping costs): $2,000
  7. Distribution: $3,500


HOW CAN YOU HELP SUPPORT ME?

  • PRAY. Please pray for me; pray for my wife, Lisa; pray for this project.
  • PARTICIPATE. Perhaps you are a professional with a particular skill set that would be ideal for completing this project. If this project rings true to your heart and you have prayerfully considered its importance and commitment to Christ's exaltation and God's glory through it, send me an email at countmein@tobeapilgrim.com to tell me how you would like to take part.
  • SHARE. Please tell your family and friends. Please share the campaign link of this site on your blog, forum or social media site. Share with a "Like" on Facebook, "Tweet" this project on Twitter and broadcast this project on Google+. Please
  • CONTRIBUTE. Please prayerfully consider making a financial contribution in helping to make this dream come true (yes, pun intended). There are many levels of participation, starting as low as $3 and continue up to $5,000, which include perks within each level in appreciation for your partnership in this project. These Partnership Perks are listed below:

PARTNERSHIP PERKS

Please keep in mind that the donation you make is goes toward publishing the novel, To Be a Pilgrim and so it is not a purchase of the items you receive as perks.

All the Partnership Perks at this point will receive everything from all the previous perks. This means that you will receive the perks listed previously, PLUS the perk or perks added to the next Partnership Level.

$3 - You will receive updates on the project through its completion, my eternal gratitude for your support, and a .pdf eBook of Three Obstacles to the Gospel in the West and What to Do About It.

$7 - You will receive all the $3 Partnership Perks… PLUS a .pdf eBook of the modern edition of John Bunyan's Christian Behavior.

$15 - You will receive all the $7 Partnership Perks… PLUS an eBook of To Be a Pilgrim in your favorite format (.mobi, ePub, .pdf) when it is released.

$25 - You will receive all of the $15 Partnership Perks… PLUS three more eBooks (A Puritan Bible Primer; Fullness of the Time; and Lord, Teach Us to Pray), and a special letter thanking you for your contribution.

$50 - You will receive all of the $25 Partnership Perks… PLUS a paperback edition of To Be a Pilgrim; and your name listed on a special page of the book as well as on a special dedication page of my blog, Preaching Christ Crucified (which will also be posted on the Facebook pages, "To Be a Pilgrim," "Christ and Him Crucified," and "Vayahiy Press," and "Eclectic Cattle Productions").

$75 - You will receive all of the $50 Partnership Perks… PLUS a hardcover edition of To Be a Pilgrim.

$125 - You will receive all of the $75 Partnership Perks… PLUS a signed hardcover edition of Two Be a Pilgrim (2 hardcover editions total, 1 signed, 1 not), two more paperback copies to give away, and two paperback copies of Christ and Him Crucified.

$250 - You will receive all of the $125 Partnership Perks… PLUS three additional hardcover editions, five additional paperback copies, five additional paperback copies of Christ and Him Crucified, a phone call from me to personally express my gratitude, and a personal hand written letter of gratitude for your help in this project.

$500 - You will receive all of the $250 Partnership Perks… PLUS three additional hardcover editions (1 signed hardcover & 7 extra copies), seven additional paperbacks (15 total from the $50-$500 Perks), three additional paperback copies of Christ and Him Crucified (10 total), five paperback copies of Lord, Teach Us to Pray, and ten paperback copies of The Pilgrim's Progress.

$1000 - You will receive all of the $500 Partnership Perks… PLUS four additional signed hardcover editions (5 signed & 7 extra copies), ten additional paperbacks (25 total from the $50-$1000 Perks), fifteen additional paperback copies of Christ and Him Crucified (25 total), five additional paperback copies of Lord, Teach Us to Pray (10 total), fifteen additional copies of The Pilgrim's Progress (25 total).

$1500 - You will receive all of the $1000 Partnership Perks… PLUS up to one page in the back of the book to share your Christian testimony of how John Bunyan's allegory, The Pilgrim's Progress, has ministered to your life, the lives of your family, the work of your ministry, etc.

$2500 - You will receive all of the $1500 Partnership Perks… PLUS a four-hour workshop of "The Pilgrim Life" for your church, Sunday school, Bible study group, Christian Retreat, etc. (includes one PowerPoint presentations, which you will keep afterward, and workbooks for you class). You will also receive a DVD Video/Audio course and materials from the workshop once they are compiled, edited and produced from all of the workshops taped for video. PLEASE NOTE: Due to current ministry obligations, this Perk is only available in the United States at this time.

  • Additionally, you will receive one copy of future titles from Vayahiy Press at no charge. Another book project slated for 2014 is a gospel commentary from the Book of Revelation, tentatively titled, The Testimony of Jesus.

$3250 - You will receive all of the $1500 Partnership Perks… PLUS, instead of one four-hour workshop, you receive three four-hour workshops: "The Pilgrim Life," "Christ and Him Crucified," and "Family Worship in the Home" (which includes three PowerPoint presentations, which you keep, and workbooks for your classes). You will also receive a DVD Video/Audio course and materials from the workshop once they are compiled, edited and produced from all of the courses taped for video. PLEASE NOTE: Due to current ministry obligations, this Perk is only available in the United States at this time.

  • Additionally, you will receive one copy of future titles from Vayahiy Press at no charge. Another book project slated for 2014 is a gospel commentary from the Book of Revelation, tentatively titled, The Testimony of Jesus.

$5000 - You will receive all of the $1500 Partnership Perks… PLUS, instead of one four-hour workshop, you receive six four-hour workshops: "The Pilgrim Life," "Christ and Him Crucified," and "Family Worship in the Home" (which includes three PowerPoint presentations, which you keep, and workbooks for your classes). You will also receive a DVD Video/Audio course and materials from the workshop once they are compiled, edited and produced from all of the courses taped for video. PLEASE NOTE: Due to current ministry obligations, this Perk is only available in the United States at this time.

  • Additionally, you will receive one copy of future titles from Vayahiy Press at no charge. Another book project slated for 2014 is a gospel commentary from the Book of Revelation, tentatively titled, The Testimony of Jesus.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, JON J. CARDWELL

Jon J. Cardwell is a wretched sinner saved by God's free and sovereign grace. He lives in Anniston, Alabama with his wife, Lisa, and his mother-in-law, Virginia. He is the pastor at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Anniston after having ministered as a missionary and as a missionary-pastor in the Philippines, California, and remote bush Alaska.

He is the author of more than 40 eBooks and paperbacks, including the Amazon bestseller, CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED. He is the CEO of Vayahiy Press, a small, independent publishing company. Jon has also held the office of vice-chairman of the national Sovereign Grace Baptist Fellowship (2009-11) and chairman (2011-2013).

His Christianity has been shaped tremendously and influenced deeply by such redeemed sinners as John Bunyan (1628-1688), Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), John Newton (1725-1807), and Granville Gauldin (1929- ).

Jon's other titles include A Puritan Family Devotional, Fullness of the Time, Lord Teach Us to Pray, Master Mega Writing, and Powerful Gospel Grace.

I NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

Please contribute to help make this project a reality! I can certainly do this by myself on a much, much smaller scale, as I have with other books, but I would rather have you as my partner. We will be blessed as we use this book to bless others.

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  • $3USD
    COUNT ME IN!

    You will receive updates on the project through its completion, my eternal gratitude for your support, and a .pdf eBook of "Three Obstacles to the Gospel in the West and What to Do About It."

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    I'M A BUNYAN FAN!

    You will receive all the $3 Partnership Perks… PLUS a .pdf eBook of the modern edition of John Bunyan's CHRISTIAN BEHAVIOR.

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    GOTTA HAVE THAT BOOK!

    You will receive all the $7 Partnership Perks… PLUS an eBook of To Be a Pilgrim in your favorite format (.mobi, ePub, .pdf) when it is released.

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  • $25USD
    I'M A CARDWELL FAN!

    You will receive all of the $15 Partnership Perks… PLUS three more eBooks (A Puritan Bible Primer; Fullness of the Time; and Lord, Teach Us to Pray), and a special letter thanking you for your contribution.

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    MUST HAVE THE PAPERBACK!

    You will receive all of the $25 Partnership Perks… PLUS a paperback edition of To Be a Pilgrim; and your name listed on a special page of the book as well as on a special dedication page of my blog, Preaching Christ Crucified (which will also be posted on the Facebook pages, "To Be a Pilgrim," "Christ and Him Crucified," and "Vayahiy Press," and "Eclectic Cattle Productions").

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    PILGRIM

    You will receive all of the $75 Partnership Perks… PLUS a signed hardcover edition of Two Be a Pilgrim (2 hardcover editions total, 1 signed, 1 not), two more paperback copies to give away, and two paperback copies of Christ and Him Crucified.

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  • $250USD
    CHRISTIAN

    You will receive all of the $125 Partnership Perks… PLUS three additional hardcover editions, five additional paperback copies, five additional paperback copies of Christ and Him Crucified, a phone call from me to personally express my gratitude, and a personal hand written letter of gratitude for your help in this project.

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  • $500USD
    FAITHFUL

    You will receive all of the $250 Partnership Perks… PLUS three additional hardcover editions (1 signed hardcover & 7 extra copies), seven additional paperbacks (15 total from the $50-$500 Perks), three additional paperback copies of Christ and Him Crucified (10 total), five paperback copies of Lord, Teach Us to Pray, and ten paperback copies of The Pilgrim's Progress.

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    EVANGELIST

    You will receive all of the $500 Partnership Perks… PLUS four additional signed hardcover editions (5 signed & 7 extra copies), ten additional paperbacks (25 total from the $50-$1000 Perks), fifteen additional paperback copies of Christ and Him Crucified (25 total), five additional paperback copies of Lord, Teach Us to Pray (10 total), fifteen additional copies of The Pilgrim's Progress (25 total).

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  • $1,500USD
    INTERPRETER

    You will receive all of the $1000 Partnership Perks… PLUS up to one page in the back of the book to share your Christian testimony of how John Bunyan's allegory, The Pilgrim's Progress, has ministered to your life, the lives of your family, the work of your ministry, etc.

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  • $2,500USD
    STANDFAST

    You will receive all of the $1500 Partnership Perks… PLUS a four-hour workshop of "The Pilgrim Life" for your church, Sunday school, Bible study group, Christian Retreat, etc. (includes one PowerPoint presentations, which you will keep afterward, and workbooks for you class). You will also receive a DVD Video/Audio course and materials from the workshop once they are compiled, edited and produced from all of the workshops taped for video. (see Perks on left)

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    GREAT-HEART

    You will receive all of the $1500 Partnership Perks… PLUS, instead of one four-hour workshop, you receive three four-hour workshops: "The Pilgrim Life," "Christ and Him Crucified," and "Family Worship in the Home" (which includes three PowerPoint presentations, which you keep, and workbooks for your classes). You will also receive a DVD Video/Audio course and materials from the workshop once they are compiled, edited and produced from all of the courses taped for video. (see perks on left)

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    VALIANT-FOR-TRUTH

    You will receive all of the $1500 Partnership Perks… PLUS, instead of one four-hour workshop, you receive six four-hour workshops: "The Pilgrim Life," "Christ and Him Crucified," and "Family Worship in the Home" (which includes three PowerPoint presentations, which you keep, and workbooks for your classes). You will also receive a DVD Video/Audio course and materials from the workshop once they are compiled, edited and produced from all of the courses taped for video. (see perks on left)

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