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What Makes Labyrinth Practical for Our Time

I don’t know about you, but when I go to Barnes & Noble, I am gobsmacked by the range and mix of books. How I might find a book of interest that will also be worth my time? Such is increasingly problematic, especially because of all the indie publishing these days. Industry approaches to marketing and niching have been thrown to the wind, resulting in great books being invisible amidst a blizzard of mediocre books.

In my old age I have become choosy. No longer do I have all the time in the world. It has become apparent that for every 20 okay books, there may only be three that are astounding. King Solomon warned of this by saying, “…the writing of many books is endless, and excessive study is wearying to the body,” Eccl. 12:12.

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Here are details why Labyrinth is valuable

The book Labyrinth of the World helps us see how a pilgrim dealt with a world that was not what it seemed, which is a cautionary tale for us about dealing with a changing world. We are used to a steady continuum upon which we can count. Yet, existence in our world is changing by the hour, it seems. Pilgrim gives us inner assurance that we can navigate our topsy-turvy world as he went through the labyrinth of the world in his time.

Being assured that persecution and tribulation in this life, as seems to be the growing trend, will be commiserated in our reading of Pilgrim in the Labyrinth of the World. We can be helped in correlating what the New Testament promises (John 16:332 Tim. 3:12), being reflected in the allegorized experience and confirmed in our own lives today. Such provides robust assurances our sharing in persecution and tribulation show that we are in the way God wants.

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Labyrinth of the World clearly presents one of the Anabaptist perspectives of two kingdoms; where the kingdom of God co-exists with the kingdoms of men. This perspective brings back to Christian understanding the reality where the persecuted church, and many persecuted sects in ecclesiastical history, honored God and were the most dynamic of their time period. We will be encouraged by the story of Pilgrim because the more humanity changes, the more its essence stays the same.

Homeschoolers, or anyone wanting to augment their children’s education, will find this story enthralling, inspiring, and encouraging. Pilgrim finds himself in a constant scrap with his own type of “thought police.” They attempt to get him to see the world the way they want him to see it. This battle is the same one we face today. Those who seek to guide us through this life also attempt to get us to see everything according to their ideals. Again, we can receive assurances about being on the narrow way. The experiences we face show us we are on a different path than those in the labyrinth of the world who have no truth.

Few in this life are attempting to not live a good life. This high ideal is as old as time and is just as contemporary in our day. There is a deep-seated drive within us to be assured that we are accomplishing on this level. Since Labyrinth of the World is transcendent, it, at the same time, is contemporary. We can see our struggles in those of Pilgrim’s and receive a definite level of encouragement. This allegorical character fundamentally identifies with us in our own lives and times. A story told in archaic experiences does not have as much impact for us, which is why John Amos Comenius shines as an author. He told a story in terms and situations that identify at a core essence to our own problems so that we can be helped by reading it.

As Pilgrim meets Christ for himself, the story is eloquent in communicating God’s desire for us to enter into practical Christian living. Conversion and transformation are basics in following Christ in the new life He has for us as new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). Aside from the complete change in teaching today, by what calls itself church, readers can be encouraged in the ancient corpus verum Christi (true body of Christ) depicted in The Labyrinth of the World -and- The Paradise of the Heart.


In Conclusion

Today, we need encouragement as at perhaps no other time. The world around us is so topsy turvy that many are unnerved and depressed. At other times in recent years, many could well have bypassed Labyrinth because times seemed good, secure, and leisurely. But with corruption, war, silliness passing for truth and justice, we can be discouraged. Sometimes the Bible seems so far away to us. However, Labyrinth offers both imagery and situations that seem so “today” to us. Such can be so reassuring. We can see how Pilgrim circumnavigates a world of lies and deception in order to find The Paradise of the Heart with God.

Our job is not to deny the realities we face but to find encouragement regardless of them. This allegory is not so buried in the pretension of the literary form of allegory that we find it difficult to identify with the character and find ourselves in his situations to find encouragement. Nor is it so ethereal about the next life that we spend our lives waiting for it so we can deal with a depressing existence until we die. John Amos Comenius gives us great encouragement in the nasty now and now of life amidst a world going to hell, which cannot be changed. But we can stand on peace with God amidst a torrent of all the world’s craziness. I find this to be a real encouragement, even after reading the book five times. Why don’t you consider picking up a copy of this book: