Before you read, I warn you that you will not like Badman. I am, of course, referring to the primary character, Mr. Badman, in my new book titled The Life and Death of Mr. Badman…not the book itself. I really hope you enjoy reading the book!
Badman, though, is not meant to be liked, but rather to be repulsed by. In this deeply interesting narrative, John Bunyan is clearly presenting his own warning to unrepentant sinners of the judgment to come in a much more direct way than his previous attempt with The Pilgrim’s Progress.
In the Pilgrim’s Progress, I found myself rooting for Christian as he did his best to stay on the narrow way. I wanted him to succeed amid his struggles and ultimately cross over into Heaven and I cheered when he did!
But like with all evil characters in a story or movie, I found myself wanting Badman to get what’s coming to him for all the bad he’s done. After all, he deserved it…right?
Yes, I suppose he did. But then again, so do I and so do you. The fact is, you might know someone like Badman or, regrettably, see some of him in yourself. But just like Christian in his story of redemption, God actively pursued Badman too. Unfortunately, he just didn’t respond in the same way.
I really like how Pat, one of my Brown Chair Book reviewers, put it:
Christian’s journey on the Way in The Pilgrim’s Progress is my journey, your journey, as we traverse the road of life. But there’s also another journey—one that takes you down an entirely different path in life. At some point, we’re all presented with that path and might have even walked it for a while, but by the grace of God, we found ourselves back on the Way. Many though—by their own choosing—never do. This is the story of Badman.