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B. C. Newton

B. C. Newton

By Cole Newton
Audio recordings of my blog articles, both new and old, that aim to provide rooted theology for the unwithered church.
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Skin-Deep Secularism: Thoughts on Amazon's Lord of the Rings Series

B. C. Newton

Lessons at Interpreter's House
In our previous reading, Christiana, her four sons, and Mercy set forth upon their journey and entered through the Wicket-Gate. Though Mercy was fearful of being rejected for not having a received a letter from the King as Christiana had, the Keeper assured her of her acceptance. In our present section, the pilgrims continue along the path and, after escaping an assault, come the house of Interpreter, where they are shown many illustrations that will serve to instruct them for the remainder of their travels. For more resources, visit
September 24, 2022
Mercy & the Wicket-Gate
Last week, we began our journey reading through the second part of the Pilgrim's Progress. There we met Christiana, Christian's wife, as she wrestled with the guilt of having mocked Christian's desire to become a pilgrim. After some visions in the night and a visit from Secret, Christiana resolved to set forth for the Celestial City herself taking her four sons with her. Our previous reading then closed with Christiana's dialogue with her neighbor Mrs. Timorous, who tried to persuade her not to become a pilgrim. In our present passage, Christiana sets out on her journey with her four children and her young neighbor Mercy, who fears that she will not be permitted to pass through the Wicket-gate because she received no invitation from the King. For more resources, visit
September 17, 2022
Christiana, the City of Destruction, and Mrs. Timorous
As we begin reading Part II, we are greeted again by Bunyan who transmits this story to us as the sharing of his dream, and from the very first paragraph, we discover the subject of this tale: Christian's wife and children that he left behind in the City of Destruction. To read more articles and resources, visit
September 10, 2022
Dreams, Cannibalism, & the Dangers of Normative Morality
A few weeks ago, I dreamed a disturbing dream. As with many dreams, I cannot recall the context nor the setting in great detail, yet Tiff and I were eating a meal with others. We were eating meat, which I came to realize was not beef or pork but human. Everyone at the table ate without hesitation, viewing it no different than any other form of meat. I too ate but with some reservation. Deeply embedded within me, I sensed that something was wrong, that something was erroneous. As I debated, still eating, whether I should ask Tiff later if she felt the same, I awoke. To read more articles and resources, visit
August 05, 2022
The River Death & the Celestial City
Having only been blown off course of our initial projected reading schedule by two weeks, we come now to the conclusion of the first part of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Here Christian and Hopeful conclude their pilgrimage and finally arrive at their eternal home in the Celestial City. Of course, while this is the conclusion of Christian's journey, Bunyan wrote a sequel about Christian's wife, Christiana, and after a hiatus for the remainder of July and August, we will begin our study of her pilgrimage in September. For more articles and resources, visit
July 11, 2022
The Enchanted Ground, Hopeful's Conversion, & Ignorance
As we last noted, the content of the ninth stage of Christian's journey was too large for me to adequately capture in one week. Thus, we previously discussed the first half of the stage, particularly Little-faith, Flatterer, and Atheist. Moving on the second half, we shall discuss the Enchanted Ground, Hopeful's testimony, and Ignorance. For more articles and resources, visit
July 08, 2022
Little-Faith, Flatterer, & Atheist
The previous stage took Christian and Hopeful into both the heights and depths of life, which very often do occur back-to-back as Bunyan has described. Now, as has been the pattern since the Valley of Humiliation, Bunyan follows a stage of much action with a stage of much conversation. In the ninth stage, which is bookended by their encounters with Ignorance, the two pilgrims tell the story of Little-Faith, are led into a snare by Flatterer, and enter into the Enchanted Ground. This is the largest reading that we have covered yet, and I soon realized that there was far too much to discuss over the course of one week. Thus, we will break our discussion of this stage into two parts. To read more articles and resources, visit
July 01, 2022
Doubting Castle & Giant Despair
After shunning the corrupting company of By-ends and avoiding the pit at Lucre Hill, the pilgrims Christian and Hopeful concluded the previous stage of their journey with the sight and warning of Lot's wife. Now in this eighth stage, the pilgrims meet three settings: the River of Life, Doubting Castle, and the Delectable Mountains.
June 23, 2022
A Narrow Way Notification
There will be no post on The Pilgrim's Progress this week. The 8th Stage lies still before us with its classic description of Christian and Hopeful being caught in the grip of Giant Despair. Given the ever-growing depression and anxiety rates today, our society as a whole seems to be similarly locked in Doubting Castle. With such a heavy and needed discussion paired with my preparation to preach Mark 10:13-16 (a passage equally heavy and needed), I have found that my mind has had the mental space to only focus on one of the two. And sermons always get the right of way. Use this week, therefore, as an opportunity to catch up with the readings if needed or to read ahead if that suits you best. For more articles and resources, visit
June 17, 2022
By-ends & Demas
After witnessing the death of his fellow companion, Faithful, under a faux trial at Vanity Fair, our last reading ended with Christian escaping from his cell and setting back on his journey, singing in honor of his victorious brother. Along this stage of Christian's pilgrimage, he is joined by a new companion named Hopeful, and the pilgrims navigate their encounters with By-ends and Demas. For more articles and resources, visit
June 10, 2022
Vanity Fair
After Talkative's departure, Christian and Faithful continue on to the next stage of their journey. In this week's reading, the two pilgrims meet with Evangelist who prepares them for the suffering and even death that awaits them in the town called Vanity. Once in Vanity Fair, the pilgrims are mocked, arrested, tried, and Faithful is martyred for the faith. For more resources, visit
June 04, 2022
Faithful & Talkative
Having passed through the Valleys of Humiliation and the Shadow of Death, Christian's journey marches onward. On this leg of his travels, we have two distinct parts. First, Christian begins to walk with Faithful and hears of his pilgrimage thus far. Second, Faithful has a dialogue with another traveler named Talkative. For more resources, visit
May 27, 2022
Humiliation, Apollyon, & the Valley of the Shadow of Death
Our reading picks up with Christian setting out from his stay at the House Beautiful. Discretion, Prudence, Piety, and Charity accompany him down to the foot of the hill, the beginning of the Valley of Humiliation. Here Christian discovered a different kind of difficulty. Scaling the Hill of Difficulty left Christian ascending slowly upon his hands and knees, but descending can be just as perilous as the ascent. Indeed, despite Prudence's warning and Christian's wariness, "he caught a slip or two" (59). We should take heed that it is often after a time of rest, peace, and joy that the Tempter strikes hardest, hoping to catch us unprepared. This, of course, is exactly what befell Christian, as Apollyon came to meet him. For more articles and resources, visit
May 18, 2022
Deliverance, Difficulty, & the House Beautiful
In this third stage of Christian's journey to the Celestial City, he finds deliverance from his burden at the cross, loses his roll of assurance on the hill of difficulty, and finds rest at the House Beautiful. 
May 13, 2022
Interpreter's House
We ended our first week's reading with Christian being sent back to the narrow path toward the wicket-gate by Evangelist. In our present reading, Christian enters the gate, has a brief conversation with Goodwill, and then is given much to meditate upon by Interpreter. For more articles and resources, visit
May 04, 2022
Fleeing the City of Destruction
As we begin our reading together through The Pilgrim's Progress, we first discuss Christian's flight from the City of Destruction, Pliable's short-lived pilgrimage, and the counsel of Mr. Worldly-Wiseman, applying these moments to our own walk with Christ.  To read this article as well as other resources, visit
April 27, 2022
Let's Read The Pilgrim's Progress Together
Our plan is to read both parts of The Pilgrim’s Progress, although we will likely begin Part II around September. The edition that I will be referencing throughout our reading is produced by Banner of Truth, which is a lovely little hardcover containing both parts, fourteen illustrations, and Scripture references in the margins. Of course, given that the narrative follows the pilgrims along their path, readers should be able to follow along using any edition via the stages of the journey that we will discuss each week. You can find full week-by-week reading plan as well as other resources at
April 06, 2022
Is Disney or Scripture Catechizing Your Child's Imagination?
Entertainment producers like Disney, after all, have a tremendous financial incentive for lodging their characters into the imagination of children. Of course, the more fully they are able to catechize children into their narratives the more merchandise they are then able to sell. Yet on an even deeper level, if their tales can become core components of the child’s childhood, then he or she is likely to actively look forward to sharing whichever film or show with his or her own children. In other words, Disney and similar companies are in the multigenerational discipleship game. To read this article and find more resources, visit
March 30, 2022
Skin-Deep Secularism: Thoughts on Amazon's Lord of the Rings Series
I think it was a great choice to set the Amazon's series, The Rings of Power, during the Second Age, depicting the downfall of Númenor. Tolkien wrote the least about the Second Age, so that gives creators a bit more room to go their own route. But I most love the potential that the story of Númenor has to reflect upon our own secular age. Yet, while I will be overjoyed if I am proven wrong, it does not appear that the producers of Amazon’s series understand the heart beneath the story of the fall of the Númenóreans. Read this article and other resources, at
March 23, 2022
Should You Watch The Chosen?
As a pastor, "what do you think about The Chosen?" is a question that I get asked a lot.  Here are my thoughts. 
March 16, 2022
Visionless in a Visual Age: a few thoughts on the Kyle Rittenhouse trial
While the Kyle Rittenhouse shootings were captured by three different videos, the trial and its verdict are still incredibly divisive.  How can everyone look at the same evidence and come away with such opposite opinions? The problem isn't what we see but how we see.  Read this article and other resources at
March 09, 2022
Livestreaming, Metaverse Services, & the Dangers of Digital Gnosticism and Transhumanism
Is livestreaming into a church service the same as attending physically? What about metaverse services? And what do either have to do with digital gnosticism and transhumanism?  To read this article and other resources, visit:
February 23, 2022
Being Authentic Is Not Good Enough
There is nothing innately noble about being your authentic self, especially whenever our authentic selves are very often wicked. To read this article and other resources visit
February 16, 2022
Metaverse Church & the Necessity of the Body
To read the article and other resources, visit
February 09, 2022