Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

No Pity in Hell

As Dante journeys through the underworld in The Divine Comedy, he meets a number of people for whom he feels a certain degree of pity. He swoons continually in the circle of incontinence, making us wonder, perhaps, if his own personal struggles lay in that area. However, the Poet Dante wants us to know what the Pilgrim Dante has to learn through Virgil. Hell is a place for people who have completely rejected the image of God and have fallen under Divine Judgment. Everyone has a story in Hell, and everyone is able, in their own minds, to justify their own actions. However, God is perfectly just, as we see from the inscription on the gate of Hell:


Hell is indeed a place of suffering, and natural human sentiment makes us want to pity suffering. However, here is a place where circumstances dictate otherwise. To pity those in Hell means to deny the justice of God's judgment. Pity implies mercy, and mercy forgiveness. However Hell is populated with those who have, by their own willful and sinful actions, placed themselves outside of God's mercy. They have removed themselves from the circle of Divine Love, and receive in the next life exactly what they created for themselves in the first.

The relevance for us today is that there are many things that the Scriptures clearly call sin, which our secular culture would like to excuse. The law code of the Old Testament is seen as hopelessly barbaric and intolerant. However, the law was written by God and partakes in Divine Justice. Any aspersions cast on the list of crimes or punishments prescribed in the Old Testament is equivalent to an indictment of the One who made those laws.

When Virgil sees Dante weeping for those in Hell, he rebukes him:

Truly I wept, leaned on the pinnacles
Of the hard rock; until my guide said, "Why!
And art thou too like all the other fools?

Here pity, or here piety, must die
If the other lives; who's wickeder than one
That's agonised by God's high equity.

Likewise, followers of Christ can never be embarrassed or cowed by secularists to deny or condemn the perfectly just code of law laid out by the Creator in the Old Testament.


Anonymous said…
God is a God of supreme love and compassion. If we choose to reject Him it is our own fault, we are incurring the judgment on ourselves. He has already forgiven us, we need to embrace that forgiveness.

Since God is everywhere when we go to meet Him it can either be like a warming sun or a scorching heat. It all depends upon us, if we enter death wracked with sin, and not even the inkling of repentance, then woe on us. It is our own fault.

God leaves us free to chose. There is no predestination.
Rick said…
Um... okay, let me check something...

Nope, doesn't look like I mentioned predestination in any way in this post. Or even slightly touched on it. Are you sure you're commenting on the right post?