Friday, October 12, 2012

Dorothy Sayers on the Inferno

Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957)
"We must abandon any idea that we are all the slaves of chance, or environment, or our subconscious; any vague notion that good and evil are merely relative terms, or that conduct and opinion do not really matter; any comfortable persuasion that, however shiftlessly we muddle through life, it will somehow or other all come right on the night.  We must try to believe that man's will is free, that he can consciously exercise choice, and that his choice can be decisive to all eternity"

Dorothy Sayers, from the introduction to her translation of the Inferno, quoted in Dante's Divine Comedy: Inferno, a prose translation by Kathryn Lindskoog.

We make free choices.  God is absolutely sovereign.  These two ideas seem contradictory but they are a paradox of the Christian faith.  Greater thinkers than myself have written volumes on this topic but one of the themes of the Inferno (and indeed the Scripture) is that our actions (big or small, weighty or "inconsequential") have eternal implications.  Thank God for His grace given through Jesus Christ!
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