Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Brown's (Not Dante's) Inferno

Published today, Dan Brown's latest offering to his expectant readers, ‘Inferno’, is poised for the biggest first day of sales since Harry Potter.  Indeed, the Da Vinci Code author's new work featuring the reluctant hero, art historian Robert Langdon, was already Amazon's top-selling book even before it was published.

The book is the fourth in the series featuring Robert Langdon, beginning with ‘The Da Vinci Code’ in 2003 which went on to sell 80 million copies. Brown’s last book, ‘The Lost Symbol’ precipitated a similar initial sales frenzy, with 500,000 hardback copies sold in its first week.

‘Inferno’ has already affected the sales patterns of more ancient texts. The works of the 14th century poet Dante Alighieri, author of the poem ‘Inferno’ have once again become popular.

Brown’s novel has been translated into different languages under the highest security at Italy’s largest publishing company. Demand for the book will be global: the rewards for the author and publishers are expected to be equally mind-boggling.

In a pre-publication interview with the Sunday Times, Brown has promised that ‘Inferno’ will be his “darkest yet”.  In a further enticement to his readers, Brown hinted there is part of the book “that is secret and timely, that is really what is going to be most controversial about the book", adding...... “I’ve known for quite some time that I would write a book based on the Inferno. Having written Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, I’ve spent a lot of time on Christian ideology and history. The Bible states that there’s an underworld, and it hints that it might not be a very nice place, but it wasn’t until the 1300s and this vision of Inferno that it became terrifying. Dante has had enormous influence on the Christian view of hell.”

Dan Brown is quite right. The Bible talks a lot about hell. In the Bible it is the place of future punishment and the final destination for unbelievers. It is described in Scripture using various terms such as eternal fire, outer darkness, a place of weeping and torment, the lake of fire, the second death, unquenchable fire. What is most terrifying and real about hell is that it is a real place where:

·         Punishment is eternal i.e. it goes on forever.

·         There is complete separation from God.

·         There is continuous fire.

·         There is constant and unremitting pain.

The good news is that hell can be avoided. God sent his son Jesus Christ to die on a cross and take the punishment for the sin of each individual. The Bible says:  “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.............Now that’s really good news worth shouting about !!!!
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