My Auschwitz reflections…

Visited the Auschwitz Concentration camp in Poland last Saturday… 

Most of us on the tour had underestimated the weather and dressed too lightly, so were literally shivering with cold for most of the tour… I cant begin to imagine what the inmates went through with the meagre protection they had from the elements, let alone the Germans. Talking about the Germans: I was walking alone and said to one of my daughters something along the lines of “its a good thing that we didnt live at that time.”    She replied: “Why, we’re not Jewish? ”  My reply revealed my thoughts: “Yes, but we are German…”   Like when GK Chesterton read a newspaper column which explored the question of “whats wrong with the world?” he replied: “I am.”  I agree…

Following our Auschwitz visit on the Saturday I was back in London on Sunday to preached a response to the BIG QUESTION “Why does a supposedly good and almighty God allow suffering in the world?”  This is a very important question for which every Christian should have at least a solid “apologetic” for. You can listen to the message here and see how I propose that the “mystery” of this question must be considered from 4 perspectives in order to understand it from within a Biblical World view:

  • The “free will” perspective
  • The “temporal/eternal” perspective
  • The “purpose” perspective
  • The “God with us” perspective.

My conclusion considering these 4 perspectives is the same as what we read in 1 Peter 5:10-11  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

You comments welcome….

2 thoughts on “My Auschwitz reflections…

  1. It’be been great to have you all in Krakow! Our trip to Auschwitz was also an experience to me… Living in the south of Poland I went there somewhere in primary school and then after many years together with you… As a Christian it really touched me deeply… Great sermon as well!

  2. Mike Brownnutt

    In your sermon, you said that you *cannot* by reason, understand or explain the problem of suffering. And that is a strong statement, which got me thinking. If there isn’t a reason, or if I have to resort to “non-overlapping perspectives”, what am I doing?

    Then I came across a passage by Viktor Frankl (my search inspired by your frequent reference to him) where he pointed out that, for example, a monkey cannot enter into the world of men to comprehend the meaning behind their actions. By the same token “is it not conceivable that there is still another dimension , a world beyond man’s world; a world in which the ultimate meaning of human suffering would find an answer?
    “What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms.”

    I found that interesting.

    Professional scientist, or trained monkey, we continue to try to understand. Though I can see there exist questions for which we may never get there.

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