It is a raw, emotionally tearing book, and even though it has been years since I last read it, certain sections have stayed with me. I am referring to Elie Wiesel’s book, Night. As a survivor of the Holocaust (I am told that Wiesel is in the photo above), Mr. Wiesel speaks to the absolute evil that destroyed his faith in God. In one of the more chilling moments, he said,
“Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself.
Suffering is a profoundly challenging subject, and over the course of several years, I’ve shared with you many different lectures exploring the issue. Many of these have fallen short, and I have griped plenty enough about them. Today I want to offer what I think is the best explanation to the problem of evil; an answer, that when you get right down to it, explains why it is so. It doesn’t grapple with the branches on the tree, but it goes right to the very root system itself, the ultimate bedrock, or the place where we can dig no further.
The answer is given in the space of about ten minutes in a message by John Piper. It occurs at about the 30-35 minute mark. The message is called “The Echo and Insufficiency of Hell.” You can also find the entire theme unpacked, but without the crucial quote, in “The Suffering of Christ and the Sovereignty of God.” Both are excellent.
The answer won’t answer all your questions, in fact, it will raise many more. But I do believe that it is the answer.
For the first, go here: Link
For the second, go here: Link
For another excellent message I recently had the pleasure of hearing, check out Dr. Mark Garcia’s, “I Believe in Monsters: God, Horrendous Evils, and the Christian Faith.” It is a carefully crafted gem. http://reformedforum.org/rfs8/