Mike Cope's blog

Monday, April 19, 2004

In the year I was born, Elie Wiesel wrote a stirring memoir of the Holocaust called Night. It was a brutally honest account from this man who lost both his parents and his younger sister in concentration camps. Here is a stirring interview with this Nobel Peace Prize winner (1986) in which he talks about his faith. It isn't the existence of God he doubts, he says, but the ways of God. (If this sounds blasphemous to you, go back and read biblical literature again!) In other words, his crisis is one of "God's apparent absence." He speaks profoundly about evil, suffering, prayer, and faith. "The tragedy of the believer is greater than the tragedy of the unbeliever," Wiesel claims. Why? Because the suffering all around is just what an unbeliever might expect. But an honest believer is faced with cognitive dissonance. Once you face up to this, there is, for sure, a chance you might lose your faith. But there is also a chance your faith can move to a deeper level of trust. As for me, I'll take Wiesel's struggles over the easy, breezy health-and-wealth stuff that fills Christian bookstores. (Actually, my own preference would be for the writings of Philip Yancey, who constantly faces the reality of suffering -- but from the perspective of a Christ-follower.)

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