As some of you know I have a very strong reaction to anything and everything Hitler related as I am a direct decedent of a concentration camp survivor. So I felt incredibly compelled to address the questions. Below is my response to him. Now my friend and I have had many civil discussions regarding our beliefs so I know that he will appreciate my response. I also feel as though this were perfect timing. On the way home from my folks this weekend I listened to an audio referenced below. It is a marvelous ~50min presentation. I have found a link to it online if you have time to listen.
I must address the first question by relating to you the difference between Theists and Pantheists. Pantheists believe that god is in everything and everything is god. So all of the matter, people, and circumstances around us are god; both good and bad. Theists on the contrary believe that God is an unseen, divine creator who has a will for all of the earth and the creatures in habiting it. God is only good and is not present in evil (circumstances, behavior, or events). All people are created in the likeness of God so each person has the capacity for good, yet many chose not to follow good but chose to follow evil.
Since what Hitler did was so evil, the first question is flawed in its very nature. This is not to say that many God fearing individuals were not fooled by this evil man. C.S. Lewis, in his “Screw Tape Letters” articulated that the devil’s greatest trick was convincing the human race that he did not exist. And if he has convinced the world that pure evil does not exists, his plan could then be multiplied into God does not exist.
The second question to me is the easiest to answer. As a Christian I can say without “faith” we have history. Peter Kreeft, in his audio lecture “7 Reasons to be Catholic” articulates this very well. If Jesus’ bones were to show up in some tomb in Palestine, then archeology could absolutely dispel all of Christian teaching and history in an instant. However, as he points out, his bones have not been found. I’m sure there are many would love to find them and prove all of us Christians wrong, but they haven’t. Kreeft also points out that there has been no scientific discovery to disprove any of Christianity. There have been remarkable discoveries in the area of science and archeology, but none of them can pinpoint the “creator” element which many in the science (physics community in particular) have been trying to discover to disprove the idea of a Divine Creator.
As for the third question, as with Abraham, I would if God commanded take my child to sacrifice. I would do everything I possibly could to take their place instead. Thankfully, as a Christian I believe that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient for all of humanity and am confident I will not be asked to make that choice. God himself made this sacrifice for us when his Son was crucified.
Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think. Any additional input would be great to pass along to my friend.