Quotation of the Week

“We know from our own lives that we overlook the unhappiness around us. If we were fully aware of all the things the people around us struggle with—in our family, in our office, in our place of work—and if we were fully aware of the cries of the hungry, the degraded, and the suffering in the whole world, it would almost overwhelm us. Therefore we repress it and act as if we didn’t see it. During the Third Reich we closed our eyes and ears to the treatment of Jews and the rumors of concentration camps. For if we had seen and heard something, it would have led to the dangerous duty of protesting. We didn’t want to subject ourselves, though, to these dangerous protests. Therefore, exactly like the priest and the Levite, we made a wide detour around that screaming injustice and acted as though we had not seen it…

It is not because we neither saw it nor knew of it that we neglected to come to the rescue in love. It is exactly the opposite: Because we had no love, we saw nothing and looked for nothing.”

From How to Believe Again by Helmut Thielicke


  1. He’s great. A pastor and preacher in Germany during the war, his is a powerful witness.

    Must reads by him are Life Can Begin Again (on the Sermon on the Mount); the Waiting Father and Our Heavenly Father.

  2. Tough to get his stuff outside of seminary bookstores these days. Hard to get ’em even online at Amazon or Powell’s or at The Tattered Cover, our local in-the-flesh and just-might-change-your-life subversive big book store here in Denver.

    His break down of Genesis in “How the World Began” influenced the way I looked at the world and the church in my early twenties and had a big impact on my subsequent work with IV and Servant Partners.

    I’m not as big a fan of his take as I once was, but I’m as grateful to him as almost any Christian writer I can think of. Can’t go wrong Herr Helmut :^)

  3. Yeah, he can be hard to find for sure. Powells in Portland was my richest source, and I found handful of titles at Archives in Pasadena when I moved here.

  4. Lots of time spent at the Archives.

    I sold John Wipff about a thousand of my books when I left IV to raise money to start Servant Partners. John was the wonderful and anarchic businessman who got the bookstore off the ground.

    He stiffed me and paid me about 20 cents on the dollar.

    I was glad to make the contribution. Sometimes you’re glad to get taken :^)

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