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4.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0802435831
Manufacturer : Moody Publishers|
Release data : 01 June, 1998
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A history lesson and a warning for the church today
Erwin Lutzer's name is not likely to be the first to come to mind when people talk about prominent chroniclers of the history of Nazi Germany, but he has certainly done his homework here and presents - in a nutshell - how Adolf Hitler was able to take over the German church. There were resisters, of course, and Lutzer focuses in large part on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who went so far as to become involved in an assassination plot on Hitler. This book is an interesting read for those who are interested in the history of the Third Reich.
However, Lutzer uses all of this history to build up to his final chapter about the American church in our own day. The book is a wake-up call: the church needs to become involved in politics and lawmaking, or it will be swept aside. While it is true that the church needs to focus primarily on peoples' spiritual needs, inaction in law-making will lead the church inexorably toward irrelevance and ineffectiveness in all things. I'm sure that critics will immediately bring up the fact that our country has separation of church and state; however, this simply prohibits the setting up of a state religion (if you want to know the problems with the state and the church being under one umbrella, then examine medieval European history and the conditions in Islamic countries today).
In the U.S. the church is still subject to the laws of the state and, therefore, it should also be allowed to legally exert influence on the shaping of those laws. Lutzer uses the following quote from Rausas Rushdoony's book titled "Law and Liberty" to highlight the necessity of the church taking a role in the shaping of our country's laws: "Behind every system of law there is a god. To find the god in any system, locate the source of law in that system...When you choose your authority, you choose your god, and where you look for your law, there is your god."
The church has already been bulllied by the law, which has been shaped primarily by secular humanists, for the past three and a half decades; inactivity on the part of individual members, as well as the body as a whole, will not make conditions better in America. Unless we want to see the influence of Christ and His church diminish until, as in Nazi Germany, the church is under the goverment's thumb rather than separate from it, we had better heed Lutzer's call to action and get involved. This does not mean that every Christian has to become a politican/lawmaker - although we need Christian lawmakers, too - but that the church needs to make its voice heard, and that starts simply at the voting booth.
A fascis-ating read
The revealing story of how the cross of christ was used as a symbol of the nazi agenda.
The book begins with the rise of Hitler, where his beliefs stemmed from, the manipulation of the people and how he replaced the cross with the swastika. The book then gets into the church and the role it played. Quite a bit is dedicated to Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was executed at age 39. He gave his life for what he believed in. There are good books available on Bonhoeffers writings. The book ends discussing Americas own hidden cross.
Lutzer does a wonderful job illustrating and detailing the reasons Christians living during the Holocaust failed to rebel against the Thrid Reich. Not only does he help you understand just how it happened, but he warns us just how fickle the human heart can be in that it could very well happen again (even in the seemingly invincible United States).
The content of the book is more "entertaining" than the style of writing, though, whether or not you enjoy the style it is definitely a worthy read.