This is a short, readable biography of the 20th century's most notorious villain. Author Ray Comfort spends the first half outlining Hitler's life and the rise of the Nazi Party and then spends the second half dealing with "Religion in the Reich." Both parts are intriguing but I suspect it is the second half that will really grab most readers.
Religion was a big part of the Reich and Hitler loved to talk about God. Because he regularly insisted he was doing God's work, and because he issued Nazi soldiers belt buckles that read "Gott mit uns" (God with us), and because he started his own church there are some who will argue that Hitler was a Christian.
Of course anyone make this contention has never read a Bible, so they don't know that in Matthew 7:15-23 Jesus explains that claiming to follow Him is very different from actually following Him: "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Jesus also told us we would know these liars by their "fruit" - by their deeds.
Everyone is aware of Hitler's worst deed: the Holocaust was a transgression against the sixth commandment 6 million times over. But Comfort details another devilish deed that you may not have heard much about. Hitler started his own church which was meant to unify all the Protestant churches. While some brave pastors resisted (including Dietrich Bonhoeffer) his "National Reich Church" did serve as an umbrella organization over many Protestant churches, pressuring them to follow its lead. With the help of Alfred Rosenberg a 30-point program for the Reich Church was laid out. These points included:
- restricting the import of the Bible and other Christian publications
- declaring Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf "the greatest of all documents"
- the clearing away off of altars "all crucifixes, Bibles and pictures of Saints" and in their place "nothing but Mein Kampf...and to the left of the altar a sword"
- a specific rejection of the forgiveness of sins
- a repudiation of "the christening of German children, particularly the christening with water and the Holy Ghost"
- preaching was to be done from Mein Kampf
Though mention was still made of God, Hitler showed his interest in the Church was only to see if he could twist it to further his own ends.
Near the end of the book Comfort spends a few pages presenting the gospel and decrying abortion, which might be a surprising addition to anyone expecting only a history lesson. But it is a natural fit. Comfort notes that the reason so many supposedly Christian people followed Hitler is because they were Christians in name only who didn't know the true gospel. Comfort also compares the willful ignorance of the German nation - they knew but didn't know what was being done to the Jews - with the West's willful ignorance of what is being done in our abortion clinics. So this is a history lesson with some modern day application.
The only negative might be the size - this is a good overview, but it isn't in depth. However that is also a feature: the small size makes this an approachable read, and because the subject matter is important and challenging, and the writing so very readable, it is a book most anyone would enjoy.
You can buy a copy at Amazon.com by clicking here though it might be a bit cheaper at livingwaters.com.
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