About a month ago, a waitress at my favorite restaurant, knowing my love for reading, handed me this book and told me I should read it. She said, "when you finish it, pass it on to someone else. I have several copies." Now, I never know quite what to think when people tell me about their must-read books (I am quite sure people feel the same about my recommendations). Sometimes, the recommendations are weak, sometimes they are strong, sometimes they are heretical, which leads to interesting conversations.
Anyway, yesterday I picked up this book and decided I would give it a read. It is a short little book, just shy of 140 pages. Lutzer, the pastor of Moody Bible Church, attempts to draw links between Nazi Germany and what he sees happening in the United States. Often, these hypothesized correlations are overwrought. I don't think his are. Lutzer demonstrates how Germany became increasingly atheistic and socialistic under Hitler. Increasing governmental control, religious persecution, economic and educational overcontrol, and propaganda became the name of the game. Living in the United States, there is also evidence of many of these changes on the horizon. One of the points that Lutzer makes is that the Germans seemed quite willing to allow diminished personal freedoms for economic prosperity under Hitler--the proverbial frog in the water. Some Christian leaders stepped up in opposition to Nazis, perhaps most notably Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whom Eric Metaxas featured in an excellent biography. In fact, similar themes arose in Metaxas's book.
The United States in 2013 is not Nazi Germany and Lutzer is careful to make that point. He is also careful not to blame any specific president or party, which I greatly appreciated. But he does ask the question, who is standing watch? Who is guarding liberty? (May I recommend the Centurions Program).
This was a good book that increasingly drew me in the more I read. I would recommend it. In fact, since the waitress who gave it to me asked me to pass it along, I will pass it along to the first Facebook friend of mine to respond.