Hitler's Cross, written by Erwin W. Lutzer, outlines the ways in which, during the Second World War, Adolf Hitler used and twisted both the cross and Christianity to promote himself and further the Nazi agenda. This book seeks to explain "the 'hows' and 'whys' and 'what ifs' of this tragedy". The primary focus of this book is to teach readers how Hitler crushed the church in Germany during his time of power, and to explain where God was in the middle of all of this.
First of all, it is important to understand that nothing happens without God's consent. Therefore, He allowed the Holocaust to happen. Trust me, I know how hard this is to accept and understand. Lutzer explains that God uses even things He hates to direct the world to an appointed end. Satan does have an influence in this world, but only to the extent that God allows.
Secondly, this book describes in great detail Hitler's personal religious beliefs and how they influenced the church in Germany. I had thought all along that Hitler considered himself to be Christian and thought that the church was important in Germany. However, Lutzer explains how Hitler was deeply involved in occultism, and actually tried to destroy the church in Germany. Pastors preached about Hitler, crosses were actually removed and replaced with swastikas on the altars, Mein Kampf took the place of the Bible, and the people were encouraged to "be German, not Christian". Hitler actually took Jesus' place as the one to follow and live by and many parallels were drawn between the two. Jesus' blood was shed to save us, and the Jews' blood also had to be shed to save Germany and the Aryan race. Also, he explained that the idea of Aryan superiority is a very old concept, as is the blaming of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus. Many Christians have believed that the persecution of Jews is punishment from God for His Son's death.
Satan definitely had a hand in the Holocaust and the power given to Hitler, and Lutzer explains why. Satan wants to exterminate the Jews so God will be unable to fulfill His promise that the Jews will flourish in the end. Satan wants God to be proven a liar. However, we know that Satan does not have the power to undermine God, and nothing will get in the way of God's plan. The "final solution" was not final.
I learned so much from this book about how Hitler gained his power, why he wasn't stopped, and how he had such an influence over the church. I realized that many things I thought I understood were wrong. I also really enjoyed explanations of how loving God is despite the horrible things that happen, and that He can never be defeated.
The only thing that bothered me about the book is that the author would go off on tangents and get off topic quite a bit about modern day issues, such as abortion and gay rights, which were very out of place within the rest of the information.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.
*I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.