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Book recommendation: “When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn from Nazi Germany” by Erwin W. Lutzer

This is a fantastic book on the parallels between today’s society in America and that of Nazi Germany.

The author takes a chilling look into the similarities between the life, culture, politics, and mindset of the populace in Nazi Germany and how we are seeing history begin to repeat itself (as it often does) today. 

Here’s the book’s description:

“According to Dr. Lutzer, the German people’s progression from civility to barbarity was not extraordinary yet the Nazi regime will forever serve as an example of brutality and extreme racism run amok. More than a few benchmarks from their transition can be observed in present day American society. This book does not suggest the United States is definitely marching toward authoritarian oblivion, but that we — especially we believers — must take note of these lessons from history and be vigilant in our stand for truth, justice, and righteousness.”

This book serves as not only a history lesson, but as a warning for where we’re headed. Here is a quote from the book:

. . . [L]aws making education in public schools compulsory have historically been found in the most totalitarian of governments where state-sponsored indoctrination was a major goal of the educational system. Although it is still legal to homeschool children in America, we can’t assume that freedom will continue. . . . The children in [Nazi] Germany were subjected to films that presented the Nazis’ view that the Jews were subhuman and that they were an unnecessary burden on society. Darwin’s evolutionary notions were also presented in the classroom to extol the virtues of the Aryan race (the Germans) and that the evolutionary idea of survival of the fittest could be hurried along by the extermination of the weak. Since only the fittest survive it makes good sense that “might makes right.” Hitler asked, “Why can’t we be as cruel as nature?”

And here is another quote from the book:

When Hitler starved children, he called it putting them on a “low-calorie diet.” And the extermination of Jews was called “cleansing the land.” Euthanasia was referred to as “the best of modern therapy.” Children were put to death in “Children’s Specialty Centers.”

Hitler’s cronies seldom said they were going to kill people; even when plans were made to exterminate millions, the leaders spoke only in abstract slogans such as “the final solution.” Sanitized terms were used to camouflage unspeakable crimes. Planned massacres were spoken of in clinical terms to mislead the naïve and to assuage the conscience of the perpetrators.

We do the same, of course. No one speaks of killing preborn infants. Rather, pregnant women are only removing “a product of conception” or a woman is simply “terminating a pregnancy.” Politicians speak of being in favor of “a woman’s right to choose . . .” but they seldom complete the sentence. Somehow to say they are in favor of a woman’s right to choose to kill her preborn infant, is too honest, too clear—we might add, and too chilling.

Homosexual behavior turns out to be nothing more than “an alternate lifestyle.” And adultery is reduced to the more innocuous word: affair. Schools that demean religion and promote immorality are said to be “value free” and laws which deny religious speech are promoted as “the fairness doctrine” or simply promoting “localism.” Historically, horrendous crimes have been committed in the name of liberty.

After reading this book (and previously posting a quote from it), I was informed that the author holds to the idea of easy believeism. I did not see this presented in the book as the author dealt mostly with how history is repeating itself in politics and culture, so the book is safe for consumption in that regard.

5 comments on “Book recommendation: “When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn from Nazi Germany” by Erwin W. Lutzer

  1. A very effecient machine all run ontime by an IBM keypunch machine, or really thousands of them. So good in fact that they could track Jews to 1/16th Jew through data mining!
    Thomas Watson was the president of IBM. His 3rd largest client was Hitler. The top 2 clients were U.S. income tax and U.S. social security. This is all documented quite well in a book called
    http://www.ibmandtheholocaust.com/

    “Watson was the computer that beat Jeopardy champs. Oh how much better they are at tracking today

  2. Any idea where the book is available to buy, other than Amazon?

    Thanks.

  3. I was given this book by a pastor who thought I’d like it. I posted a short review about it almost back in Nov 2010: http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/11/important-new-book.html

    I ended up purchasing about a dozen more to pass to people. It is an excellent, thought-provoking book which should be heeded.

  4. Great book as it is a real eye-opener to be alert to what is going on around!
    I would not place Lutzer in the “easy believeism” category. I, also, did not find that present in this book or any of his other writings / presentations I have read and heard. He even has a book (The Doctrines that Divide) where he criticizes easy believeism so I would need to see evidence of this. He also has a great podcast on the the Gospel Coalition website, http://thegospelcoalition.org/resources/a/substitutes_for_the_gospel_a_modest_critique_of_modern_evangelicalism
    Thanks for the post.

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