Friday, October 19, 2012

Lutherans Against Hitler: The Untold Story by Lowell C. Green

A friend loaned me a copy of Lutherans Against Hitler: The Untold Story by Lowell C. Green. The title made me a little suspicious that this was some kind of sensationalist revisionist history but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's actually very well-researched and honest. Green honestly discusses the strengths and weaknesses of confessional Lutherans who took a stand against Hitler and provides lots of support from both primary sources and personal interviews. Green does not make sweeping generalizations but instead provides an incredibly detailed account that manages to stay interesting throughout. Green's work doesn't concentrate on well-known Lutherans like Bonhoeffer. Instead his work provides information on the less well known confessional Lutherans. He does a good job of explaining how Hitler managed to gain the support of so many churches and the theological issues that kept Lutherans and the Reformed from taking a united stand against Hitler. He shows the similarities between the bad eschatology of Karl Barth and Hitler. He also shows how Karl Barth's theology which denied the distinction between Law and Gospel and also denied general revelation removed the necessary tools to oppose Hitler. The book is mostly descriptive rather than prescriptive but much can be learned that has current application. It shows us what can happen when doctrine is set aside and we unite based on national identity and generic god-talk.

1 comment:

Tamara Slack said...

That was excellent. Thanks for letting us know about this book, Charles.

Tamara Slack