Tag Archives: Erwin Lutzer

JRF

JRF’s #3 – Hitler’s Cross by Erwin Lutzer

Adolph Hitler’s rise to power did not happen in a vacuum.  In this thought-provoking book, pastor Erwin Lutzer traces the story of how Hitler’s Nazis came to power in the very heartland of the Protestant Reformation.  Through tracing the cultural, theological and political storylines of pre-World War II Germany Lutzer skillfully shows what happens when patriotism, nationalism, and humanism are given a higher place than the Gospel and Biblical fidelity in the church.

It was at once fascinating and terrifying to examine how Hitler deceived, seduced, and hijacked the German church to serve his diabolical purposes.  It was also inspiring to learn of the brave few believers who stood against both Hitler and the apostate church at the cost of their reputation and lives.

Lutzer gives much food for thought in regard to how this “christian” nation with such a rich theological history was so easily led down such a Satanic path…and what that means for the American church.  While I at times think Lutzer overgeneralizes or connects dots through assumption rather than hard facts, his assumptions are well worth considering.

I leave you with a few questions:  Were the church-going German people any less depraved than you and me?  Why were they able to silence their conscience and give tacit or even enthusiastic approval to the slaughter of their neighbors?  Are we as American Christians susceptible or even guilty of conveniently being apathetic to injustice or even genocide in our own midst?  Have we put our faith in the power of politics over the power of the Cross?

Read Hitler’s Cross to have your mind engaged and your soul stirred to stand for the Gospel at the cost of your life, for the good of your neighbor, and to the glory of God.

 

“Denying God and casting down the cross is never a merely private decision that concerns only my own inner life and my personal salvation, but this denial immediately brings the most brutal consequences for the whole of historical life and especially for our own people.  ’God is not mocked.’  The history of the world can tell us terrible tales based on that text.”

- Helmut Thielicke

 

“The Cross reminds us that the battle is not so much between church and state as it is within our own hearts.  If Christ has all of us, if the Cross stands above politics and the world as Bonhoeffer has reminded us, we shall overcome regardless of the cost.”

 

 

JRF

JRF’s #37 – After You’ve Blown It: Reconnecting with God and Others – by Erwin Lutzer

In this small, practical book, Erwin Luzter (pastor of Moody church in Chicago) speaks Gospel truth to a situation that we all have experience in – sin – or  “blowing it”.

This book was an encouragement to me as I tend to be the kind of person that easily focuses on the weight of sin and when I “blow it” I am prone to let the cloud of my sin eclipse the sun of God’s grace and forgiveness.  This book was great reminder that not only is that foolish, but compounds my problem by thinking that by wallowing in misery I am somehow able to earn God’s favor.  Truly realizing the seriousness of sin should not push us away from God but push us to to the Cross.

While it does not even come close to plumbing the depths of the Gospel and its implications for our daily lives and relationships – and here and there where a few cheesy catch phrases that I found unhelpful and misleading -  I was routinely impressed with how concisely Lutzer was able to illustrate and explain powerful truths and their applications in this short book.

For that reason I would commend this book to any and all who have ever felt that their sin is beyond forgiveness and that they have “blown it” one time too many.

 

(speaking about the Prodigal Son) “…the father’s love cuts both ways:  It beckons him to return, but also magnifies his own rebellion.  If the young man returns, he will have to face his own guilt and shame in the presence of undeserved love.  Grace is often more difficult to accept than the law wielded with a heavy club.” – p.20

“In light of God’s grace, it is sheer arrogance for us to hang on to our guilt.” – p.45

“Grace should create within us a passion for Christ that is greater than our passion to sin.” – p. 67

 

 

 

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