I often listen to master apologist Ravi Zacharias’ podcast and have been meaning to read a book by him. This short book, with an interesting title and concept seemed like a good place to start. I’m not so sure.
The concept of the book (and “Great Conversations” series) is simple but intriguing – “what would the conversation between Jesus and Hitler be like at the Final Judgement?
While there were great apologetical points made during the conversation a few things bothered me:
1. Zacharias’ Arminian perspective is evident in some places, and in my view diminish the glory of God. For example in a section where Hitler asks Jesus why He didn’t just make people love Him, Jesus responds, “It’s not enough to command love; it must be wooed” (p.81). Is this to imply that, among other things, that if someone does not fall in love with Christ, it is because Christ is an incompetent wooer? This seems to contradict Scriptures like John 10:14-18, John 6:37 and many others that speak of the sovereign, gracious, irresistible call of the Shepherd to His sheep. If Jesus had never made me love Him, I wouldn’t.
2. For some reason Bonhoeffer shows up as sort of a prosecutor. This was interesting but unnecessary. He is given some of the best lines.
3. There is just something that feels trite about Jesus arguing with Hitler. Maybe I’m way off but I can’t imagine Hitler (or anyone not reconciled to Christ) being able to keep his underwear clean, let alone verbally contending with, the risen, glorified Christ sitting on His throne of judgement.
I still admire and will continue to learn from Ravi Zacharias and his ministry. But I don’t think I will be recommending this book to many people.