I bumped into this title on Audible and I was fascinated. Ray Comfort is a Christian minister. Moreover, his mother was Jewish. Therefore, this had to be an incredibly uncomfortable undertaking for him. I applaud him for having the guts to take it on, and I was genuinely interested in his take on Hitler, God, and The Bible.
I’m going to jump straight into the review here. Ray actually does an excellent job laying out his historical overviews. Obviously, the war and personal blog of Adolf Hitler aren’t the point, but are necessary for the premise. He gives these aspects adequate coverage while being very concise. He did a fantastic job on this part.
Ray also does well at showing how Hitler used religion to help achieve his goals. However, he left out a very important piece of the puzzle. I’ll get to that later. Comfort addresses the opposing views that Hitler was an atheist or a Christian. He is extraordinarily fair in establishing that Hitler did believe in God, but that he wasn’t a good Christian. Actually, he goes one step further.
In Hitler, God, and The Bible Ray Comfort argues that Hitler wasn’t a Christian.
Having been raised in a Christian family, I want to address this point. Hitler claimed to be a Christian, therefore he was. I understand the viewpoint. He clearly didn’t live a good Christian life. However, you don’t get to decide for him. Any reasonable person will concede that his life wasn’t guided by Christian principles. Moreover, no reasonable person will assert that his personal religious convictions drove him to his horrific crimes against humanity.
The 9/11 terrorists abused Islam, much like Hitler did Christianity. They follow a perversion of the religion, and use it to justify their horrific crimes. Are they a fair representation of Islam? Not at all. However, they are still Muslims. Similarly, Hitler was a Christian.
One more beef with the book. In the last chapter, he turns the whole thing into an anti-abortion crusade. I found this to be bizarrely odd and out of place. I consider it an alternative ending. Skip it if you like.
The book is largely fair and well written. I found it to be informative and worth the listen. If you simply wanted a review, that’s it. What follows is my critique of what he left out, and what he got wrong theologically.
What role did Martin Luther play in the holocaust?
Martin Luther was a disgusting and virulent antisemite. His defenders will say this was a later development. I’m sorry, but I can’t buy that. Click this link if you want to read the disgusting garbage that this bigot spewed. I will only cite one quote of his because it is necessary.
First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. Martin Luther
Unfortunately , I don’t know what role Luther had to play in shaping antisemitism in Germany. Ray Comfort never addressed the topic. This is a glaring oversight. Especially considering that the Nazis did use Luther in their propaganda (see below) and Kristallnacht did fall on the reformers birthday.
Did God ordain Hitler?
Comfort fairly disassociates Hitler from Christianity by showing that Hitler violated Christian theology and morality continuously. However, he fails to address the fact that Christian theology links God with Hitler. Romans 13:1 tells us that Governments are instituted by God. This theological hurdle can be cleared, but it was not addressed in the book.
The wages of sin is…
Ray Comfort can’t address any topic without evangelizing. He does so in this book. However, he does so in a bizarre way. He tells me to read the laws of Moses and ask myself if I’ve violated any of them. Of course, I have. A few. Dozen. More than once. Then he takes me to the New Testament to show me that any violation, not matter how small, gets a death penalty.
This is highly problematic. In the law of Moses we see the penalties for violations of the law. Think about it. An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, limb for limb, life for life. This very saying establishes that the price for every sin isn’t death. And yes, I’m aware that New Testament theology teaches otherwise, and he is entitled to that viewpoint. But why send me to Tanakh to judge me then to Romans for sentencing? It doesn’t make sense. The law given to Moses includes punishments. If convicted by that law I should be punished accordingly.