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When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn from Nazi Germany Paperback – January 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews



“Using the history of Nazi Germany as his canvas, Lutzer brilliantly illustrates a critically important truth.”

Frank Wright, Ph.D.
President & CEO
National Religious Broadcasters


“Woodrow Wilson once spoke of the futility of a nation that forgets its heritage.  Erwin Lutzer asks a far more penetrating question: What happens to the nation that forgets God?  Using the history of Nazi Germany as his canvas, Lutzer brilliantly illustrates a critically important truth.  Just as nature abhors a vacuum, a culture which drives every vestige of God from the marketplace of ideas inevitably finds it has sown seeds that it will reap in the whirlwind.”

Frank Wright, Ph.D.
President & CEO
National Religious Broadcasters

From the Back Cover

"This excellent book is so important. It clearly and powerfully explains what the parallels are between Germany's fall from grace and the beginning of our own fall."¿—Eric Metaxas, author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

In When A Nation Forgets God, Erwin Lutzer studies seven similarities between Nazi Germany and America today—some of them chilling—and cautions us to respond accordingly. Engaging, well-researched, and easy to understand, the book explains the messes of our nation’s government, economy, legal pitfalls, and propaganda and points to the God who always has a plan.

In the early twentieth century, Germany didn’t look like a country on the brink of world-shaking terrors. It looked like America today. When a Nation Forgets God uses history to warn us of a future that none of us wants to see. It urges us to speak up, take action, and trust in God.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802446566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802446565
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Erwin W. Lutzer is senior pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago. A graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and Loyola University, he is the author of numerous books, including the Gold Medallion Award winner "Hitler's Cross" and the best seller "One Minute After You Die." He is also a teacher on radio programs heard on more than 700 stations throughout the United States and the world, including "Songs in the Night," "The Moody Church Hour," and the daily feature "Running to Win." He and his wife, Rebecca, live in the Chicago area and have three married children and seven grandchildren.

Rebecca Lutzer

Rebecca Lutzer is the wife of Erwin W. Lutzer, senior pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago, where they have enjoyed 28 years of ministry. For more than 30 years, Rebecca has been a pastor's wife and has used her gifts of hospitality, mercy, and teaching to minister to many women. She has taught Bible studies, counseled and discipled women, organized conferences and seminars, and spoken to women's groups. Rebecca was born and grew up in Dallas, Texas, where she attended Dallas Bible College. She is an RN and enjoyed working as a surgical nurse for several years. God provided numerous opportunities for her to bring comfort and peace to those going into surgery by sharing the love of Christ with them. It has always been Rebecca's passion to teach women how to grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. The heart of her message focuses on helping women learn how to live faithfully in the seasons of life, waiting for God to meet their needs in His time and way. She is the mother of three lovely married daughters and the grandmother of six adorable grandchildren. Rebecca and her husband coauthored "Jesus, Lover of a Woman's Soul," a book about Jesus' real relationships with women throughout His life--and how He changed their worlds.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Armstrong on March 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
George Santayana (along with numerous other philosophers over the centuries) said, "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." By understanding the past, you can see the trends that lead to specific trends that transform a culture--for good or for evil.

In When a Nation Forgets God, Erwin W. Lutzer takes this sentiment to heart, revealing to readers seven societal trends that led to the rise of Nazi Germany, and how Christians should respond.

The purpose of this book is not to fuel anyone's political agendas, nor is it saying that America today is like Nazi Germany or ever will be. Rather, with great skill, tact and wisdom, Lutzer is showing readers the importance of trajectory--in particular, showing where certain trends could lead America, though, as he stresses, not necessarily would.

As religious faith is increasingly privatized, particularly with regard to Christian belief and practice--as church and state are increasingly separated, laws creep in that actually circumvent justice and morality. Freedom of speech is lost in the name of political correctness and a confused view of tolerance. As economies melt down, people can become increasingly willing to give up their civil liberties in exchange for comfort. Media is increasingly used to define the cultural norms of society and sets the moral boundaries. Public school systems increasingly take over the role of training children from parents and in the process have the potential to indoctrinate them with groupthink.

These are the techniques that Hitler used to gain control of Germany. An economically crushed nation, desperate for some glimmer of hope latched onto what it perceived to be a strong leader, one who promised to give the people their national pride back. And he did.
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Jared Totten on February 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was not always an easy one to read. I imagine it was an even harder one to write. But when your subject matter details the parallels between the political and social climates of Nazi Germany and modern-day America--and when you bring up hot button topics like abortion, censorship, homosexuality and hate speech--author and reader alike would do well to not expect an easy ride. Though I didn't agree with every comparison, Erwin Lutzer made some poignant insights in When a Nation Forgets God.

As Lutzer explains, "Nazism did not arise in a vacuum. There were cultural streams that made it possible for this ideology to emerge and gain a wide acceptance by the popular culture." In particular, it was disturbing to read how inept the majority of the church was during the rise of Nazism. While this is a short book, he deals with some heavy material as the chapters headings suggest:

1. When God Is Separated from Government, Judgment Follows
2. It's Always the Economy
3. That Which Is Legal Might Also Be Evil
4. Propaganda Can Change a Nation
5. Parents--Not the State--Are Responsible for a Child's Training
6. Ordinary Heroes Can Make a Difference
7. We Must Exalt the Cross in the Gathering Darkness

At times I felt he pressed his comparisons too far, but he was close enough to the mark often enough that the ideas must be dealt with whether one agrees with his conclusions or not. This book would not be one I would loan to my non-Christian friends, but every Christian should read and pray that our hearts would be softened and our spines would be strengthened.

This book was a free review copy provided by Moody Publishers.
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57 of 69 people found the following review helpful By David A. Brumley on January 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
This review can also be found on [...] THIS BOOK IS GREAT!!!! That should sum up my thoughts on this new publication from Erwin W. Lutzer, senior pastor of Moody Church, and Moody Publishers. Three sittings and 48 hours later I have now finished this stroke of genius. Lutzer writes, "I believe it is disingenuous when political opponents here in the United States call those who disagree with them "Nazis" or "Hitler." That alone told me this book was going to be different from the normal conservative speak that comes from so many in our churches today and that this book would not contain the finger-pointing and name-calling that I have quite frankly grown sick of. No, in a very tactful and succinct way, Lutzer in 141 pages points the reader to the facts, documents, and Christian writers who lived through the Nazi regime and uses their experiences and warning to parallel some of what many Americans see today as the abandonment of our countries inhibited history. In chapters named such as "When God is Separated from Government, Judgment Follows," "It's Always the Economy," & "That Which is Legal Might Also be Evil," Lutzer uses historical evidence to remind us that ideological and philosophical takeover is not done over night, but is rather a systematic and expertly crafted formula. This leads to his last chapter. As I stated above, what drew me into this book was Lutzer's refusal to point fingers at our contemporaries. That remained so until the final chapter. In the final chapter, Lutzer removes his gloves and begins throwing punches. Not at Obama or Pelosi. Not at Bush or Glenn Beck. Not at CNN or Fox News. No,Lutzer, and rightfully so, comes directly into the face of today's Christian.Read more ›
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