A few weeks ago I had the chance to meet and interview Eric Metaxas, the author of Bonhoeffer:Pastor, Martyr, Prophet Spy. Like Bonhoeffer, Metaxas is a humble fellow with a strong heart for the world. I was pleased and encouraged to ask him several questions about Bonhoeffer, the German Church, and the impact these questions have for us today.
Of course, one of the most obvious questions to ask is this: Was Adolf Hitler a Christian?
Many atheists today, while denouncing the atheism of Stalin and Mao as being anything significant in their tyrannies, hold Hitler's "Christian" heritage up like a flaming torch. It's an example of how religion, especially Christianity, can lead to death, evil, and terror. The solution, as Sam Harris (or more classically Ernst Becker) puts it, is to end religion altogether. Hitler saw himself as doing God's will and that should be enough to demand the death of religion.
There are many things that can be said here, but I saw it as an opportunity to interview Eric Metaxas on this question. In it, I believe he relays the difference between the real Christianity espoused by people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the sort of agenda driven Christianity utilized by Hitler and others: Was Hitler a Christian?