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The White Rose Resists: a novel of the German students who defied Hitler

by Amanda Barratt
2020 / 320 pages

In Amanda Barratt’s novel The White Rose Resists, a candle is being lit in the midst of the Nazi darkness that has cast its shadow upon the world. The White Rose was a group of five college students and a professor operating in Munich, Germany. Their goal was to combat the Nazi propaganda that was blinding the German people. The White Rose accomplished this by printing and distributing leaflets, giving a voice to the truth. Their leaflets detailed and denounced the atrocities that were being committed against the Jews across Europe. The group called for the students of Germany to rise up against Hitler.

I really enjoyed this novel. Barrett does a terrific job bringing this historic resistance group to life. She was able to blend fact with fiction to create a cohesive narrative of what this group may have experienced.

This Christian author weaves in a message on God’s sovereignty. Members of the White Rose grapple with their faith and ultimately come to the knowledge that God’s will must be done. They place their trust and hope in Him to give them the strength they need to pass through their trials and tribulations.

When darkness has seemed to triumph, God, in his sovereignty, begins lighting candles so that the darkness will not overcome the light. The White Rose was one of many candles that God used to bring down Hitler and his Nazi regime.

This book is a great read for teenager and adult alike. The only criticism I have to offer is that the author blended several German words into the narrative. Initially, this was quite distracting but improved as the novel progressed.

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"Be Fruitful and Multiply" tour comes to Albertan April 19-22

Families are having fewer babies, and the world’s population is expected to peak and then decline later this century. The world isn’t prepared for the impact that this is going to have. However, what may be the greatest challenge of this century can also be a huge opportunity for the Church to shine…. if we embrace the blessing of children, and are prepared to raise them faithfully.

In this presentation, Reformed Perspective’s Mark Penninga will unpack data, history, and God’s Word to make the case for embracing the gift of children with open arms.

WHO IS THIS FOR?

Ages 16-116, single or married, children or no children, these presentations are suitable for all mature Christians.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Edmonton: April 19 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church

Barhead: April 20 at 7:30 pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church

Ponoka: April 22 at 7:30 pm at Parkland Reformed Church

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Adult biographies, Book Reviews

Unbroken: A World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption

by Laura Hillenbrand 2010, 497 pages One of the least amazing things about Louis Zamperini is that he took up skateboarding in his eighties. But it shows the determination that had him competing as a 5,000-meter runner at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It also reveals the attitude that led the young Louis to steal a Nazi banner when the Games concluded. These two qualities would be vital to him when, during World War II, his plane crashed and Louis found himself on a tiny raft in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean. His chances of being found by searchers were remote, but if the small craft continued to drift west there was a chance it might make it to land – islands occupied by brutal Japanese forces. The redemption mentioned in the subtitle is true redemption. Louis starts the story as a thief and a punk. As an airman in World War II he bunks in a cabin plastered with pornography. Many of the Japanese soldiers he meets are sadistic and perverse. So we see evidence of the Fall in this book (described with restraint). But the most amazing thing Louis is able to do is something he knows comes from completely outside his own abilities. God enables Louis to repent and forgive. This ranks in my top three best biographies I’ve read - it is an amazing story told by an equally amazing storyteller. Laura Hillenbrand is half the age of her subject but the level of detail in her research makes it seem like she must have grown up with him, and tailed behind him wherever he went. And at the same time, she never lets the detail overwhelm the story; this is a large book, but a very fast-paced one. One caution: the author quotes at least a couple of her subjects taking God's name in vain. I don't know if the author is Christian, so she might not have understood that this level of detailed recollection was unnecessary and undesirable. As for who should read this book, in addition to recommending this to adults – though it is all done with restraint, there is too much brutality and horror here for teens – interested in World War II, this is also a very good book for anyone wondering how the US could possibly have dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan, targeting and killing over 150,000 civilians (this is the most conservative estimate). While neither the author nor Louis argues explicitly for the morality of dropping the bomb, Louis's experiences make it clear that when it came to Japan, there was little difference between the military and the civilian population – rather than surrender Japan was readying its civilian population to fight on, seemingly to the last man and woman. Reading about Japanese brutality, and their thoughts on the disgrace of surrender, gave me a perspective on the atomic bomb I had never before had. It certainly makes the decision much more understandable. Afterward, I still questioned why they couldn't have first demonstrated the power of the bomb on something other than a city, but, as National Review contributor Victor Davis Hanson explains here, there were only two bombs available, and the Americans were worried that the destruction of just one city would not be enough to induce Japan to surrender. And it seems they were right to worry. Unbroken doesn't end the debate, but it does give insight into the way both the Americans and Japanese were thinking at the time. But that is a long aside - the book is about an amazing man, saved by an awesome God. Highly recommended!...