Book of the Month

Corrie ten Boom and The Hiding Place
By: Stan Guthrie 

"Jesus is Victor" 
Victorious is both a biography of an evangelical icon and the story of the bestseller that made her such. Guthrie begins by setting the context into which The Hiding Place was introduced. Postwar evangelicalism had emerged independent of fundamentalism through the influence of Billy Graham and others. The movement was committed to a high view of Scripture, the saving work of Christ in his death and resurrection, the importance of individual conversion, and faith-motivated action (especially through evangelism and missions). Guthrie then recounts ten Boom’s life up to the publication of The Hiding Place. She was born into a Dutch Reformed family in 1892. Beginning with her grandfather, Willem, in the 1840s, the ten Booms had been watchmakers by trade. Corrie, who never married, would also become a watchmaker for much of her adult life. (She was the first licensed female watchmaker in the Netherlands.) By the time of World War II, Corrie and her sister Betsie, who was also unmarried, lived with their father, Casper, and were involved in the family business.
Also beginning with Corrie’s grandfather, the ten Booms had been committed Christian Zionists who believed that God would restore the Jews to their biblical homeland in fulfillment of his promises made in the Old Testament. In addition to his watchmaking, Willem was a pastor who was part of several Christian Zionist organizations during his lifetime. The younger ten Booms inherited a Christ-centered commitment to the Jewish people that informed their actions during Nazi occupation.
The family’s motto was “Jesus is Victor,” which Guthrie suggests became an animating theme in Corrie’s life. Like the noted Swedish theologian Gustaf Aulén, Corrie and her family believed that the cross and resurrection demonstrate that Jesus has conquered the powers of evil and that Christians should live in light of that victory. This theological conviction, combined with traditional Calvinist piety and Christian Zionism, formed the religious scaffolding that inspired the actions so famously recounted in The Hiding Place
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