Archive for March 21st, 2014

Bonhoeffer Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

 (Available at Amazon)

A very thorough biography of this famous German pastor, theologian and conspirator to assassinate Adolph Hitler.  The author Eric Metaxas must have spent years researching for this book, especially with how thick the book is (coming at 600 pages).  I appreciated the work going into Bonhoeffer’s background of his mother and father’s upbringing which shaped the way they parented him and forged the kind of man Dietrich Bonhoeffer would later become.  His father was scientifically inclined and would contribute to Dietrich’s analytical side while his mother’s strong Christian faith and background that include pastors and theologians in her lineage would keep Dietrich attune to his spiritual heritage of Christianity.  The author did a good job of giving us a portrait of the man while also exploring his thoughts—a feat that I appreciate.  The book’s angle on Bonhoeffer the theologian and the “spy” against the Nazi regime gives the reader a very helpful window into Bonhoeffer’s theological mind in justifying his involvement with the resistance in plotting the assassination of Hitler.  One also get the sense that as the book progresses one also discover how Bonhoeffer also grew as a person, a theologian and also a Christian.  The book did a good job situating the historical development of the Nazi rise to power and also the political landscape that shaped Bonhoeffer’s later life in Germany.  In fact, I thought the author did such a good job that when I read other works on Christians during Nazi Germany I was able to use what I learn in this book to help illuminate and give a more thorough picture of what’s going on in the other two books.  Bonhoeffer was indeed among the most interesting theologian of the twentieth century and his experience with so many countries while also being a leader of the Confessional church inside Nazi Germany put him at a whole different level beyond mere academic contribution.  A must read.

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