Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
by Eric Metaxas
★★★★

I can’t imagine being a German, staunchly opposed to Hitler’s regime, during WWII. I frequently hear people wonder why no Germans stood up against him when he was ordering such horrific acts to be committed, but in reality, some did, and they were persecuted because of it.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life was a fascinating one. He’s one of the few people I’ve ever read about who truly lived by example. Friends, family and colleagues unanimously agreed on that point. He was kind, generous and incredibly talented as both a minister and musician. He took his beliefs seriously and lived his life according to what he preached.

This biography gives an in-depth (seriously, more than 600 pages) look at the man behind the book “The Cost of Discipleship.” I had no idea Bonhoeffer was involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler. I also didn’t realize he was engaged while imprisoned. He and his fiancée corresponded through letters when they weren’t able to see each other.

If Bonhoeffer has ever sparked your interest or you’re a WWII junkie like me, then definitely read this one. If you’ve never heard of him and you’re sick of reading about the 1940s in Europe, then skip it.

“In a world where success is the measure and justification of all things, the figure of Him who was sentenced and crucified remains a stranger and is at best the object of pity.” -Bonhoeffer

“A human beings moral integrity begins when he is prepared to sacrifice his life for his convictions.”

7 comments:

Falaise said...

This sounds just right for me. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This sounds really interesting, I love reading about WWII.
Care

Avid Reader said...

I hope you guys enjoy. I was shocked at how little I really knew about Bonhoeffer's life.

Alexandra said...

I'd never heard of Bonhoeffer - how did you come across this book?

Jenners said...

I never heard of him but it sounds like someone everyone should know and learn about.

Bybee said...

This is a biography I know that I want to read. Nice review, thanks for the heads-up about the book...I knew about Bonhoeffer, but didn't know about this book.

Avid Reader said...

Alexandra - I read Bonhoeffer's book The Cost of Discipleship years ago. Since then I'd been interested in the man behind the work. I didn't know much about him, except that he was German and was living in America during part of WWII and that he chose to return to Germany despite the danger. A friend told me about this new biography on his life and I thought it sounded fascinating.

Jenners - He led a pretty amazing life.

Bybee - I hope you enjoy it!