Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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

I closed up my book on the life and death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer amazed at the story of what I believe revealed an extraordinary life of faith in the midst of one of the darkest times in the history of Europe, in the history of the world.

It is quite daunting to pick up such a thick book, but quickly I was drawn into to the life of this man and his family.  The author did a great job of drawing out the influences of the people in Bonhoeffer’s life even from his earliest days and that really set the tone for who he would become as a young man called of God to preach the gospel of grace.

I have read many books of people whose lives were impacted by the events of the rise of the power of Adolf Hitler but not from this perspective, from one who held a patriotic love for the place and people of Germany and saw from very early on, that this man, Hitler, would lead his beloved country to no good end. He was right and Hitler destroyed so much.

This is the story of a life built on key relationships----first his relationship to God and his passion for theology and truth; second, his relationships to his family, and lastly his relationships with his piers and those he mentored and pastored. One interesting relationship documented in letters in the book were to his fiancé. The paperback volume, which I read, includes information about this relationship that was not included in the early hardcopies of the book.

It is also a book about decisions Bonhoeffer made knowing that he could sacrifice his very life by doing what he was compelled to do in the midst of the evil that had swept over the land of his birth, over the people he loved.

I put the book down, encouraged by a life that speaks loudly to think and to pray. In a world where very few things are often not thought through to the end, I see Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a man who did just that.

I highly recommend a slow and thoughtful read of this book. Congratulations to Eric Metaxas for bringing this book, this great man’s story to the world today.

Great teachers continue to teach even when their lives and their worlds are far away from our own. May we learn well from the great teacher, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Please note:  This book I received free from  All opinions are mine and I did not give this favorable review based on anything other than my personal opinion regarding the book.

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