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Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by…

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Eric Metaxas

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1,799623,891 (4.3)35
Title:Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Authors:Eric Metaxas
Info:Thomas Nelson (2011), Paperback, 624 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:persecuted church, Nazi Germany

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Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas (2010)


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Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Absolutely the best book I've read in a long time. I've found a new spiritual hero. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of the most impressive Christians in the midst of one of the most horrific situations in history. So worth the effort!" ( )
  HGButchWalker | Sep 21, 2016 |
The life of Dederick Bonhoeffer is also a story of German history at the time. Born into an educated and professional family, Dederick decides to become a minister rather than pursuing a more lucrative career. The book delves into much of the theological discussions of the time regarding Lutheran dogma. However, the life of Bonhoeffer is very interesting especially his relationship with a young woman Maria. They are eventually engaged, but never marry as Bonhoeffer is sent to a Nazi prison for his stand against Hitler. He obviously was not only a very intelligent man and one with very high ethics, but also a brave man to work against the Nazis, even to the point of plotting to assassinate Hitler. ( )
  maryreinert | Feb 9, 2016 |
Excellent! ( )
  david__clifford | Feb 3, 2016 |
3 for 2016. This book fits several categories in the Read Harder Challenge 2016. It is a biography. Religion and Politics play central themes in the plot. And the book is well over 500 pages long. That's where I'll put it, although I I have plenty more books to read that could even go in this category. Having written my doctoral dissertation about a writer executed for having collaborated with the Nazis, I would have thought I knew all I needed to know about that horrid period of twentieth century life. What I had not understood was the depth of the resistance inside Germany--the number of people of good faith and upper class who stood ready to lose everything to stop the madman "leading" their country. Bonhoeffer was one such man, caught between the love of one's country and the profound loathing of the forces that are destroying that fatherland. Always asking the question "what does God require of me?" Bonhoeffer, while he had religious figures among his ancestors, did not grow up in a deeply religious home. But it was a home that honored scholarship, and Bonhoeffer put as much effort in his study of theology as his father and siblings put into their more scientific areas. Anyone wishing to deepen their view of Christianity, their understanding of Nazi Germany, or the difference between the "German Christians" and the "Confessing Church" needs to read Eric Metaxas' detailed biography of this seminal thinker. ( )
  mtbearded1 | Jan 22, 2016 |
This is the best biography I have read about Bonheoffer in years. I commend Eric Metaxas for his research, his insight and his simple beauty of language.

I would recommend this book as a wonderful entry point to the world and theology of Deitrich Bonhoeffer. The key word I would use to describe this book is accessible, and if I understand Dr. Bonhoeffer's writing properly he would appreciate this fact.

Inevitably every biography of this great man is compared with that of Eberhard Bethge. This one will also be subject to such a comparison. It is my opinion that whereas Bethge has written about a Christian theologian who is a Nazi resister/conspirator, Metaxas has written a Christian Nazi resister/conspirator who is a theologian. Perhaps because of Metaxas background as a humourist, perhaps because of his focus on the man rather than the theologian, more of the humour of Bonhoeffer and his belief that God wishes the world to be enjoyed fully appears in this book than I have read in any other. Metaxes also does not have the burden of having been Bonhoeffer's "Pastor Confessor" and so does not have the burden that Bethge had when writing, and can be a little more objective and forthright. Another benefit to Metaxes is his access to documents that have emerged since Bethge's great work was published, as well as interviews of people who were younger at the time of the events, and are now able to offer different insights and perspectives. Metaxes also had the freedom to discuss relatives, friends and associates of Bonhoeffer that were still alive when Bethge was writing and I believe Bethge was, first and foremost, a Pastor who would have been very sensitvie to the needs and frailties of those who had survived. Finally, Metaxes did not have the responsibility of writing about his best friend who, because he believed he had been called by God and was living with Christ, sacrificed himself for the sake of others.

Metaxes biography of Bonhoeffer offers the benefit of explanations and information about Germany and the German people, both the predecesors and contemporaries of Bonheoffer that assist in understanding the events. This fact alone makes it more accessible to those who may not be familiar with a German culture beyond headlines. He is able to open a door to understanding how people who are basically good can allow a force that is so evil to be unleashed.

If Bonhoeffer the man, his politics or his theology are of interest and yet seem intimidating this book is a good introduction.
  M.J.Perry | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
In this fine biography, Metaxas stays close to the story and refrains from any efforts at theory. All the more reason to read it: when it comes to the strengths and the limits of post-Kantian liberalism, we already have theory aplenty. But be careful what you read it for....
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His soul really shone in the dark desperation of our prison . . . [Bonhoeffer] had always been afraid that he would not be strong enough to stand such a test but now he knew there was nothing in life of which one need ever be afraid.

(Above is Payne Best's quotation, and below are Bonhoeffer's.) 

No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about the realm of the resurrected, and not been homesick from that hour, waiting and looking forward to being released from bodily existence.  

Whether we are young or old makes no difference.  What are twenty or thirty or fifty years in the sight of God?  And which of us knows how near he or she may already be to the goal?  . . . Why are we so afraid when we think about death? . . . Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and fear of it.  Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can be still and hold fast to God's Word.  . . . .

Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith.  But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.
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"Bonhoeffer" presents a profoundly orthodox Christian theologian whose faith led him to boldly confront the greatest evil of the 20th century, and uncovers never-before-revealed facts, including the story of his passionate romance.

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