Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Review: Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas

Bonhoeffer (Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy) is a powerful, in-depth biography of German-born Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the most daring yet humble heroes of the 20th century. Eric Metaxas captures Bonhoeffer's life in vivid detail and presents those details effectively from his childhood to his death. Bonhoeffer courageously stood against Hitler and the Nazis. He really lived out what he believed and preached! He wore many hats: pastor, author, theologian, pacifist, and spy. He did it all with integrity, honor, conviction, compassion, uncompromising passion for God's truth, desire to uphold justice and defend the defenseless. Sadly, even German "Christians" sympathized with the Nazis. Bonhoeffer openly criticized both: the Nazi ideology and the (wrong) doctrine of German "Christians". He challenged fellow Christ's followers in his country to stand with the Jews in their time of need. He became one of the founders of the oppositional Confessing Church and refused to accept Hitler as leader. Bonhoeffer eventually participated in the unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Hitler and was hanged (at age 39) three weeks before the end of WWII.

This book challenges me to ponder...What is a moral person/a Christian to do in a time of vicious oppression by a tyrannical ruler? Will we choose to do nothing or to fight for freedom and resist the evil? Bonhoeffer looked deeply into his soul, his conscience, and God's Word, in an effort to decide where his responsibilities lay. This superb biography is informative, well-researched, and intensely engaging. From this book, we learn about Bonhoeffer's upbringing, personality, relationships, writings, travels, experiences, and faith journey. Bonhoeffer was a truly inspiring, remarkable man of God! This is a thick book (542 pages of main text) but an enjoyable and excellent read. A true story of love, courage, faith, sacrifice, choices, Christian ethics, struggle, life & death...a man who lived and died for God and God's principles! A doctor at Flossenburg prison, who witnessed Bonhoeffer's execution, described, "I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God." (p.532) The book also includes black & white photographs and a Reading Group Guide. Very well written plus a splash of humor here and there :). I highly recommend it.

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the trailer.

~ I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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