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Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

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One of the best books I have ever read.
Outstanding, honest, insightful bio of a great Christian and human being. One of the best books I have ever read.
Review by / (Posted on 6/29/2016)
Great book gives history of time and shows his courage and devotion to his faith
Review by / (Posted on 6/15/2016)
If you've always wanted to KNOW Bonhoeffer, this is as close as you can come!
This book isn't intended to be a portrayal of the events of WW2, but an account of the life and martyr's death of one of Christendom's most noble saints of the 20th century. I speak in respect to a previous reviewer's comments.

In light of this fact the book is a gargantuan success. This work is astoundingly detailed; the research and preparation to write must have taken the better part of a year.

As a result of this book I feel as though I know the man having vicariously been through his struggles and triumphs. Furthermore Bonhoeffer's devotion to his faith has stirred in me an introspective search for faith of the same stellar quality.

An excellent work, well worth the time to listen to this masterful narration, hats off to Eric Metaxas!
Review by / (Posted on 6/14/2016)
More hagiography than history
My bias - I'm British and I studied history.

It feels like the author was not going to let historical facts get in the way of a good narrative.

The German resistance achieved little of any value, which is why the British were not interested in it. The German resistance could have and should have done more to stop the holocaust, but they were reluctant to attack their own side. They contributed little to the defeat of Nazism. Stauffenberg bungled the plot. He had the access to kill Hitler but would not pull the trigger.

When White Rose organisation was prepared to take a real stand against Hitler, the British celebrated it. The British did not want Hitler killed because Hitler was seen as a liability to the Germans, he harmed the Nazi war effort - which is equally why some Germans wanted him killed. The British believed that the only way to rebuild Europe was for Germany to be totally defeated but not destroyed. It is difficult not to argue that history proves them right.

Churchill spoke about liberating the Germans, and even praised Rommel. Rommel thought killing Hitler (the plot to kill Hitler is ultimately why Bonhoeffer was killed) would make Hitler a martyr and was counter-productive. This is why the British were not interested.

The story does not confront how the idol worship of the ideal of Germany led to WW2, and that the German church's guilt in this.
The madness of Bonhoeffer's students fighting the very people who were actually trying to end Nazism, and killing their Christian brothers and participating in atrocities to preserve their lives and the inconsistency of this with the Christian faith is glossed over.

The problem is our spiritual enrichment is based on truth, and therefore I found myself more disturbed than edified. Bonhoeffer is interesting and at times insightful, but this book concerned me.

Also Bonhoeffer's contribution could have been greater if rather than going home because he was home sick, he had waited the war out and helped to rebuild Germany. A living sacrifice would have been more useful.

Saying all that for all Bonhoeffer's failings, we have to ask ourselves how much are we prepared to follow Christ rather than the Spirit of the times. In that atmosphere Bonhoeffer sincerely tried to do his best.

We must always follow Christ, and be very wary of making an idol out of our nation. There are lots of lessons to learn from Bonhoeffer.
Review by / (Posted on 1/13/2016)
A Life of Thoughtfulness, Faithfulness, Godliness and Intrigue
A wonderful biography of an outstanding man who challenges us to be thoughtfully faithful to God and to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, however that plays out, no mater what it may cost! The reason why I picked up this book was because I knew something about Bonhoeffer, but what I learned caused me to realize just how little I really knew. His was an utterly fascinating life. Anyone who isn't intrigued, will be by the end of this book. Thank you, Eric Metaxas for this wonderful work! Malcolm Hillgartner, does an excellent job bringing his story to life.
Review by / (Posted on 12/4/2015)
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