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Bonhoeffer

Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

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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.
Overall
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.
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Review by / (Posted on 12/4/2015)
This provides an excellent overview of his life
A Wonderful book and audio book
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Review by / (Posted on 10/19/2015)
Christian biography at its best
Metaxas brilliantly draws out the essence of this man of faith and conviction. Bonhoeffer lived his life fully alive to his Lord and fully engaged in the world. His courageous example will be a constant reminder to me that we have nothing to fear in this life: that the only thing that matters is our obedience to His call.
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Review by / (Posted on 7/29/2015)
great book
it helps to get a real picture of Bonhoefers life Teaching and the history of that time. very challenging on many ethical issues
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Review by / (Posted on 12/21/2014)
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