Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich by Eric Metaxas




Gone in seconds as the Gestapo sweep Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his home.

This biography is a literary paradise for those who truly love the period of WWII where much of this book is historically postured, climaxed with the execution of Bonhoeffer in 1945. They will love it even more if they are also interested in philosophical and theological tensions about war and killing. Metaxas is timely since it wrestles with current issues. Issues resonating since modern warfare. For example, we see this element in the British or  American solider and the Iranian or Iraqi soldier as well as the Maoist or former Nazi’s.

The thought of dying is usually not glorious to us. Death coupled with a crusade or a just war is known to give death meaning. Death in this sense is viewed as righteous because it is has been coupled with righteous cause. By resisting the onslaught of the Third Reich Bonhoeffer felt the intensity of his times and rose to the occasion. The fruits of his opposition to National Socialism grew to the place where Bonhoeffer was part of a conspiracy to kill Hitler. Here he clearly reveals to us that some evil cannot be avoided. At times even inaction can be viewed as evil. We must never remember that we are not only striving for heavenly citizenship but we are also members of an earthly citizenship.

The reason many theologians and Christians believed the West should intervene in WWII was because inaction, on their part, would have constituted an even greater war if Hitler had not been stopped. Even with the intervention of the British and the United States Hitler almost attained total European domination. To protect human free-will at some point we may have to accept guilt in order to protect her.


JN Anderson


Zahir Blue said...

I cannot agree this was a good book. The subject deserves a much better treatment than this agenda-driven, poorly-written piece that substitutes details for context. It gets some facts just plain wrong, consistently fails to genuinely discuss issues of Bonhoeffer's theology and simply fails to delve into the humanity of anyone discussed. Neither Bonhoeffer nor anyone else in this book ever come "alive" while genuine discussions of Bonhoeffer's ideas in relation to any other ideas is simply absent.

JN Anderson said...

Zahir, what is your religious view? Even if your anti-God.

How did Metaxas get a fact wrong?

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)