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Widely known as the author of the classic works, The Cost of Discipleship, Life Together and, arguably, some of the most important theological works of the 20th century including Act & Being, Sanctorum Communio and Ethics. Bonhoeffer is also widely known for his 1945 execution in Flossenberg concentration camp for attempting to assassinate Hitler.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy is the first fully comprehensive biography of Bonhoeffer in more than 40 years. Written by best-selling NY Times author Eric Metaxes, he presents both sides of Bonhoeffer's life, as theologian and as conspirator drawing them together to tell a searing story of incredible moral courage in the face of monstrous evil.
Presenting a deeply moving narrative, using previously unavailable documents-including personal letters, detailed journal entries, and first-hand personal accounts, Metaxas reveals dimensions of Bonhoeffer's life and theology never before seen. Furthermore, Metaxas presents the fullest accounting of Bonhoeffer's heart-wrenching 1939 decision to leave the safety of America for the lion's den of Hitler's Germany, and using extended excerpts from love letters and coded messages written to and from Bonhoeffer's Cell 92, we are allowed to see for the first time the full story of Bonhoeffer's passionate and tragic romance.
Finally, Bonhoeffer gives witness to the extraordinary faith of an incredible human being, while also illuminating the tortured fate of a nation he sought to deliver from the evil tyranny of National Socialism, and its political party, the Nazi party. The reader will come face to face with a man determine to do the will of God radically, courageously, and even to the point of death.
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2011
WHO BETTER TO FACE THE GREATEST EVIL OF THE 20TH CENTURY THAN A HUMBLE MAN OF FAITH?
As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffera pastor and author. In this New York Times best-selling biography, Eric Metaxas takes both strands of Bonhoeffers lifethe theologian and the spyand draws them together to tell a searing story of incredible moral courage in the face of monstrous evil. Metaxas presents the fullest accounting of Bonhoeffers heart-wrenching decision to leave the safe haven of America to return to Hitlers Germany, and sheds new light on Bonhoeffers involvement in the famous Valkyrie plot and in "Operation 7," the effort to smuggle Jews into neutral Switzerland. In a deeply moving narrative, Metaxas uses previously unavailable documents?including personal letters, detailed journal entries, and firsthand personal accounts?to reveal dimensions of Bonhoeffer's life and theology never before seen.
"Bonhoeffer is the story of a life framed by a passion for truth and a commitment to justice on behalf of those who face implacable evil. Includes Readers Guide "[A] beautifully constructed biography."
Alan Wolfe, The New Republic
"Metaxas tells Bonhoeffers story with passion and theological sophistication. . . ."
Wall Street Journal
"[A] weighty, riveting analysis of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. . . ."
"Metaxas presents Bonhoeffer as a clear-headed, deeply convicted Christian who submitted to no one and nothing except God and his Word."
"Metaxas has written a book that adds a new dimension to World War II, a new understanding of how evil can seize the soul of a nation and a man of faith can confront it. . . ."
Thomas Fleming, author, The New Dealers War
"Metaxas has created a biography of uncommon powerintelligent, moving, well researched,vividly written, and rich in implication for our own lives. Or to put it another way: Buy this book. Read it. Then buy another copy and give it to a person you love. Its that good."
Archbishop Charles Chaput, First Things
"A definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the 21st century."
- 2011 ECPA Book of the Year
- 2011 Canterbury Medal by the Becket Fund recognizing courage in the defense of religious liberty
- 2011 Christopher Award winner highlighting the power of faith, courage, and action
"A definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the 21st century."
Eric Metaxas is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, Amazing Grace, and Miracles. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, and Metaxas has appeared as a cultural commentator on CNN, the Fox News Channel, and MSNBC. He is the host of The Eric Metaxas Show, a nationally syndicated daily radio show. Metaxas is also the founder and host of Socrates in the City, the acclaimed series of conversations on "life, God, and other small topics," featuring Malcolm Gladwell, Dick Cavett, and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, among many others. He is a senior fellow and lecturer at large at the Kings College in New York City, where he lives with his wife and daughter.
Metaxas (Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God: The Jesus Edition, 2010, etc.) magnificently captures the life of theologian and anti-Nazi activist Dietrich Bonhoeffer (19061945), who thought it the plain duty of the Christianand the privilege and honorto suffer with those who suffered. In the finest treatment of the man since Eberhard Bethges Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Man of Vision, Man of Courage (1970), Metaxas presents a complete, accessible picture of this important figure, whose story is inspiring, instructive and international in scope. Coming of age in Germany at the close of World War I, the precocious Bonhoeffer quickly became a rising star on the international theological scene.
In the 1930s he became a leader of the Confessing Church movement, which stood against Hitler, and helped organize its underground seminary. He also joined the Abwehr, the German intelligence agency in which foment against Hitler was most active. Bonhoeffer took part in the conspiracy to kill Hitler, which caused his imprisonment and eventual hanging, just weeks before the end of the war. Throughout this period he also wrote some of the greatest works of practical theology to come out of the first half of the 20th century. Metaxas rightly focuses on his subjects life, not his theology, though readers will learn plenty about his theology as well. The author makes liberal use of primary sources, which bring Bonhoeffer and other characters to vivid life. For the most part, Metaxas allows this epic story to play itself out, unhindered by commentary; where he does add his own voice, the conclusions are sage.
A definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the 21st century."
Wall Street Journal▼▲
Since the 1960s, some of Bonhoeffer's admirers have seized upon a phrase from one of his letters"religionless Christianity"to argue that he favored social action over theology. In fact, Bonhoeffer used the phrase to suggest the kind of ritualistic and over-intellectualized faith that had failed to prevent the rise of Hitler. It was precisely religionless Christianity that he worried about. After a 1939 visit to New York's Riverside Church, a citadel of social-gospel liberalism, he wrote that he was stunned by the "self-indulgent" and "idolatrous religion" that he saw there. "I have no doubt at all that one day the storm will blow with full force on this religious hand-out," he wrote, "if God himself is still anywhere on the scene."
"...Metaxas illuminates Bonhoeffer's belief that "it was the role of the church to speak for those who could not speak." He fought Nazi attacks on Jews and called for "costly grace" by which Christians would give up comfortable lives to follow Christ's call: "Costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life."
Metaxas lays out the cost and Bonhoeffer's willingness to meet it over nearly 600 thorough but immaculately readable pages. We can pray that none of us will have to face the choices that Bonhoeffer faced. We can pray that if we do, we'll be willing to pay the price."
Bonhoeffer is a powerful book. In many ways, Metaxas tells Bonhoeffer's story with such passion and urgency that one could easily mistake the book as a novel. The book begins by sharing about Bonhoeffers family and his early years. It quickly moves along into Dietrich's youth and early adulthood. As Bonhoeffer comes of age, his native Germany moves more and more toward Nazi rule. As the evils of Hitler rise, so does the character of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to oppose the lies of the Nazi party and its influence on the church. The reader is able to see Bonhoeffer's courage in the face of tremendous opposition and in the end the reader witnesses Dietrich's death for his Christian convictions.
Bonhoeffer is thoroughly Christian without being preachy. This is because Metaxas writes this book as a witness to an amazing man and that man's witness to God, allowing Bonhoeffer's life to speak for itself. He tells of his struggles and his victories. Whether we see Bonhoeffer's passion for spiritual development of his trainees in the Confessing Church or his desperate pursuit of a place to worship that preached theologically grounded sermons when he came to America, we come to discover a man full of Christian conviction. By the end of the book, we discover a genius, scholar, and leader that refused to flee from evil in the world, but fought against evil courageously. The reader is left longing for their life to matter in the same way that Bonhoeffers did.
Bonhoeffer is not an easy read. The text is nearly 600 pages long. At times, reading about the middle of Bonhoeffers life can be tedious. Both of these realities may be enough to scare some readers off. However, those scared off by the book's size and thoroughness will be missing out. Metaxas has written a biography that will not only be treasured by the person who purchases the book today. This book will be a book that grows in influence and respect in both faith and academic circles for years to come. Clint Walker, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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