Book Review: Bonhoeffer

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, SpyBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A really well done biography. Metaxas has taken some heat for presenting Bonhoeffer as too evangelical. He might have done that in some places. I am not as familiar with Bonhoeffer’s theology, so I have a hard time making that call.

However, the book did what a biography is supposed to. It made me feel like I knew the man when I was done. It also opened up the time period in a unique way. Most of what I read about Nazi Germany is about Americans or English who participated in the war in some way. But to have the perspective of a man inside Germany was helpful.

Three things struck me about Bonhoeffer as I read the book. First, he could use words well. There are dozens of quotes from him in the book. Many of them stick with you a long time because of the way the sentences are constructed. Second, Bonhoeffer tried to understand and obey the will of God. This is a major theme of the book. Bonhoeffer wanted to live completely in the will of God. Whether he did that or not is up to others to decide. Third, his family and upbringing had a tremendous influence on his life.

Two other items in the book sparked my curiosity. First, the complexity of the conspiracy to overthrow Hitler is a tale that I would like to know more about. The list of people involved in trying to usurp Hitler or assassinate him is long. The book made me more curious about men like Stauffenberg and others who tried to find ways to get rid of Adolf. It also made me wonder if things would have been different if Britain had actively helped the conspirators. Second, I wonder if liberal theology paved the way for the capitulation of the German Church to Hitler?

A good book about a very fascinating, Christian man who died for trying to overthrow Hitler. The story leaves an imprint and made me ask questions about the strength of my own convictions.

View all my reviews