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Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy Hardcover – Apr 20 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 20 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595551387
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595551382
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16.3 x 4.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 839 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harris on Jan. 22 2011
Format: Audio CD
BONHOEFFER: PASTOR, MARTYR, PROPHET, SPY
By Eric Metaxas

So many books have been written on Bonhoeffer, including the definitive biography by his best friend Eberhard Bethge. So why another one? Eric Metaxas has done a masterful job offering us a biography that is accessible to a new generation of North Americans who may not have any sense of the European context at the beginning to mid-20th century within Germany and beyond. In particular, Metaxas highlights the large opposition to Hitler and the Nazis within Germany, as well as the failure of the Allies to recognize and support such opposition, leading to repeated failures to bring down Hitler and the Nazis from within. Metaxas also does a great job chronicling the development of thinking that lead a group of Germans traditionally supportive and respectful of the rights of a legitimate ruler elected by the people, to the radical conviction that such a ruler and his party must be brought down by any means possible, including murder.

Bonhoeffer is a key player in this drama, and Metaxas offers us accessible ways to comprehend Bonhoeffer's personal and theological journey, his efforts within the church as both pastor and theologian, his witness in the ecumenical movement, and finally his involvement with the "Abwehr" (German Secret Service) in plans to assassinate Hitler and find support among the Allies for such a task.

While this is the dominant story line, Metaxas also beautifully chronicles Bonhoeffer's various relationships, especially with his parents and siblings, his best friend Bethge, and his growing love for Maria.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Peter Cantelon TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 26 2010
Format: Hardcover
The historical biography genre is alive and well in the hands of Eric Metaxas...his book about famous pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is so fluid and alive that it transports the reader to another world. That the subject matter of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is eminantly important is beyond a doubt and Metaxas weaves an incredibly readable and highly relevant biography that captures details that have been missed or downplayed in other sources.

It is something when you can say that a biography is so compelling you find it hard to put down but this is just such a biography.Metaxas writes with a clear awareness of the relevance of Bonhoeffer to our own culture and emphasizes certain aspects of his life and theology such as the question of "what is the church?" Truly a biography for our time.

The author's biographical skills are not the only thing showcased in the text, his attention to historical detail is also constantly at the fore.

For those who know and appreciate Bonhoeffer you will be very happy with Metaxas' treatment of him. If you are unaware of him or simply not a fan of biographies I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to check out this book. You will be introduced to a person who will challenge and sharpen you and you will be given a wonderful and unique perspective about a critical period in world history - early 20th century Europe.

I promise you that this book will not disappoint...it will be a measure of what a biography should be for years to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SnowPharoah TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 3 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderfully well written biography of a key figure in 20th century Christianity. Eric Metaxas has done a masterful job of communicating the zeitgeist of early and mid-20th century Germany, the inter-relationships between church and state amidst the growing popularity of the National Socialist Party and the incongruity of being a Christian, and adhering to official NAZI party lines. Four points are particularly well made:

First, there can be no doubt that one of the key issues that Bonhoeffer must respond to throughout his early life is the way the German Church - the church of the reformation that has so highlighted the importance of scripture, salvation and reconciliation with God by grace through the redeeming work of Christ on the cross - the German Church had adopted habits, that made it vulnerable to collaborating with government abuse of different populations. The German church is portrayed as simply offering up all kinds of deep compromise to the NAZIs. This biography begs the question: how do you interpret scripture in a way that will make you stand in the face of evil, cover your neighbor's back, look after the poor and the rejected, even if it means your end? To what extent will you go?

Second, the question takes on even more depth when applied to each individual's personal life. The question is not how to live your life without sin, without making mistakes. The question is: How do you respond with your entire life to God's calling? This question is incredibly significant in the face of a modern day Christianity that is strong on cultural judgement and too often thin on judging the atrocities and calamities that go on all over the world.
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