Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography

I don't normally go for biographies. Especially biographies that are over 500 pages! But, the Jews for Jesus Store (where I work) was promoting Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas to our donors and it was a huge hit. Seriously. So, I felt like I was missing out by not being in the know of this apparently great man of WWII. Yes, I had heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer before, in fact one of his books is on my reading list, but I didn't know anything about him.

The book is long, but very thorough. The first two chapters were the most difficult to get through as you aren't familiar with the characters yet and are reading the "begot so-and-so" history of his family. But after I got through that, it was really great.

The author takes you through is childhood and what the depression was like in Germany (awful). Then we see Dietrich as a young adult starting to take on theology with the big-wigs. But not until his mid-twenties (as if that was old) does he really begin to thirst for a relationship with Jesus. And in his German culture, that was strange. There really wasn't much talk of this "relationship" at all. But he believed and that relationship changed his life.

He was a huge advocate for community and actually started a theological seminary where he lived with his students and practiced what he preached (disciples like prayer, meditation on scripture, scripture memory, etc.)

Throughout his life he is making friendships that will eventually form the group of conspirators against Hitler during the second World War. And although they aren't successful in their plots they were successful in standing up for Christ, the Church, and the Jewish people during this time of persecution.

He really was an amazing man of God and very inspiring. I also really enjoyed learning more about that time of history and from the German perspective. I remember very little of what I learned in high school (shame on me, I know) but am so thankful that it's not to late to learn!

If I haven't given away too much of his life or the book and you are interested in more, you can check it out at

(yes, that was a plug).

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