Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Review: Bonhoeffer...pastor, martyr, prophet, spy

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a young pastor during the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany. He led a movement called the Confessing Church which encouraged German Lutheran churches to break away from the state church because of its support of Hitler. He joined the conspiracy to kill Hitler and eventually paid for it with his life.

I’ve read a bit about Dietrich Bonhoeffer as well as two of his books (Cost of Discipleship and Life Together) but this book was very illuminating. It goes into great depth about Bonhoeffer’s life as well as his theology, which I found very interesting (although the average reader may find that the theology and the discussion of the Confessing Church is more than they want to know). The author drew extensively from letters that Bonhoeffer, friends and family wrote as well as his writings and journal entries which gave the book a high level of credibility.

If you’ve seen the movie Valkrie then this book will fill in a lot of the back story behind the failed assassination attempt on Hitler. It reveals that the conspiracy ran much deeper than the movie implied. And the fallout was deeper too…with about 1000 people being implicated, tried and killed.

The book gives interesting detail of Bonhoeffer’s last days even though we have no writings from him at that time. One of his fellow prisoners wrote about it extensively.

Bonhoeffer is an inspiration. He was a man of great conviction and as the subtitle suggests, a prophet. He knew where Hitler was taking Germany long before most people has any clue. While the nation was embracing Hitler, Bonhoeffer was warning the nation and the church of where things were headed. Though cumbersome in some parts I think this is an excellent read.

Disclaimer: I review books for Thomas Nelson in exchange for free books. But I’m free to write anything I want about the book, good or bad.

1 comment:

Rich said...

Excellent review! It makes me want to read the book now :)