Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed in a German prison camp, probably by direct order of Adolf Hitler, just two weeks before the Allies liberated the camp.  This book tells his story.

Bonhoeffer was part of a prominent, cultured, educated family in Berlin.  At an early age he decided to study theology.  He would go on to establish a sterling academic reputation.  After a year of study in the U.S., a year in which he was heavily involved with an African American church in Harlem, there began to be a shift from the study of theology to the pursuit of Christ.

Bonhoeffer would become one of the key Christian leaders in pre-World War II Germany, despite his young age.  When the state church began compromising with the Nazis, he became a key leader in the Confessing Church movement that opposed Hitler.  When World War II broke out, Bonhoeffer was in America.  But against the pleadings of friends, he returned to Germany to join the battle against the Nazis.

Bonhoeffer, who would write several influential volumes, including the famous Cost of Discipleship, became involved in a conspiracy of leading Germans to assassinate Hitler.  He would be arrested and spend the last years of his life in German prisons, where he would have a great impact on guards and prisoners alike, by his kindness and love and joy.

Eric Metaxas, who has also written a superb biography of William Wilberforce, has done a masterful job of telling this fascinating story.  It includes one of the best introductions I have ever read in any biography.  One cannot fail to be moved and inspired by Bonhoeffer’s deep devotion to Christ and his courageous stand for Christ.

Bonhoeffer is one of the more fascinating people I have read about.  And Metaxas’ biography has to rank as one of the better biographies I have read.