by Eric Metaxas
Book review excerpt courtesy of Tim Challies
Bonhoeffer is the subject of an extensive new biography by Eric Metaxas who is probably best-known for his biography of William Wilberforce...which was the official biography that accompanied the 2006 film by the same name. Interestingly, this is one of two lengthy biographies of Bonhoeffer to be published this year (the other, Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906-1945: Martyr, Thinker, Man of Resistance by Ferdinand Schlingensiepen is due to hit store shelves in a couple of weeks). Metaxas sets the bar high with his Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. While it may not be one of the top three or four biographies you will ever read, it is nevertheless a very solid effort and with much to commend it. It’s entirely possible that if I went ahead and ranked my ten favorite biographies this would be somewhere on that list.
I find Bonhoeffer a fascinating figure. There may be some bias toward him because of my fascination with the period of history in which he lived and, even more so, the period of history in which he died. Though he had quite a lengthy ministry before the outbreak of the Second World War, it was during that great conflict that he came into his own, that he made his mark on history. It was during the war that he showed that he was willing to endure hardship and even death for the sake of what he believed. While I am not quite sure that he qualifies for the label of “martyr” (since he was killed more for his political decisions than for his religious beliefs, though I’ll grant that his faith informed his politics) he was still an inspiring figure who preached the gospel fearlessly and unashamedly even in his nation’s darkest hour. Read more»
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