“We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.”
the man, the legend, Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a hero of the Christian faith; a giant of theological thought; and one of the best spiritual writers of all time. he’s written classics and must reads like Life Together, Ethics, and The Cost of Discipleship. his other writings and his sermons are full of beautiful passages and wonderful expressions of God’s love and grace, and what it means to be the Body of Christ on earth.
now comes the new biography Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – A Righteous Gentile vs. The Third Reich by Eric Metaxas. Metaxas is the author of Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to end Slavery and one of my favorite books to read with my daughter and son, God Made You Special: A VeggieTales Board Book, among others.
Karl Bonhoeffer was a doctor and Paula von Hase was a teacher. they were married on March 5, 1898 and had eight children over the course of ten years.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born February 4, 1906, ten minutes before his twin sister Sabine. Bonhoeffer was the youngest male (the fourth son) of eight children (he had two sisters younger, one of them Sabine). the family was close and they loved each other deeply. through letters and journal entries Metaxas makes us the readers feel like a close friend of the family. we learn and experience their ups and downs; their joy and sorrows; their loss and gains. love and loyalty were important qualities in the Bonhoeffer household.
he spent time in Rome. the history, culture, and knowledge contained in the legendary city influenced Bonhoeffer in a significant way. he went to Berlin University and afterwards held a pastoral position in Barcelona, Spain.
Bonhoeffer was a pastor and a professor. he was a great man of God with a great mind. he wrestled with and wrote about many topics many years ago but they are still relevant today. Bonhoeffer’s words are still prophetic and vital to the Church and communities of faith.
Bonhoeffer was a leader against Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. so much so that he was imprisoned and executed in a concentration camp for his work against the Nazis and his contributions to operation Valkyrie.
this book is wonderful. Metaxas takes us from Dietirch’s birth to death, and all stops in between. it’s a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but it’s also so much more: Church history, WW2 history, it’s a theological text, it contains elements of spirituality for our walk with God, and so many more aspects that make it a great read.
if you want to know Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s story, or you’ve read some of Bonhoeffer’s work, or you enjoy Church history/history, Bonhoeffer is a must read.
*Full Disclosure: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through “Book Sneeze.” They give free books to bloggers for honest reviews.*
James 1:22, New Revised Standard Version
the above verse from James’ letter is sound advice; important advice. we need to be “doers of the word.”
listening to the word and reading the word and studying the word are great spiritual disciplines and exercises for our minds, souls, and spiritual journeys. however, we need to be “doers of the word.”
it’s relatively easy to gather as communities of faith on a Sunday morning for worship meetings. it’s easy to listen to the word. it’s easy to sing praises and thanks to our triune God. it’s easy to say we have faith.
but true faith is not expressed on Sunday mornings. true faith is expressed Monday to Satruday. true faith is expressed in the hands and feet of the Body of Christ. true faith is expressed when we’re “doers of the word” serving hurting people who make up a hurting world.
let’s be “doers of the word”