BONHOEFFER by Eric Metaxas
Kirkus Star

BONHOEFFER

Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A welcome new biography of one of the 20th century’s leading lights.

Metaxas (Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God: The Jesus Edition, 2010, etc.) magnificently captures the life of theologian and anti-Nazi activist Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945), who “thought it the plain duty of the Christian—and the privilege and honor—to suffer with those who suffered.” In the finest treatment of the man since Eberhard Bethge’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Man of Vision, Man of Courage (1970), Metaxas presents a complete, accessible picture of this important figure, whose story is inspiring, instructive and international in scope. Coming of age in Germany at the close of World War I, the precocious Bonhoeffer quickly became a rising star on the international theological scene. In the 1930s he became a leader of the Confessing Church movement, which stood against Hitler, and helped organize its underground seminary. He also joined the Abwehr, the German intelligence agency in which foment against Hitler was most active. Bonhoeffer took part in the conspiracy to kill Hitler, which caused his imprisonment and eventual hanging, just weeks before the end of the war. Throughout this period he also wrote some of the greatest works of practical theology to come out of the first half of the 20th century. Metaxas rightly focuses on his subject’s life, not his theology, though readers will learn plenty about his theology as well. The author makes liberal use of primary sources, which bring Bonhoeffer and other characters to vivid life. For the most part, Metaxas allows this epic story to play itself out, unhindered by commentary; where he does add his own voice, the conclusions are sage.

A definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the 21st century.

Pub Date: April 20th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59555-138-2
Page count: 592pp
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2010




PLEASANT SURPRISES OF 2010:

NonfictionLETTERS TO MY TORTURER by Houshang Asadi
by Houshang Asadi
NonfictionCAESARS' WIVES by Annelise Freisenbruch
by Annelise Freisenbruch
NonfictionANARCHY EVOLUTION by Greg Graffin
by Greg Graffin
NonfictionGOLD DIGGERS by Charlotte Gray
by Charlotte Gray

MORE BY ERIC METAXAS

NonfictionMIRACLES by Eric Metaxas
by Eric Metaxas
NonfictionSEVEN MEN by Eric Metaxas
by Eric Metaxas

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionNO ORDINARY MEN by Fritz Stern
by Elisabeth Sifton
NonfictionFOOLS, MARTYRS, TRAITORS by Lacey Baldwin Smith
by Lacey Baldwin Smith
NonfictionTHE CONSOLATIONS OF PHILOSOPHY by Alain de Botton
by Alain de Botton
NonfictionC.S. LEWIS: A LIFE by Alister McGrath
by Alister McGrath