Bonhoeffer abridged: Pastor, Martyr, Spy REVIEW

Eric Metaxas wrote a pretty hefty biography of the incredible WW2 German Pastor Bonhoeffer. And now a condensed edition has been released.
Consider this the highlights version. I haven’t read the original to know what is left out, but all the key events from Bonhoeffer’s life, from birth to his untimely death at the hands of the Nazi regiem are here. This is a fascinating insight into the faith of a young man who was determined to be a voice for justice and truth regardless of the cost, and who wasn’t prepared to just voice his concerns from a safe distance but moved back to Germany from the safety of America and London to play an active role in trying to bring dwon the Nazi regieme.

Bonhoeffer is a much quoted theologian and this gives an in sight into who he was, the context of his writing, the trials and hardships he faced and the faith the sustained him through.
We learn how he led the way in urging the church not to compromise to fit in to Nazi germany. We learn of his role as a spy trying to bring down the Nazi goveernment. We learn of the relationship woes he faced, as the love of his life only started a relationship with him near the time of his arrest and he subsequently spent most of their relationship in Nazi prisons.

Despite knowing that Bonhoeffer was ultimately killed because of his faith the degree of suffering he experienced first, and the fact that most of his writing was done in concentration camps, was something I had not realised before, and despite knowing what was coming this book still has a very engaging and gripping recollection of Bonhoeffer’s last days.

My main criticism is that while we get lots of his love letters quoted there aren’t many quotes from his sermons/writings, and I would have liked more of that, although it may be that they are in the unabridged version. This is a great insight into the life of one of the 20th century’s heroes of the faith, and in the abridged form makes a very accessible entry level biography to act as a springboard to delve deeper into his writings and thoughts.

 

I received a free review copy from BookLook and was not obliged to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own unbiased opinion.

 

Learn more the author of this post:

Pete McM
The original founder of All4God, Pete is 26, lives in Northern Ireland, is a junior doctor, Ulster fan and is passionate about Jesus