Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 15 Mar 2017
Author Eric Metaxas's biography Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy was a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and theologian who, surprising perhaps even himself, became a member of the conspiracy against Adolf Hitler. The title suggested that the book was about the subject's life. In this, Metaxas succeeded, sparing no trivia, leading to an account so detailed that I could easily visualize the Bonhoeffer family on vacation in the countrysides, feel Bonhoeffer's loneliness in a foreign land, and shared his frustration as the Nazi regime slowly destroyed the church that he had so beloved. Accompanying the biography, the author included detailed accounts of various attempts on Adolf Hitler's life. Even though Bonhoeffer would ultimately become entangled with conspirators of the July Plot, I thought the few pages dedicated to the number of failed assassination attempts to be too brief and off topic of begin with. Finally, the author went into some depth on Bonhoeffer's theology. Entire sermons and theses were transcribed into this book, which greatly bored me as someone interested in how this religious man shaped history, but not how this religious man thought how one should interpret god's grace.
I had reviewed this title in its audio book format, which was capably performed by Malcolm Hillgartner with clarity and good volume.
In general, I had enjoyed Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, and learned a lot through its pages. While the audio book format allowed me to review this title during my otherwise unproductive commuting hours, the long sermons and other materials focused solely on theology rather than history was definitely a turn off. This drawback could perhaps be purely personal opinion on my part, and I would certainly welcome you to check out the book and draw your own conclusion.
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Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939