It’s hard to imagine a more complex study than the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. After more than a half-century after his death, the debate still rages about his life. Was he a committed evangelical motivated by the gospel to resist the Nazi regime? Or was he noble, yet a dedicated liberal theologian, a skeptic of the orthodox positions of the Christian church?
Stepping into the breach is the extraordinarily talented biographer, Eric Metaxas. Metaxas, whose work on William Wilberforce was widely praised, seems to have a thing for the lives of counter-cultural, Christian reformers. Bonhoeffer, like Wilberforce, resisted the prevailing social trends in the church and in the culture, standing up to injustice, regardless of the cost.
Bonhoeffer is a weighty book. It’s not a light read and while Metaxas tackles his subject with verve and tight, interesting prose, he presents a rather comprehensive account of this man’s life. Much has been written and said both about Metaxas’ work and Bonhoeffer. I’d like to just share a few of the things I learned while reading this magnificent biography of this extraordinary life: