Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bonhoeffer - Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: Book Review

About The Book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Amazing Grace, a groundbreaking biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the greatest heroes of the twentieth century, the man who stood up to Hitler.

A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism.

After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double-agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Führer, and was hanged in Flossenberg concentration camp at age 39. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the 20th century.

Bonhoeffer presents a profoundly orthodox Christian theologian whose faith led him to boldly confront the greatest evil of the 20th century, and uncovers never-before-revealed facts, including the story of his passionate romance.

About The Author:

Eric Metaxas was born in New York City and grew up in Danbury, Connecticut. Upon graduation from Yale University in 1984, he was awarded two senior prizes for his undergraduate fiction, and he co-wrote and delivered "The Class History," a satirical address that is a Yale commencement tradition. His books for Tommy Nelson include: The Bible ABC, The Prince of Egypt A to Z, and Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving. Eric lives in New York with his wife, Susanne, and daughter, Annerose.

You can visit the official Eric Metaxas website, here.


My Review:

 If you are going to read this book, be prepared. Be prepared to be challenged, be prepared to learn, be prepared to be taken into the world of World War II and the Nazi's, be prepared to look honestly at your own faith and decide if it is indeed "costly grace" or "cheap grace" that you are living out and sharing with the world around you.

I have always been amazed at the life and work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and so when the opportunity arose to review this book, I could not refuse. The book is wonderfully well-written and you are taken on a journey of Bonhoeffer's entire life, from his earliest days as a child, to his ministry, to his part in Valkyrie.  Metaxas writes with such a graceful style that you can visualize being right in each scenes he is writing. As big as the book is, at 542 pages, it was a fairly quick read. I am normally a very quick reader, however with Bonhoeffer, I had to stop in a few places just to absorb the magnitude of what I had read. Metaxas also include several pages of photos, which allow the reader to get to know Bonhoeffer on a totally different level than just words can do.

The following quotes are from Bonhoeffer's work, The Cost of Discipleship, which Metaxas supplies quotes from, and refers to throughout his book. He also mentions Life Together, and several other of Bonhoeffer's works.
"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die."  Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)

"Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: 'Ye were bought at a price', and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God."  
                                           Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)

"Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."  (from The Cost Of Discipleship)

If you have read Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship or Life Together, I highly recommend you also read this wonderful biography. You will more fully understand the man who lived out his costly grace!

BUY IT: You can purchase Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas through your favorite Christian bookseller.

This book has been provided by Graf-Martin and Thomas Nelson, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner."

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