Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bonhoeffer Abridged (Book Review)

Our church library has a copy of Bonhoeffer:  Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  I've always been intimidated by the size of the book (600+ pages), so I've never read it.  When BookLook Bloggers had Bonhoeffer Abridged, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.  I received a copy of this book at no cost to me for review purposes.

Publisher's synopsis:
From [Eric Metaxas,] the New York Times bestselling author of Amazing Grace, an abridged version of the 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.
 I'd heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but really knew nothing of his story.  I was also unfamiliar with this level of detail about what happened in Germany as Adolf Hitler rose to power.  As a result, I found Bonhoeffer Abridged to be a very intriguing book.  It's certainly not light and fluffy--the man suffered a great deal of danger and persecution--but the story is gripping.

The format of the book is interesting in that the prologue tells the end of the story, then Chapter 1 begins with Bonhoeffer's childhood.  Each subsequent chapter tells of a stage of his life, such as his time as a student and his early years as a pastor, through his arrest, his time in prison, and his eventual execution.

Another interesting aspect for me was the background about what was changing in the church during this time.  Just as we see now, divisions between the liberal and the conservative Christian groups caused some fierce conflict at times.  Bonhoeffer's convictions helped him persist even in the face of obstacles and danger.

Links for more information:
Disclosure:  If you click through my Amazon.com affiliate link and complete a purchase, I will receive a small commission.  Thank you!

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