Thursday, June 6, 2013

Book Review - Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to live in German before and during World War II?

Have you ever wondered why the German people supported Hitler?

Have you ever wondered what happened to those courageous people who were behind the Valkyrie and Stauffenberg Plot that almost killed Hitler?

I found a book that answers these questions. Plus, I found another hero of that war I'd never heard of but learned to admire. He truly earned the title of hero.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas is amazing in it's depth and scope as it informs readers about the era of pre-World War II and during that terrible war.

It took me a while to read this masterpiece. And over time this book actually became a good friend I could turn when I felt all hope was lost and made me realize how grateful I am to live when I do and where I do. Each page told me more and more about a person I would have liked to have known. I marveled at Dietrich Bonhoeffer's ability to think outside the box on many issues: religion, politics, and the human condition. I also learned what an extraordinary family he came from.

His parents, Karl and Paula Bonhoeffer had rich and noble heritages that no doubt had an impact on Dietrich for he sometimes wore a ring with a signet bearing his family crest. Karl and Paula had eight children: four boys, four girls. They lost their second son in WWI. And by the end of WWII they would lose two more. As a mother, I cannot image the heartache his mother suffered. Bonhoeffer's father was a prominent psychiatrist in Germany who opposed Hitler from the beginning. He and his wife were proud of their sons and sons-in-law who had been involved in the conspiracy against Hitler (the famous Valkyrie and Stauffenberg Plot I mentioned earlier).

This book follows Dietrich on his path of developing his belief in God and how he tried to live the best life he possibly could during a time that would test any mortal man. He loved his family. He loved people. And he loved his country. He traveled a lot developing his views learning from each trip. He visited Barcelona, Rome, and even America. He valued time to think and ponder. He loved to study not only scriptures, but also mankind. I think that is why he recognized the evil in Hitler and why he tried with his last breath to defeat him.

This book is filled with some of Bonhoeffer's writings: excerpts from his books, sermons, and love letters to the woman who held his heart but never married because of his imprisonment and death. You would think he was older than what he really was. He died when he was thirty-nine, yet he lived a life more full than some ninety-year-olds.

I loved this nonfiction book. It has an honored place on my book shelf for I know I will refer to it many times.

Have you read a nonfiction book that introduced you to a new hero?

***I bought this book and reviewed it because I liked it.***.


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