College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
I have read most of Bonhoffer's work and many, many biographies, and this stands as the best and most comprehensive. Metaxas does a wonderful job of placing Bonhoeffer in his times, showing the many sides of him usually left out or lightly sketched in other books about the great Christian martyr. In the end, the life of Bonhoeffer, so well rendered here, stands as a clarion call to all of us to rise up in our lives and live our faith all the way out. Metaxas' rendering of this great life is a must read.
to Aitken's biography of John Newton. Much of the material in Newton's little autobiography is used in Aitken's expansive book, but it is interesting to read the "eight letters" telling Newton's story all in a piece. Newton's life runs the gamut from vile slave boat captain to deeply religious follower of Christianity and author of "Amazing Grace," probably the best known of Christian hymns. His humility and honesty concerning his youthful misdeeds is refreshing and allows the reader to see the true power of religion for deep change in someone who approaches it with the true desire to be a better man.
of how an adventurous spirit combined with great faith served to spread the Christian message under conditions in which it could cost one his life. This book reminds us never to take our freedom of belief for granted and that when the time arrives, we must put our lives on the line to protect that which is most precious in this earthly existence.
I would not be truthful if I did not say this book has changed my life. Bonhoeffer was a Christian pastor who put his life on the line in standing up for Christ in the face of Nazi Germany as part of the resistance movement. Well, he paid for it with his life, as he was destroyed (physically) just days before the war was over. He was valiant and heroic. I can only hope I would be able to be so valiant in the same situation.
I learned so much about just exactly how Hitler was able to fool all of the people some of the time, enough of the time to come into power. I was almost overcome with disbelief as I learned things I had never even heard of before. And the really scary part is that in this land of liberty of ours, we have started down that same path. It takes my breath away.
This book did not dwell on the Nazi atrocities, but it did go into a little detail near the end of the book. At that point, I could not control my emotions, as I sobbed for the innocent people who were slain by these butchers, and prayed that the Lord in his tender mercies, had taken from them the sting of death. I have to believe that he did.
The question that I am left with: How is it we humans can treat one another in such an inhumane way? That is always the question. How do some people get the idea that they have the right to dictate to other people how they should be allowed to live their lives, or IF they should be allowed to live.
I am very interested in learning more about Hitler's rise to power, partly in the hope that perhaps something can be done to see that this sort of thing never happens here! I believe we are dangerously naive if we believe it never could.