This book was a joy to listen to. It is well written, compelling, and informative. Narrator Malcolm Hillgartner is easy to listen to. As I listened, I sensed that the narrator was accurately presenting the material as the author intended and was truly interested in what he was reading. He drew me into the story and it was difficult to "put the book down", in an audio way of course. I will probably listen to this book again someday. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Bonhoeffer or 20th century history.
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
If solely the subject was critiqued, it would be quite high. Bonhoeffer was brilliant and unwavering that his purpose was to serve God. However, I found much of the book uninteresting and tedious.
I was introduced to Bonhoeffer in Richard J. Evan's three volumes on the third Reich. I approached that and this book with curiosity - why could a sophisticated, cultured people allow Hitler to happen? I loved those three books and want to learn more.
The book helped me with my understanding. As with everything, its very complicated, and certainly not the black and white of good vs. evil. I learned more about the religious resistance, albeit small, and the plot to kill Hitler. I was moved by the demonstration of intellectualism and faith by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his family and friends. To do what is needed for the bigger end, including being a double spy, and plotting Hitler's death is going much deeper than following faith by rote. I was moved also by the sacrifice his parents made would be devastating (losing 3 sons and 2 son-in-laws).
Perhaps if rather than a historical curiosity, I was approaching from wanting to learn more about Bonhoeffer's Christian philosophy I would feel differently, but for me this book was a long 22 hour listen.
The narration by Malcolm Hillgartner was excellent. There is simply too much detail.
This is the second book I read by Eric Metaxas. I enjoyed "Amazing Grace - William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery" much better.
Mountain biking, surfing, skiing, literature, philosophy, psychology, theology and my ipod.
Finally, all the pieces I've learned of Bonhoeffer's life and writings together in one magnum opus. This is a multidimensional social, political and historical tour de force: theological history, church history, political history, war history, and his personal history, so intertwined and seamlessly narrated. This is the story of the formation and development of one of the few members of the Christian church during Hitler's reign who maintained and grew in integrity in inverse proportions to those around him who grew in "dis" integrity, and participated in Hitler's evil, both implicitly and explicitly. This one man stands as a giant among most mortals, Christian or otherwise, during a pivotally-evil time in human history. He had an enormously positive influence and character development and family loyalty through his intellectually rigorous father and his morally astute mother, and generations of socially influential relatives. Bonhoeffer lived out his profound family membership with everyone he met, wherever he went in community, and especially to his vocation as pastor. This biography not only tells his personal development but also his theological development, including his theological training, his writings such as Ethics, Discipleship, Act and Being, his dialogue with other theologians, especially Karl Barth. The development of his faith is pointed out--at one point he goes all in, and commits himself to Christ, the Church and whatever God's will is for him day by day. At this point he becomes committed to serving the Church, and in his situation, the Church as it was in Germany--which raises all kinds of problems, because the Church sells out to Hitler, causing a crisis of faith and action for Bonhoeffer. I was constantly amazed by his torn loyalties between tradition, nation, family, and the struggle to act spiritually when these structures became poisoned by Hitler. He responded with his whole being and character, and turned death on its head.
The content of this book is meaty and riveting. I'm on my second listen to it because I feel there is much I might have missed the first time through. Highly recommend this book. Also, the narrator's voice is very pleasant to my ears. As a person who instinctively likes "happy endings" it was heartbreaking to bear witness to Bonhoeffer's untimely demise but inspiring to read of a true hero who stood for right at all costs. Additionally, I liked the historical timeline of Germany and the rise of the Nazi party included in this biographical look at this heroic pastor. Admittedly, I am embarrassingly ignorant of history so even a cursory glance would improve my knowledge base. Overall, cannot recommend this book highly enough.
If you are interested in a more personal view of WWII, this is an excellent book. It drags a little some times but very interesting. Bonhoeffer was an amazing person. Great story, Great buy!
An incredible story about an inspiring man. I am very grateful that I had the chance to listen to this great book. I was captivated through all the stories that were woven together in a way that mostly keeps the audience interested and excited. There were a few places that seemed to drag with painstaking detail but some may appreciate it -- as I did in many instances.
The narration was nothing but superb. I will look for Hillgartner's narrations in future books.
I Like scifi-fantasy, non-fiction, historical fiction genres. Liked Wot, Got, Pillars of Earth, Century trilogy. Last read: Maritan. luvd it
This is a good book for someone who likes theology and preachy monologues. Most of the book, the author just reads Bonhoeffer's religious monologues either through his letters or diary entries. I was interested in learning about a pastor who became a spy during one of the worst times in the last century against a tyrant. But the author keeps his focus on Bonhoeffer's religious ideals during the whole time. There were hardly a chapter or two about his work as a spy.
This book celebrates life of Bonhoeffer and his principles but gets very long and tedious in the middle. I would recommend an abridged version of this book. Three-quarters of the book is about German Christians and Confessing churches differences.
I write few reviews, but I felt I had to comment on this book. It is one of the most eye-opening books I have ever heard! This story about a man's struggles with the loss of Germany to the Nazis could be just as easily a story about an American's loss of America...to who? Maybe from studying this man's values, we have a chance to get into the homestretch in the rescue of our Christian America!
It is slightly difficult to follow at the beginning as we learn a lot of background, but you must hang on. The book is monumentous in its content!
Bonhoeffer lived an amazing life and experienced more by age 20 than most people do in their entire lives. The book is well written and uses many letters and papers written by Bonhoeffer himself, which gives a factual look into what was happening in his life at that time. I probably should have bought the abridged version, only because it goes further in-depth with his religion than I cared to listen to, which is the only reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars. But I put this on my listen again list and will wait patiently wait for Hollywood to take notice like they did with Valkyrie and Defiance, his story also deserves a feature film.
Wow, I just finished the book and have to say it was one of the most enjoyable reads ("listens") I have had in a while. A thoroughly rewarding experience. The wonderful narrator did a wonderful job of leading me through a fine book that manages to balance history, theology, politics, love story and martydom into a fine nexus of a book.
At no point was I distracted or overwhelmed by the content. Each aspect of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer was well represented. Not overly deep in detail on any one topic, but enough to leave me wanting to investigate more at a later time. A wonderful way to present so many aspects of a single man who made such an impact.
The book will be on my list of books to give to others, as is Metaxes' other book on William Wilberforce.
Please read this book to ensure that the things that Bonhoeffer stood up for have meaning even today.