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.
Not disappointed. Well written. Malcolm Hillgartner's narration capturing. One of the millions of brilliant , outstanding Christians murdered by the monster of Nazism.
Eric Metaxas succeeds in bringing to life the overwhelmingly diabolical environment of Hitler's Germany, the unprepared and lax condition of the German Christian community, and the intensely public and pesonal stories of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, disciple of Christ.
To steal a phrase from C.S. Lewis, the pages (or in the case of this audiobook, the sections) of this book fairly rustle with the life contained therein. Metaxis accomplishes a grand slam: acedemic scholarship, literary quality, and masterful storytelling.
At the end of this book, I was compelled to say 'thank you' to a modern day saint and to grieve over the price paid by a father of the faith for the Kingdom of God.
Malcolm Hillgartner's narration of this book is superb.
I already have three of my friends hastily consuming this work so that we can share our common experience.
Addicted to books, both print and audio-.
Bonhoeffer is one of the most intriguing people from World War II. He and his co-conspirators were so repulsed and horrified by the Nazis that they risked everything to bring them down. Unlike so many, Bonhoeffer and his family recognized the Nazis for what they were when they first came to power, and they worked in many different ways to oppose them. I was particularly interested in the family and in Dietrich's relationship to them. Theirs was a very close family, and Dietrich's co-conspirators included his brothers-in-law. It's a fascinating story and well worth the time.
There was a good deal of repetition, both from the author and in the quoting of Bonhoeffer's writings; I felt the book would have benefited from better editing. I like Malcolm Hillgartner and have listened to one or two other books he has narrated. With this one, however, he goes overboard on the expression, not letting the writing speak for itself, hitting the pathos and tragedy too hard . . . the book's events and Bonhoeffer's writings are so clear and intense that there is no need for this!
This book does a good job of telling the story of an amazing man. The setting in Germany before, during, and after the rise of the Nazis gives a great sense of the foreboding during that time. (It begged the question of "What would I have done during the rise of the Nazis?" This is a question any person truly honest with oneself would ask.) I'm sure that I would not have acted in anyway similar to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Perhaps reading this book will make us more courageous if we ever face such a dilemma.
The story of Dietrich's Bonhoeffer's life as told in this biography is nothing less than extraordinary. I finished it about a month ago, and it is still profoundly resonating in me. Having the opportunity to dive into this work is like being mentored by one of the most passionate and gentle of pastors and an opportunity to walk along side a saint who has completely and radically sought to live a life in obedience to Christ. For me, it has been pivotal for my faith and discipline.
There are a LOT of details in this book, and I am not sure I would have got through it, if it wasn't an audio book because of them. But in listening, the details just enriched the story rather than burden it. Happy Listening!
I love books!
When I decided to purchase this book I knew it appeared to be intellectual and I knew it might seem long. I was right on both counts but it was still a good listen. It was intellectual and I would guess those more into theology than me would appreciate it more. I liked the idea of listening to a story of a German who saw the rise to power of Hitler and Nazism and stood up for the evil it was unlike most of his countrymen. In that it didn't disappoint. I've always been a bit of a WWII buff and seeing Germany evolve at that time from an inside perspective was the key to me. And, Bonhoeffer truly seemed like a holy man.
I like History and Christian Fiction. I like to recommend books that are descriptive, but not something I wouldn't recommend to my kids.
A great book to read for the story of Bonhoeffer, but also for understanding what a true walk with Christ could be if we would allow Him to work in and through us.
When I read (or listened to) this book I was struck by how God worked through those years, in Germany and around the world. It was a terrible time in terms of loss of life and human struggle, but Hitler didn't leave the scene until God allowed it. I don't think any of us will understand this until sometime after we leave this earth.
I would love to find more books like this.
My mood is somber as I complete this book. I rarely write any kind of review beyond a thumbs up or down, but I want so much to talk about this book. The thing that strikes me so much about Dietrich Bonhoeffer is not the tragedy of his death, but the importance of his life. He wasn't so much bold and brave as he was convicted by his faith, his complete trust in God. That he was a key figure in the Nazi resistance and member of one of Germany's academically elite families somehow take the back seat.
Everyone knows what happened during the second World War; the atrocities of Hitler and the Third Reich, but this perspective is absolutely astounding. Hitler truly was the incarnation of evil, in an almost supernatural embodiment. Those who stood up to him were unbelievably courageous and those who lost their lives to his "work" are true martyrs. I'm surprised that Bonhoeffer's story is not more widely known or taught in our historical education.
good book about a great man and a great life
metaxas tone is through and detailed and respectful
he does not attempt to undermine or exploit his subject
bonhoeffer's background was frighteningly aloof and academic
at many points in his youth he seemed to hold life at arm's length
the war and nazi politics stripped all of that away
he embraced the opportunity to confront evil head on
the assassination plots seems amateurish in retrospect
his disregard of american seminaries seems spot on
his embrace of the african-american church is perceptive
the book hinges on his decision to return to germany from NYC
he willingly faced almost certain death but saw no other choice
what does it mean to be a christian in the 20th century ?
no man ever answered that question better than bonhoeffer
"... i will not offer that which costs me nothing ..."