Before I read Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, my path had crossed with Dietrich Bonhoeffer only a few times. I had to read some of his writings in the seminary. I read a stage play based on his life. Then a few years ago, a Lutheran group put out a movie that dramatized his life. And yet all I could really tell you when it was all done was that Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor involved in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
When I saw Metaxas's new biography, I had this feeling I needed to read this book. I wanted to understand Bonhoeffer better. And I am so glad I read this book.
Metaxas laid out Bonhoeffer's life, giving us a glimpse into his family life as a child, his educational experience, his meteoric rise, his many journeys, and finally, his eventual stand against the Third Reich. Through the whole thing, Metaxas offers us Bonhoeffer's own words, his experiences, his thoughts. I came to appreciate Bonhoeffer, especially for his thoughts on cheap grace, certainly something that a lot of modern Christians need to wrestle with.
I also appreciated the detail that Metaxas went into concerning Hitler's rise and the inner workings of the Reich, especially as it pertained to the German Christian church.
In the end, I have new appreciation for Bonhoeffer, enough that I'm thinking I have to pull down some of his books off my bookshelf and read them with new eyes.