Having heard much of Dietrich Bonhoeffer I was excited to get this book by Eric Metaxas and start reading it. After getting it, it took me a few days before starting to read it but as soon as I did, I couldn’t put it down, finishing the book in only 3 days. You might think 3 days is kind of slow but for me, it is fast. In Bonhoeffer Abridged, Eric Metaxas does a great job of painting a clear picture of this pastor and theologian as well as what inspired him to be the man he was.
The reader is drawn in and taken on a journey through the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. You learn about his family life and childhood and on to his life as a student and eventually a teacher and pastor. The life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is inspiring and motivating. His love for God and theology as well as his love for other people is revealed throughout this small glimpse into the life of one of the great thinkers in Christian history. This is not an all-encompassing biography of Bonhoeffer as you can perceive from the title, but a brief overview or summary of the more important parts of his life, the parts that truly reveal who he was. What is truly captivating about this book is the glance at what life was like for many Germans as Adolf Hitler was coming to power and throughout his reign through World War II. One amazing part of this book is the revelation of how Dietrich was involved in a plot to end Hitler’s reign by assassinating him to regain control of Germany from the Nazis. Throughout the book you get to read some of Bonhoeffer’s own words and thoughts as well as those who knew him well. “The man who died was engaged to be married. He was a pastor and a theologian. And he was executed for his role in the plot to assassinate Hitler. This is his story.” (p. xii) His is a story worth reading.
Bonhoeffer Abridged is definitely worth your time. Eric Metaxas does a splendid job of writing and sharing just exactly who this man was and why you should know him. I can definitely say after reading this book I am already looking forward to reading some of Dietrich’s own writing and getting to know this German man who was a theologian and a pastor.
“The religion of Christ is not a tidbit after one’s bread; on the contrary, it is the bread or it is nothing. People should at least understand and concede this if they call themselves Christian.” (p. 33)
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