A Feature Review of
The Battle for Bonhoeffer:
Debating Discipleship in the Age of Trump
Paperback: Eerdmans, 2018.
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Reviewed by James Dekker
The ten chapters and postscript “Open Letter to Christians Who Love Bonhoeffer but (Still) Support Trump” of Stephen Haynes’s Battle for Bonhoeffer are some of the densest I’ve ever read outside of graduate theses, but it is far more engaging than any thesis. Dense is by no means bad. Battle is carefully organized, clearly written and always compelling. And well it should be, since this closely-argued discursus explores possibly the most incandescent questions in American Christians’ conversation since the Vietnam War: “Why and how has Dietrich Bonhoeffer become a hero to evangelicals in the first twenty years of the 21st century, when for decades after his death his theology was widely suspect outside mainline Protestantism? Why do so many evangelicals support Donald Trump?” Such rocky geography covers the American evangelical battleground that Stephen Haynes attempts to delimit.