Archives For Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

BonhoefferTrumps

Tomorrow (Feb. 4) is the birthday of Dietrich Bonhoeffer… 

In the Trump era of propaganda (e.g., “alternative facts”) and violence and oppression toward anyone who is not a white heterosexual male, we would do well to return to the writings of Bonhoeffer — not just the wrongheaded spin of some who have written about Bonhoeffer (AHEM, Eric Metaxas), but his actual writings themselves.

Here are 5 stunning passages that shed light on our call to costly discipleship in the present age…

 
 

Christianity has adjusted itself much
too easily to the worship of power.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Henri Nouwen, Octavia Butler, MORE)

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

 

Ethics

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

*** $3.99 ***

NEXT EBOOK >>>>>

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Bonhoeffer-Bio

Yesterday marked the 110th anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s birth…

In honor of the occasion, we wanted to highlight a few lesser-known books by/about him:

You may have read The Cost of Discipleship, or Life Together, or even Eric Metaxes’s Bonhoeffer biography, but here are a few other important Bonhoeffer books, if you want to go deeper:
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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Kevin Vanhoozer, MORE)

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

 

 

 

Women’s Bible Commentary, Third Edition

*** $3.99 ***

Print list price:  $50!!!

 

NEXT EBOOK >>>>>

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
(Walter Brueggemann, N.T. Wright, Sallie McFague, MORE)

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

 

All of this week’s ebook deals are part of the masssive Fortress Press ebook sale. If you read theology ebooks on your Kindle, I highly recommend that you:

[ BROWSE THE FULL SALE ]

 

 

Prophetic Imagination: Revised Edition

Walter Brueggemann

*** $1.99 ***

 

NEXT EBOOK >>>>>

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When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer,

born on this date, 1906
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The Wake Up Call
 
Poem of the Day:
Who am I?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day:
The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation

By Thomas Merton
Only $4.74!!!
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The Wake Up Call – February 4, 2015

 

“Spending the Holidays with Bonhoeffer”

A review of
God Is in the Manger:
Reflections on Advent and Christmas
.
By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.


Reviewed by Alex Joyner

God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas
By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Translated by O.C. Dean, Jr.

Compiled and edited by Jana Reiss
Paperback: WJK Books, 2010.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

“Life in a prison cell may well be compared to Advent: one waits, hopes, and does this, that, or the other – things that are really of no consequence – the door is shut, and can only be opened from the outside.”
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer quoted in God in the Manger (13)

GOD IS IN THE MANGER - BonhoefferThere is a deep hunger among us for more of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the once and future prophet.  Bonhoeffer’s death in a Nazi prison camp in the waning days of World War II left the Christian community with one of its more evocative unfinished stories.  The German theologian was deeply engaged with the challenges of his day, but there is so much that seems contemporary about him in the 21st century.

He was a colleague and disciple of Karl Barth, and in many ways his theological kin, but Bonhoeffer addressed his environment in ways that created a more engaged, lived theology.  As he watched the Christian church around him capitulate to Nazi ideology, Bonhoeffer foresaw the impotence and crumbling of the religious institutional structure.  And when he wrote about a “world come of age” in which humanity had finally outgrown its need of religion, it was inevitable that later generations of Westerners would see it as a prescient observation of their own world.

Publishers are hastily trying to feed this hunger with a slate of books.  2010 has already seen the publication of a monumental, if flawed, biography by Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy [Thomas Nelson].  Though Metaxas leaves the reader wanting more insight and less reporting, (and much less clichéd prose), his book does have the virtue of immersing us once more in the story of Bonhoeffer’s life and in large passages of his writing.  Also this year, Fortress Press has continued its slow rollout of volumes in the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works with the publication of its 800-page volume 8, Letters and Papers from Prison.  Three significant films on his life in the last decade have also contributed to making Bonhoeffer one of the hottest theologians of the 21st century some 55 years after his death.

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A Review of

551382: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Eric Metaxas.

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2010.

Buy now:  [ ChristianBook.com ]

Reviewed by Douglas Connelly.

April 9, 2010 marked the sixty-fifth anniversary of the death of the German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  As the Third Reich crumbled around them, the embattled Nazi leadership had Bonhoeffer hanged at the Flossenburg concentration camp.  Christians have long considered him a martyr, but Bonhoeffer was not executed primarily for his faith.  He and four others were killed that spring morning for their participation in a plot to kill Adolph Hitler – a plot that almost succeeded.  Bonhoeffer’s act of treason was the official reason for his murder, but his political action stemmed directly from his theology.  This German pastor believed he was doing the will of God.

Eric Metaxas in his masterful new biography, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, weaves three historical themes together with skill and engaging detail.  First, he tells the story of the German nation from their humiliating defeat in World War I through the rise of National Socialism and the horrors of World War II.  The second thread is the story of the German Lutheran church.  We see the rise of intellectual liberalism, its resulting critical view of the Bible, and the devastating effect of their departure from God’s truth on the moral strength of the Christian leaders.  Then, third, the story of Bonhoeffer’s life and theological development are followed through the twists and turns of political change and ecclesiastical compromise.  It all makes for captivating reading.

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[ Editor’s note: This week saw the 100th anniversary of the birth of missiologist and theologian Lesslie Newbigin.  Our friend, Andy Rowell has written a wonderfully engaging tribute on his blog, and gave us permission to reprint it here… Thanks, Andy! ]

Ten Things You Probably Did Not Know about Lesslie Newbigin
in Honor of the Centennial of his Birth

by Andy Rowell
8 December 2009

10.  Newbigin means “new building” according to the first page of his autobiography.

9.  Though only three years apart in age, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Feb 4, 1906 – Apr 9, 1945) and Lesslie Newbigin (Dec 8, 1909 – Jan 30, 1998) never did to my knowledge meet one another though the 27 year old Bonhoeffer was in London pastoring a German congregation from 1933-1935 while the 24 year old Newbigin was training for the ministry in Cambridge.  Both were very involved in ecumenical affairs and international relationships but Bonhoeffer was active in the 1930’s with the World Alliance, Life and Work, and Faith and Order; and Newbigin was primarily involved in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s in the International Missionary Council, World Council of Churches, and Faith and Order.  Though both were highly effective in the international sphere, both ended their lives more optimistic about the local church and somewhat disappointed in the theological compromises of the large ecumenical organizations.

8. Newbigin was sent out as a missionary by Presbyterians (the Church of Scotland) to India in 1936 but in 1947 the Presbyterians, Methodists and Anglicans in that part of India joined together and became The Church of South India.  He was elected a bishop.  That is how a Presbyterian–they do not have bishops–became a Bishop.

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A Brief Review of
Dietrich Bonhoeffer And The Resistance.
Sabine Dramm.

Hardback: Fortress Press, 2009.
Buy now:  [ ChristianBook.com ]

Reviewed by Chase Roden.

Given the opportunity, would you have assassinated Adolf Hitler?  Every pacifist alive since World War II has probably been asked some form of this question at least once.  Although any answer we might give would be speculative, ethical extremes can help clarify our thinking — and Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a man for whom the hypotheticals of Christian nonviolence were real-life decisions.  Bonhoeffer’s fatal choice to participate in a plot to kill Hitler is, to say the least, troubling for many Christian pacifists.  Despite his principled objection to violence, Bonhoeffer came to the conclusion that murder was the appropriate course of action in his circumstance.  Or did he?
Sabine Dramm’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Resistance goes into great detail to answer the questions surrounding the pastor Bonhoeffer’s involvement with the German resistance to Hitler and Nazism, and in doing so reveals a portrait too complex to be summed up by a single decision.  Some of the details of Bonhoeffer’s life run contrary to what modern Christians may assume about him; although his opposition to Hitler was based on his Christian convictions, Bonhoeffer’s active resistance work was largely carried out without the support or knowledge of his denomination or other German churches.  He worked primarily through ecumenical contacts in the World Council of Churches and through his family.  It was a family connection — brother-in-law Hans von Dohnanyi — who secured Bonhoeffer a position in Military Intelligence, allowing him not only to avoid conscription, but also to travel relatively freely in order to work with foreign church leaders to discuss the severity of the situation in Germany and the possibilities for restructuring the country and the church after the end of the war.
Dramm interacts significantly with Eberhard Bethge’s definitive 1967 biography of Bonhoeffer, offering her own research from new evidence and historical speculation about events and motives that were, by necessity, shrouded in mystery.  Dramm aims to avoid idealizing Bonhoeffer — she believes that the tendency to do so is “dishonest and pointless, and … can only lead to absurd dis(illusion).”  Dramm points out the fractured nature of the resistance — people working together shared so little information that they often didn’t know what their own colleagues were working on — and the seemingly unstoppable power of the Nazi state; in light of these facts, what Bonhoeffer was able to accomplish is impressive enough on its own to need no exaggeration.  Nazi surveillance was so pervasive that resistance efforts had to resort to subtle means of opposition; at one point, Bonhoeffer and Dutch theologian Visser’t Hooft coauthored a theology book and mailed it to American publishers as a failed attempt to send an SOS to Allied nations.  It is easy in hindsight to forget that it was an act of faith for Bonhoeffer to even make plans for life after the end of Third Reich, but the level of historical detail that Dramm provides makes it possible to appreciate his dire circumstances.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Resistance is, ultimately, a specialized history book looking primarily at one aspect of one man’s life (although it doesn’t spare details regarding Bonhoeffer’s co-resistors).  As such, the detail can be a bit overwhelming, but any Christian pacifist who is tired of answering hypothetical questions about WWII may want to check it out.

Given the opportunity, would you have assassinated Adolf Hitler?  Every pacifist alive since World War II has probably been asked some form of this question at least once.  Although any answer we might give would be speculative, ethical extremes can help clarify our thinking — and Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a man for whom the hypotheticals of Christian nonviolence were real-life decisions.  Bonhoeffer’s fatal choice to participate in a plot to kill Hitler is, to say the least, troubling for many Christian pacifists.  Despite his principled objection to violence, Bonhoeffer came to the conclusion that murder was the appropriate course of action in his circumstance.  Or did he?

Sabine Dramm’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Resistance goes into great detail to answer the questions surrounding the pastor Bonhoeffer’s involvement with the German resistance to Hitler and Nazism, and in doing so reveals a portrait too complex to be summed up by a single decision.  Some of the details of Bonhoeffer’s life run contrary to what modern Christians may assume about him; although his opposition to Hitler was based on his Christian convictions, Bonhoeffer’s active resistance work was largely carried out without the support or knowledge of his denomination or other German churches.  He worked primarily through ecumenical contacts in the World Council of Churches and through his family.  It was a family connection — brother-in-law Hans von Dohnanyi — who secured Bonhoeffer a position in Military Intelligence, allowing him not only to avoid conscription, but also to travel relatively freely in order to work with foreign church leaders to discuss the severity of the situation in Germany and the possibilities for restructuring the country and the church after the end of the war.

Dramm interacts significantly with Eberhard Bethge’s definitive 1967 biography of Bonhoeffer, offering her own research from new evidence and historical speculation about events and motives that were, by necessity, shrouded in mystery.  Dramm aims to avoid idealizing Bonhoeffer — she believes that the tendency to do so is “dishonest and pointless, and … can only lead to absurd dis(illusion).”  Dramm points out the fractured nature of the resistance — people working together shared so little information that they often didn’t know what their own colleagues were working on — and the seemingly unstoppable power of the Nazi state; in light of these facts, what Bonhoeffer was able to accomplish is impressive enough on its own to need no exaggeration.  Nazi surveillance was so pervasive that resistance efforts had to resort to subtle means of opposition; at one point, Bonhoeffer and Dutch theologian Visser’t Hooft coauthored a theology book and mailed it to American publishers as a failed attempt to send an SOS to Allied nations.  It is easy in hindsight to forget that it was an act of faith for Bonhoeffer to even make plans for life after the end of Third Reich, but the level of historical detail that Dramm provides makes it possible to appreciate his dire circumstances.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Resistance is, ultimately, a specialized history book looking primarily at one aspect of one man’s life (although it doesn’t spare details regarding Bonhoeffer’s co-resistors).  As such, the detail can be a bit overwhelming, but any Christian pacifist who is tired of answering hypothetical questions about WWII may want to check it out.