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Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

86 out of 88 people found this review helpful.

Inspiring....

BONHOEFFER Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas is really, really great. This is a heavy book. Yes, the subject matter is serious, but I mean this book is heavy, like three pounds. Metaxas is so detailed in his description of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life that's it...
BONHOEFFER Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas is really, really great. This is a heavy book. Yes, the subject matter is serious, but I mean this book is heavy, like three pounds. Metaxas is so detailed in his description of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life that's it feels like you are reading every possible bit of information that could be found on him. Metaxas did all the work for us and wrote an amazing biography. This book covers Dietrich's upbringing, family life, spiritual formation, ministry and eventually his involvement in the plot to end Hitler's life and ultimately Bonhoeffer's execution.
Bonhoeffer's insistence that a spiritual life is a life fully lived, in service to God and others, not a life split into sacred and secular divisions seems especially relevant in a culture where we too easily fall into the trap of a lifestyle of consumption and compartmentalization.
I would definitely recommend this book. It was fascinating to read about this theological giant, and about the world he lived in, his thoughts on what it truly meant to be a follower of Jesus, and the struggles he dealt with as he saw the church sit idly by while evil men had their way.
I received this book as a part of Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program.

posted by Jimmyd8466 on May 7, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Responding to how to delete books

You need to go into your barnes and noble account from the web. Click on manage my account. Then click on my library. Your good to go. I hadthe same problem. Good luck and Happy reading!

posted by KELLIRUE on September 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Bonhoeffer

    Wonderful book and held my attention throughout. However I was extremely disappointed that the e Book failed to include the photogaphs and writings that are in the hard copy particularly the beautiful Who Am I?.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    Gets ya thinking

    Overall, this was a great book with many things to ponder, struggle with, debate, and share. I personally did not prefer the author's style of writing (very biased & the order I felt was jumbled), but once you get past it, you discover that that is a minor detail in regards to the topics it covers and the abundance of discussion this book brings. I enjoy books that challenge me to think outside of my preconceived box and this one did just that.

    I would recommend this for:
    - anyone 13 on up who enjoys a good read
    - small groups as this is sure to produce discussion

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2011

    May we all act on our convictions

    I recently read Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy to Eric Metaxas. I had never heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, so I was enthralled to read his story. His newly-discovered faith led him to plot against Hitler (a certain death sentence if it were discovered).

    This book is hefty, but reads so easily, for a biography. (Not those dry and boring types you've suffered through before, and *not* like the history book you last used to study the holocaust.

    I found this story amazing, and inspiring. While I hope to never be in such circumstances, I hope that I would have the faith and God-given strength to stand up for what is right, regardless of the personal consequences.

    You will not be disappointed with with book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended!

    A great read for a biography! It really tells the story of Hitler's rise to power and many of the things that were occuring under the radar in Germany before America was involved with the war.

    It was good to know that at least some of the citizens were aware of what was going on and tried to help the persecuted as well as remove Hitler from power. It also details the struggle for the German Christians who tried to oppose the Nazi party.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2011

    An excellent read.

    This book answered many of the questions that I have had for many years. Questions about how the German people were so taken in by Adolph Hitler? Why were the Christian Churches so silent during this era? Where were God's men and women? "Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet" answers those questions and much more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2010

    Fantastic book!

    This book is such a great read. Metaxas executes this biography so well that I thought I was reading a novel. I have a whole new appreciation for Bonhoeffer as a leader and scholar for the Church, not only for the 20th century but for our century as well.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2010

    Fantastic biography!

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer is someone that is widely recognized(and surprisingly largely uncontested) in the catholic church as being extremely influential and a pillar of true faith. I have read a couple of his books and have been extremely challenged by his call to community(before it was popular!) and costly grace. In this biography by Eric Metaxas, we are given an extremely thorough look into his life, from growing up in a house of extreme intelligence and pressures all the way to the days leading up to his eventual death as part of the plot to kill Adolf Hitler.

    Metaxas did a fantastic job of having just the right amount of information that while still a pretty long book, I never felt bogged down by it at any point. It was extremely apparent that he spent large amounts of time before compiling this book and it really helps as a fantastic supplement to his works. We are able to see the silly side of Bonhoeffer as well as many letters of correspondence between him and others are shared in great detail throughout the book.

    Overall, I am quite happy that this was the first and only biography that I have read on Bonhoeffer. It truly seemed so comprehensive and well-researched that no other would be able to compete in providing more information about the remarkable man Bonhoeffer was.

    P.S. As full disclosure, I must not that I reviewed this book as part of Thomas Nelson's book review program and so received this for free. I am not required to write a positive review, however, and would certainly do so if necessary.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2010

    A great history of a sad ending.

    What a facinating book, buy this book. Once again, proof of how evil the Nazis were, depriving us of such a great man of faith.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Enthralling, Inspiring and Illuminating!

    Eric Metaxas has done for Dietrich Bonhoeffer what David McCullough did for John Adams. This book is enthralling, inspiring and illuminating, and it provides the context to better understand Bonhoeffer and his views. I started reading "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy" this week and have not been able to put it down.

    Metaxas takes us on an engaging, chronological journey through Bonhoeffer's life. And what an exciting and meaningful life it was. Metaxas' portrait reveals a bright, athletic Dietrich Bonhoeffer who loved life, was curious, open-minded, generous and courageous.

    Bonhoeffer had a passion for seeking God's will through studying Scripture and prayer but also through exploring the world to make sense of it. He was learned in art, music and literature. He persevered in seeking God and once he felt God's will for his life was revealed to him, he acted upon it.

    Time and again I was surprised and delighted reading Metaxas' accounts of the events that shaped Bonhoeffer's character. For example, while attending Union Theological Seminary in New York City during the 1930s, Bonhoeffer, a bespectacled, patrician German, attended an African-American church in Harlem where he discovered spiritual depth and powerful worship. He came to love African-American spirituals. I won't say more for fear of spoiling it for you. Suffice it to say, by the time I reached the account of the concentration camp doctor who witnessed Bonhoeffer's final moments of life and his execution, I loved this man and was heartbroken by his martyrdom yet inspired by his tremendous faith.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a new hero for me, thanks to Metaxas' book. To be honest, it has shaken me up, and inspired and challenged me to examine my faith and life. Many thanks to Eric Metaxas for the remarkable job he has done bringing this extraordinary man's story and legacy to life in a way that applies to each and every one of us today.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    Review: Bonhoeffer

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my favorite theologians and one of the most influential theologians on my life and calling to the ministry. So when I saw this book being offered by Thomas Nelson, I had to jump on it, and I'm glad I did.

    Like many seminarians, I was introduced to Bonhoeffer through The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together. But I really didn't know a lot about the person. There was a little bit of background information in my copy of The Cost of Discipleship, but that was it. This book changes all of that.

    From his early childhood to his arrest and subsequent martyrdom for his involvement in the conspiracy against Hitler, Metaxas draws from the letters of Bonhoeffer as well as his family to write this biography. Metaxas weaves the brilliant story that is the life and death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the man who stood and preached for what he believed. When the church in Germany failed to stand up to Hitler, Bonhoeffer did. This is his life. Through Bonhoeffer's life and death, we really do see the cost of discipleship.

    This book is a must have for all students of Bonhoeffer.

    I give this book 5 our of 5 stars.

    Disclaimer:

    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expresses in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    well worth it

    This is a difficult read but well worth the time. I had to put it down often just toabsorb the scope of the content. I am glad i stuck with it. Profound life lived.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2012

    Wow, I am still in the midst of reading this book, but Metaxas i

    Wow, I am still in the midst of reading this book, but Metaxas is VERY thorough. I would love to see this book tranlated to a documentary series. I am really impressed with Dietrich Bonhoeffer's strong stand for the church of Jesus Christ in the midst of horrible racism, unabashed hatred, and utter destruction of the country he loved so dearly as a child. Taking a stand against the Third Reich and it's maniacal leader, Adolf Hitler, Bonhoeffer is an outstanding example of what it means to deny oneself and stand against persecution of the Jews, God's chosen people. Words cannot articulate how eye opening this account truly is for me. I am inspired now to read some of Bonhoeffer's best-known and beloved works, including "The Cost of Discipleship" and "Life Together."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2011

    No pictures?

    I can't write a detailed review right now, but I will say this is a great book for someone interested in Bonhoeffer, WWII-Germany, or both. But what happened to the photographs? My husband has the hardback and there are two sections full of photos. What gives??

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2011

    Very Good...easy read.

    This is a wonderful look into the theology and practice of one of Christendom's most famous martyrs. The story of Bonhoeffer's life and the times in which he lived make for serious contemplation of one's own faith journey.

    I found it captivating. It would be a great read for historians, theologians, and church leaders, and not a few politicians.

    The only negative I have is the pettiness or silliness with which the authors write at times, especially in describing many of the characters who worked with and for Hitler in these grave times. The pathos of the times and the serious discipleship of Bonhoeffer himself, demand less frivolous and trite descriptions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    Responding to how to delete books

    You need to go into your barnes and noble account from the web. Click on manage my account. Then click on my library. Your good to go. I hadthe same problem. Good luck and Happy reading!

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 13, 2011

    Awesome Book you will love it!!!!

    There is nothing I like more the a good biography but when you add history, heroism and good Christian values to the same good there is nothing better. That is what Eric Metaxas has done with his book Bonhoeffer.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer is not a common house hold name not one that too many people will say they know a lot about him. He is not someone that you are going to learn about in any history textbooks (I didn't anyway). In fact when I was given the chance to review this book by the Thomas Nelson Company (my review here is my one and I give an honesty feedback on the book in exchange for a free copy. Sorry legal people make me say this) I didn't have a clue who Dietrich Bonhoeffer was, but after reading this book I have the up most respect for him.
    This book his one that is hard to put down, it is one that you will find time to read. I learned some much about Germany post WWII and some about it during WWII. I learned that is spite of all the hell Hitler but the people of Germany in namely the Jews. There was a great man that had no fear to stand up to Hitler and help bring him down. Bonhoeffer is that great man and this book with teach you all about him. I must say if you are thinking about buying a good book this is the one to get. It will not leave you disappoint but will give you a great respect for a man that knew God and loved Him.
    Thank you Thomas Nelson for my free copy of this great book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Courage, bravery and conviction

    Until I received this book I have never had the opportunity to read about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Written by the author of Amazing Grace, this is his complete biography-from his birth to his death. Metaxas has researched his subject thoroughly and gives us a very real and moving story with excerpts from Dietrich's own writings and letters as well as several pages of family photos. All of the details of Bonheoffer's life that contributed to who he was and what he believed are in this book. As we read about Dietrich's life, education and experiences we are also given the history of Germany and how Hitler came to be in power. We see the struggles that the Germans and Jews were subjected to in these times and are able to understand the many hard decisions that so many people were forced to make. I was most moved by the questions Bonhoeffer asked of himself and others, and his search for the answers to what true Christianity is. I do not (as some seem to) have any problems with this man's theology. He spent his life seeking God and helping others in any way he could. It is very evident that he lived and died what he believed. Here is a story of true courage, bravery, and conviction-to do the right thing when it is required-no matter the cost. May we all learn to live and die so well. I received this complimentary copy from the Thomas Nelson Publishing through their BookSneeze program. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    Bonhoeffer: Theology Matters

    There is a pervasive temptation today to say that theology doesn't matter. Not just in culture and academy, but also even in church. As though right thinking about God isn't relevant to real life (you know, to "the rest of us"). Bonhoeffer speaks to that temptation with a powerful true story of a hero of history whose direction in life was shaped by his profoundly deep understanding of God. His was a theology that mattered; a theology whose understanding of God and church was disruptive. Revolutionary. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian turned Confessing Church leader, Nazi-resister and spy during World War II. In Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas capably walks the reader through the story of this bold (and at times confusing and complicated) leader.

    Far from being a dry book about a theologian, Bonhoeffer truly introduces you to a fascinating person. You'll meet his family and mentors; his friends and colleagues, students and even his love interest. But of course (the part many of us are interested in): You'll also hear plenty about his involvement in the conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler.

    But still, none of this can be separated from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's theological thinking. You'll read about Dietrich as a young academic interacting with the likes of Karl Barth and Adolf von Harnack. Of his frustration with American liberal theology in New York alongside his deep appreciation of the African American spirituality he engaged there. Of how he worked through his Barthian theology in a pastoral context, understanding that since God can't be known apart from revelation the preacher is entirely dependent upon God for results. He was a man who knew God, and sought after God for his own life's direction. Who cared more about following that direction than about his own safety.

    The question at the forefront of much of Bonhoeffer's thinking: "What is Church?" Far from being theoretical, this reflection became very relevant when he was asked to "play along" with the newly Nazi-run "Reich Church." If the church is neither Jew nor Greek (as St Paul made clear), an institution which excludes Jews from leadership is no longer the church. He went through similar thinking as he moved from mere protest to action. Is it enough for the church to only speak out on behalf of the oppressed? Isn't action required also? This eventually led to Bonhoeffer's conspiratorial activities as a double agent for the Nazi Abwehr (where, among other things, he worked at freeing Jews and plotting to assassinate Hitler).

    Metaxas is a thorough researcher and masterful storyteller. Bonhoeffer will introduce you to the big picture of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life, setting his famous works (such as Ethics and Discipleship) in context. Despite it's length (well over 600 pages), you'll find that the pages fly by through much of this edge-of-your-seat story. There are slow moments of course. Metaxas includes plenty of correspondence from Bonhoeffer's letters -- helpful to the story, but slow reading. Also, we know painfully little about Dietrich's last days, which was frustrating for me only because I became so invested in the story that I really wanted to know "exactly how it ends."

    But then, what else do we expect when reading history?

    This is a truly engrossing biography. Enjoy!


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through theBookSneeze®.com book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2011

    Highest recommendation

    Masterfully written. Compelling narrative. Life-changing encounter with the life and writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    Fascinating Insight!

    The book gives a much needed understanding of Germany in the Hitler era. By no means were the German people of one mind in the support of Adolf Hitler. This is an account of genuine courage and bravery in the face of unbelievable tyranny.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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