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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, February 7, 2011

A terrific read: Bonhoeffer

I finished reading Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. The author, Eric Metaxas, does a brilliant job of showing the German pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's progression of thought and maturity regarding the question of what a Christian must do in the face of tyranny (Nazi Germany) and terrible persecution. Bonhoeffer's best-known work, Discipleship (sometimes called The Cost of Discipleship) grapples with how far a Christian must go in his obedience to Christ. The young pastor's conclusion was: only absolute obedience to Christ constitutes a true disciple. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed in April 1945 for his unwavering protests against Hitler's tyranny.
Nazi Germany divided Germany's Christians. Would they swear allegiance to Hitler or refuse to do so and risk persecution, even death? Would they stand up and protest the persecution of Jewish people and the systematic killing of "undesirables?"
Something for us believers to grapple with today.
If our government ever becomes so completely secularized that even the metion of Jesus Christ results in being fired or kicked out of organizations, or even being imprisoned, will we, as individuals, have the gumption to stick to our allegiance to Christ?
Where does obedience to the governing authorites end?
Where does civil disobedience begin?
These were difficult questions for Bonhoeffer.
Sometimes the distinction between tyranny and oppressive government is blurred.
If you have the patience to plow through all 542 pages of Bonhoeffer, you will be richer for having done so.

"May God in His mercy lead us through these times; but above all, may He lead us to Himself. . . " Dietrich Bonhoeffer


  1. Hi Dena -

    You pose some thorny questions. Scripture tells us to obey the laws of the land. It also tells us that if the government requires us to go against God's laws we're to follow Him. (Example: The three Hebrew children in the Book of Daniel refused to bow to the image of the king.)

    I pray we never face the kind of terrible persecution seen in other parts of the world. To say we'd do the right thing or not is impossible to predict. May God give us the grace to deal with anything that comes our way.


  2. So true, Susan. Bonhoeffer wrestled with this question for a long time.

  3. Good Morning Dena

    I've heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer all my Christian life. The book sounds like a good read. Thanks for you review and recommendation :-)

    Take care and have a nice day :-)


  4. Hi Ron,I love a good history, and Eric Metaxus delivers. I'd love to hear what you thought of the book.

  5. I write for an on-line newsletter, and have thought about how at some point, I might be presented with such a choice as this... choose between what God says is evil and wrong and what is popular opinion. I know I will have to go with God, I can't do any less--I couldn't live with myself.

  6. Joy, I hope I would make the right choices, too. I pray that I'll be bold for God!