I am about half way through the book Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. It has been very enlightening and challenging to observe a life threaded into a volatile and unbelievable time in our world’s history. Metaxas’ writing of Bonhoeffer is 500 plus pages long and goes into(thus far)a very detailed look at religious angles of the Hitler ascension to power, starting with the anti-Semitism and eventually the spiritual war against all the Christians also who didn’t give allegiance to the Reich Church. Ultimately Bonhoeffer gave his life for his resistance.
Metaxas’ writing surprised me a few times. Descriptions added in contexts that would stop me short and think…”Now that is brilliant writing, that is funny.” The book is very serious in a lot of respects, but the insert of apparent humor parallels Bonhoeffer’s wit amidst the fortitude he had against the impending suppressive Reich. Here are a couple of examples:
From page 208 “Bonhoeffer followed every detail of these hemorrhoidal isometrics from England via his mother’s almost daily updates.”
From page 242 “Heckel evaded speaking on the Jewish question by pursuing a strategy of double-barreled flatulence:”…
Metaxas descriptions often stop me short for a moment. Writing envy might be a way to describe it, and not only the humorous descriptions.
But this morning it was a quote from Bonhoeffer that stopped me short.
“There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God’s commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of Almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.” Page 241
I am still thinking on this.
John, I always appreciate your concise comments.
dietrich bonnhoefer was a courageous man and i love the quote
Peace is the opposite of security… he was a wise man.. i love his song “von guten mächten wunderbar geborgen” by gracious powers…or sth like this in english..? used to sing it a lot in difficult times..
Every now and again as I read this book I think of you and the German people and how might this season in German history has it’s effects today.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.