Guest / Limited Access /
Reviews

/

Bonhoeffer Against the World
Mike Benny
Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Book Title
Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Author
Publisher
Knopf
Release Date
April 29, 2014
Pages
528
Price
$35.00
Buy Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer from Amazon

Dietrich Bonhoeffer has always been one of my great heroes of the faith. Such appreciation, of course, hardly makes me distinct. Bonhoeffer, the German pastor-theologian who opposed the Nazis and was executed in a concentration camp, is passionately admired by millions of Christians.

One could even compare him to Athanasius, the defender of Christ's divinity whose brave stance also drew state persecution. The fourth-century bishop's unflinching willingness to defy even emperors and their armies was honored with the title "Athanasius contra mundum" (against the world).

Charles Marsh's welcome biography, Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Knopf), paints a painstaking portrait of a faithful disciple every bit as resolute against Aryanism as Athanasius was against Arians. Marsh's exquisite eye for detail reveals the sheer unlikelihood of Bonhoeffer's emergence as the boldest opponent of efforts to Nazify the German church.

Athanasius was bishop of Alexandria, the most powerful ecclesiastical figure in the Eastern empire. He wielded so much influence that emperors were afraid of opposing him too forcefully, lest they provoke a popular uprising.

But what power did Bonhoeffer wield in 1933? He was 27 years old, financially dependent on his parents, and virtually bereft of experience in the working world. His sole professional appointment was an unpaid, non-tenure-track position as a voluntary lecturer. Adjunct professors don't normally stand athwart emperors.

Yet Bonhoeffer did. Within weeks of Adolf Hitler's rise to power, Bonhoeffer declared in public that the Führer was offering a false path to salvation—and, in private, that Hitler was an antichrist. When ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Browse All Book Reviews By:
Previous
  • The Battle of the Bible FilmsSubscriber Access Only
  • The Bible's Unequivocal 'No' to Domestic ViolenceSubscriber Access Only
  • Next
    Read These NextSee Our Latest
    Also in this IssueLetting Scripture Interrupt You
    Subscriber Access Only Letting Scripture Interrupt You
    When a verse or passage grabs your attention, don't be afraid to stop and ask why.
    RecommendedMartin Luther
    TrendingWhy Tim Keller, Max Lucado, and Hundreds of Evangelical Leaders Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban
    Why Tim Keller, Max Lucado, and Hundreds of Evangelical Leaders Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban
    Regardless of court fight’s final outcome, fewer persecuted Christians will make it to America under president’s plan.
    Editor's PickChallenging the Narrative: How Race Complicates the Latest LifeWay Debate
    Challenging the Narrative: How Race Complicates the Latest LifeWay Debate
    Black Southern Baptists weigh in on the issues around removing Sho Baraka’s album.
    Christianity Today
    Bonhoeffer Against the World
    hide thisMay May

    In the Magazine

    May 2014

    To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.