Read This: The Bonhoeffer Reader

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The Bonhoeffer Reader

Bonhoeffer: one of my favorite Christian authors on the Christian life – and so much more.  I was introduced to his writings in college when I read the Cost of Discipleship, one of the books that has continued to shape who I am as a believer.  His birthday was last week so I thought it a great time to post this review.  I found out just how much I loved his writings when I got my hands on this book published by Fortress Press.  I was contacted by the Somersault Group  to review this book and I’m so glad I agreed to it.  This book has everything – and I mean okay, almost everything – that Bonhoeffer wrote.

I was really only familiar with his later books, like Life Together, and his Letters from Prison.  Bonhoeffer recreates the Christian life and puts it in new terms, definitely allowing for Biblical accuracy, but putting new spins on it that make you look at the Christian life you are living and question whether that is it?  Are you really living for all that God created you for?

The editors do a great job of organizing this book so it is not overwhelming.  This would be a useful book for every normal theologian – one who just loves to read and study – because you can take pieces of this book and conquer it in any given year.  What a great theme to study the affects and writings of Bonhoeffer in one year?  Shouldn’t this be a goal. Maybe take these writings and the Scripture index in the back and do a self-guided study through the Bible with Bonhoeffer.  If you could sit down and ask him, a pastor, theologian, and cultural powerhouse, anything about the Bible – his answers are probably in this one volume.  You can find almost any topic that you think Bonhoeffer would have spoken or written on in the indexes that are in the back of the book.  That is most helpful with a volume like this one.  I’m grateful for their diligent work.

I encourage you to take the time to buy this book, read this book, not a cursory read but one of depth and study, and learn more about your Christian walk through the life of one of the leading theologians, not only of our day, but of all time: Bonhoeffer.


Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life (review: crossway)

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If you are a die-hard Bonhoeffer fan or don’t even know how to say his name, much less spell it – this book is for you.

This series by Stephen Nichols (church historian) and Justin Taylor (Crossway/blog guru) is apt to make all of us less stuck in our chronological snobbery (as I think CS Lewis referred to).  The other two “thinkers” in this series is Warfield and Schaeffer.  The new one is about the WW2-time period theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
The best-selling work of Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, is by no means his only work, just his most well-known.  The rest of his life and work are highlighted in this book.
One aspect of the book that I enjoy is the historical work that Nichols has put in to it: using the lesser well-known works of Bonhoeffer to justify what Nichols says about the book’s main star.  He also uses history to corroborate.
Most importantly, the readers get a true glimpse of the theologian, man, pastor, and martyr.  We get a glimpse into his struggles with the theology of the day found in Germany, his love for his homeland, and how he stood up to the anti-God mentality that was so prevalent in the days of Hitler and Nazi Germany.
If you want a readable primer on Bonhoeffer, a good overview of his life, work, and the gospel that filled every thought – you will want to pick up Nichols’ work.