I've heard about Dietrich Bonhoeffer for a while. My previous pastor talked about/quoted him a lot so I was distantly familiar with him, but I recently picked up the book from the library and sat down and read it- over the course of a few weeks. It's a beast!
First of all I would say do not check this book out from the library. This is a book you want to buy and read and underline and make notes and revisit periodically. I'm actually contemplating buying it at some point so that I can reread it.
For those of you that don't know the story, the very brief version is that Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pastor in Germany during World War II. He was a strong follower of God and saw Hitler for who he was. He ended up getting involved in a plan to kill Hitler. In case you aren't up on history, it didn't work...
The prologue ends with this: "The man who died was engaged to be married. He was a pastor and a theologian. And he was executed for his role in the plot to assassinate Hitler. This is his story."
The story is incredible and very intriguing from a historical point of view. I felt like I finished the book with a different view of the situation as a whole. Yes, Hitler was horrible. Yes, there were people that knew what he was doing and stood by and allowed it or just did nothing. But there were also a lot of people who didn't know what he was doing. Or didn't know until it was too late. Germany had lost WWI and the people were discouraged and wanted a powerful leader who would show the world once again how great they were. Initially he was charming and said all the right things. He worked his way in quietly, before anyone knew what was going on.
Isn't that how sin always is though? The devil presents something that looks really good. Something that seems like it could fill the exact void in your life. And before you know it, that things has been eating you away from the inside out. Sin is a sneaky little bitch!
Other than the historic aspect, Bonhoeffer was an incredible man of God who fervently sought after the will of God and truly led his life as an act of worship. Wow! He struggled and questioned (like all of us do) but he also clung to God throughout it all! It was super encouraging and very convicting! Some of the things he said were like a swift punch in the gut- in the best possible way, of course.
Bonhoeffer wrote a book called Life Together about what genuine Christian community should look like. I talked to some friends and we are about to read it and go through it together. I'm pretty excited about it. Also, I little nervous. I'm not great at the whole community thing. That vulnerability will get you every time... Ha!
But seriously, I 100% recommend this book to everyone. Read it. Then come find me and let's talk all about how much you love Dietrich and how challenged you are to step up your game!