December 14, 2011

Daniel's Fast: Day 3, A Modern Day Daniel

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: An Interview with Biographer Eric Metaxas

A Q&A with the author and speaker Eric Metaxas on his new book, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  Some of the highlights below.
  • What Bonhoeffer cared about was what God required of him. His life and theology were inextricably intertwined; his theology was his life.  So as I say, it was his fealty to God that led him to the gallows.
  • Bonhoeffer understands that our lives and our theology have to be one thing. It’s one reason that in his theology he stresses the Incarnation as he does.
  • Christ did not suggest loving one’s enemies — theological or otherwise — he demanded it.  Bonhoeffer showed love towards his theological opponents. He refuted them logically, but respectfully.
  • It’s something like Mark Twain’s statement that a lie can get half-way around the world before the truth can get his shoes on.
  • We want to gravitate towards eccentricities and exaggerations. But as I say, Bonhoeffer wants to pull us towards the center, towards Christ who judges AND forgives. “Christ the center” as a theological method is a reflection of Bonhoeffer’s life and theology.
  • That was certainly Bonhoeffer’s goal, to lead people to Christ, the “man for others.” 

This man was purposed his entire life.  Coming from a family of doctors and intellectuals, he turned away from the path that was set before him like the movie Adjustment Bureau and sent out to discover his passion and the purpose that God had meant for his life to become.  He wanted to study theology and study he did.  His works led him to disciple young men in developing into sincere Christian men of faith before many of them entered into war.  He never pastored one church, but instead started his own seminary of sorts and his active Christian faith led him to oppose the corrupting attempts to remove Christ from the church in Germany in the years pre-WWII.

In the end, his faith led him to try and attempt to save the lives of the innocent that were being murdered all over Germany by attempting to assassinate Hitler in an attempt that was known as Valkerye, of which a movie has been made related to this action.  The failed assassination ultimately led to his imprisonment and death by a German shooting squadron just days, I believe 19 days, before the Germans were defeated and the war ended.

Such was a man whose life commanded the utmost of devotion to the God who saved his soul.

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