Bonhoeffer Reviews

Praise for BONHOEFFER: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy — A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich

“In this weighty, riveting analysis of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Metaxas (Amazing Grace) offers a comprehensive review of one of history’s darkest eras, along with a fascinating exploration of the familial, cultural and religious influences that formed one of the world’s greatest contemporary theologians. A passionate narrative voice combines with meticulous research to unpack the confluence of circumstances and personalities that led Germany from the defeat of WWI to the atrocities of WWII. …. Insightful and illuminating, this tome makes a powerful contribution to biography, history and theology.” – Publishers Weekly

“A welcome new biography of one of the 20th century’s leading lights. Metaxas magnificently captures the life of theologian and anti-Nazi activist Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), who “thought it the plain duty of the Christian-and the privilege and honor-to suffer with those who suffered.” In the finest treatment of the man since Eberhard Bethge’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Man of Vision, Man of Courage (1970), Metaxas presents a complete, accessible picture of this important figure, whose story is inspiring, instructive and international in scope. …Metaxas rightly focuses on his subject’s life, not his theology, though readers will learn plenty about his theology as well. The author makes liberal use of primary sources, which bring Bonhoeffer and other characters to vivid life. For the most part, Metaxas allows this epic story to play itself out, unhindered by commentary; where he does add his own voice, the conclusions are sage. A definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the 21st century.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A modern classic…” — Dennis Prager, radio host & author

“Moving, comprehensive, and engaging…  Metaxas tells a compelling story… Recommended.” — Library Journal

“Eric Metaxas tells Bonhoeffer’s story with passion and theological sophistication, often challenging revisionist accounts that make Bonhoeffer out to be a ‘humanist’ or ethicist for whom religious doctrine was easily disposable…Metaxas reminds us that there are forms of religion—respectable, domesticated, timid—that may end up doing the devil’s work for him.” – The Wall Street Journal

“Dietrich Bonhoeffer has at last found the writer he deserves. Eric Metaxas has written a book that adds a new dimension to World War II, a new understanding of how evil can seize the soul of a nation and a man of faith can confront it — and transform defeat into victory,  lies into transcendent truth. No one who cares about the history of the modern world can afford to ignore this book.”
– Thomas Fleming, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War Within World War II

“Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer is the biography for this generation. A masterpiece that reads like a great novel and weaves together in one opus an understanding of Bonhoeffer’s theology, the complex and tragic history of 20th century Germany, and the human struggle of a true Christian hero. Eric Metaxas is claiming his place as the preeminent biographer of Christianity’s most courageous figures.”
Martin Doblmeier, Filmmaker, BONHOEFFER

“A stunning achievement recounting Bonhoeffer’s life with lucidity, historical detail, and a concretely contextualized handling of Bonhoeffer’s often misunderstood theological legacy. …Metaxas masterfully distills Bonhoeffer’s eventful and complex life into a true narrative biography that is comprehensive and vivid without being overwhelming.”  –

“Get this book if you can!”  —

‘Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer will be regarded as one of the best books of the year. There are a few books that, years after I have read them, I realize have had a great influence on me. This is sure to be one of them. You can’t go wrong with this book; I give it my highest recommendation.” –While We

“Metaxas is a graceful writer with a sure grasp of his subject matter.” — The Internet Review of Books

“Metaxas’ book has done more to promote Bonhoeffer’s life and theology than any other single volume.”–

“Clearly the definitive work [on Bonhoeffer]… One of the great biographies I’ve ever read.” – Chuck Colson

“A decade ago, Christianity Today published a list of the ten best religious books of the 20th century. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship came in second, behind only C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity—a measure of Bonhoeffer’s standing among contemporary Christians, and evangelicals in particular. And yet until now, American readers have lacked an account of Bonhoeffer’s life that is both thorough and engagingly readable, a book that captures the full sweep of his remarkable story and highlights its meaning for us today. In Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas has given us just such a book…  Riveting… a welcome and significant contribution. Metaxas keeps a firm grasp on the scholarly consensus while holding the reader’s attention from the first page to the last, and his book will serve as a gateway for many people to a much fuller understanding of Bonhoeffer.  — BOOKS & CULTURE

“The first major biography of Bonhoeffer in more than 40 years, bringing together newly available documents and a fresh outlook into the many facets of Bonhoeffer’s life. Both theologian and spy, Bonhoeffer’s life is brilliantly documented and aspects of his faith in the light of great struggle are examined. An invigorating and informative book, Eric Metaxas writes an incredible biography of a massively influential character that is sure to impress and enlighten readers.” – The Church of England Newspaper
“Biographies matter because they teach us through the lives of others.  Done well, they inform and entertain.  Done very well, they can inspire.  And sometimes, at the hands of an author of real passion and talent, they can change the way we think about ourselves and our times.  Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, is just such a book.  Eric Metaxas has created a biography of uncommon power – intelligent, moving, well researched, vividly written and rich in implication for our own lives.  Or to put it another way:  Buy this book.  Read it.  Then buy another copy and give it to a person you love.  It’s that good. … Eric Metaxas has written the kind of extraordinary book that not only brings Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his times and his witness vividly alive, but also leaves us yearning to find the same moral character in ourselves.  No biographer can achieve anything higher.  – Archbishop Charles Chaput in First Things

“A powerful story beautifully told about a man who didn’t just write about the cost of discipleship but lived it. Deeply moving.”  – Dr. Merold Westphal, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University

“[D]efinitive and incredibly detailed… a powerful, powerful book… Highly recommended!”  — Gov. Mike Huckabee

“One of the finest and most moving biographies I have ever read.  Eric Metaxas responds to a great life with a great book.” — Cal Thomas, America’s #1 nationally syndicated columnist

“For anyone whose faith has been strengthened by the life and witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this is the biography you have always wanted. Eric Metaxas has written a rich, detailed, and beautiful account of the great pastor and theologian who gave us The Cost of Discipleship and sacrificed his life for opposing Hitler. Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer is a monumental achievement and a deeply important work.”
Greg Thornbury, PhD, Dean, School of Christian Studies at Union University

“With great skill, energy, and warmth, Metaxas reminds us why the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer stands as a rebuke both to believers and skeptics. Rarely has the story of a Christian martyr been told with such realism and depth. It’s a gem of a book.”   — Joseph Loconte, Lecturer in Politics, The King’s College, New York City; Editor of The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler’s Gathering Storm

Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy is a modern-day classic that should be on “best of” lists for the decade…  – Relevant Magazine

“[A]n electrifying account of one man’s stand against tyranny.” – Human Events