• Bonhoeffer

  • Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich
  • By: Eric Metaxas
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 22 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 08-11-10
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.6 (4,309 ratings)

Regular price: $31.47

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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times bestselling author of Amazing Grace, this is a groundbreaking biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the greatest heroes of the twentieth century, the man who stood up to Hitler. A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism.
After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Führer and was hanged in Flossenbürg concentration camp at age thirty-nine. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the twentieth century.
Bonhoeffer presents a profoundly orthodox Christian theologian whose faith led him to boldly confront the greatest evil of the twentieth century and uncovers never-before-revealed facts, including the story of his passionate romance.
©2010 Eric Metaxas (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

“In Hitler's Germany, a Lutheran pastor chooses resistance and pays with his life…Eric Metaxas tells Bonhoeffer’s story with passion and theological sophistication.” ( Wall Street Journal)
“A passionate narrative voice combines with meticulous research…Insightful and illuminating, this tome makes a powerful contribution to biography, history, and theology.” ( Publishers Weekly)
“Metaxas presents a complete, accessible picture of this important figure, whose story is inspiring, instructive, and international in scope.” ( Kirkus Reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By alan on 11-22-10

Very Moving

I had never heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer until I listened recently to a Podcast of "Understanding the Times" The Author Eric Metaxas was discussing his new book. The book was an amazing biography of a very special man who lived in Germany during the early part pf the 20th Century. He saw the 1st World War, The Depression, the Wiemar Republic fall and Hitler National Socialist Party take control of Germany.

The author skillfully weavers Dietrich life into the events of the times in a way that makes you feel like you are truly living there. The depth of Dietrich writings are moving and very rich in spiritual and human feeling. He was a theologian who was not able to keep his faith in the seminary but was moved by an invisible hand to live his life in full view. This deep spiritual passion for the truth that he lived out, caused Dietrich to come to a clear theological reason why he was involved in Hitlers assassination. Which was what caused his eventual martyrdom at the hand of the SS.

One really troubling fact that I saw while listening to this book was the similarities to many of the events leading up to Hitlers power and how the world is today. The worldwide church must not make the same mistake that the German Church made or we are bound to repeat history.

I have now purchased Dietrich other book "Discipleship" which he wrote during the war as I am keen to immerse myself into this rich Christ centered life that was Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

PS: The only reason why I didn't give this book 5 stars is because I felt the author went into a little to much detail about places, locations and personal meetings that did not add to the richness of the Biography.

PSS: "The Cross and the Swastika" Is another book that puts a profound prologue to the end of the war and answers the question, "Did any key Nazi repent" ?

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51 of 52 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By connie on 12-16-10

detailed but engrossing

This is a great listen for the social history detail of the period and also for following the development of a courageous man's thinking about moral issues: To arrive at nonviolence as a personal philosphy, and yet face circumstances where involvement in a violent plot is the "last resort" solution to a desperate situation becomes a moral choice! For me, Bonhoeffer is the great the icon of the 20th century, with all its moral dilemmas, and this bio does him justice. It also helps in understanding how otherwise good people -- so many of Bonhoeffer's fellow citizens -- slide into and rationalize immoral choices.

I hesistated to download this because I had found Metaxas' Amazing Grace to be a bit rambling and the tone a bit odd, but Bonhoeffer is both a stronger bio and is better narrated.

I'm an adult high school history teacher, and I am always amazed that most students (even those who know great detail of WWII battles etc.) have NEVER heard of Bonhoeffer. I hope this book and the deserved publicity it is getting change that. Nevermind Valhalla - Bonhoeffer's story deserves a Hollywood film all its own.

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58 of 61 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Anne on 03-07-12

Inspiring humbling history, from the other side!

Having never considered the possibility of Christianity existing in the country which produced the Nazi regime and Hitler, I was totally amazed at this magnificent biography. I was humbled to hear the grief expressed by a German Christian at the horror of Auschwitz, and the virtual annihilation (or attempted), of Jews, Gypsies, disabled people, and many another minority groups. I had, to my disgust, assumed that all Germans were similar to Hitler, in their thoughts, beliefs, and general demeanour. How wrong I was! I suppose because I come from a generation whose parents were affected by the second world war – their parents either fighting against 'the Germans' physically, or widowed because of the war. Because of never studying history from an unbiased perspective, I am ignorant. I am very much aware of the difference between those of Nazi-mentality, many of whom exist today, and those German Christians, many I'm sure exist to this day. I'm very grateful for having my eyes opened. One should never ASSUME anything! Praise the Lord!

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Colin on 04-18-12

Inspiration for the discerning reader

This biography has come under various degrees of criticism from scholars who accuse Metaxas of hijacking Bonhoeffer for the evangelical cause. They no doubt have a point, but then every side has wanted to claim this remarkable, courageous, ambiguous man as their own. As a card-carrying evangelical I tried to listen with discernment, but nevertheless emerged with a deep sense of gratitude for the life of such an astonishing and inspirational individual. Metaxas is a superb writer, and I found the narration to be excellent. Whatever quibbles one might have about how the author interprets some of the details of Bonhoeffers life and theology, only the hardest heart will fail to be moved by this wonderfully told account.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Martin Watson on 10-01-15


Comprehensive and at times deeply moving, this story is also very informative - about how a cultured country can descend into evil. Could have been written equally as well with half the words.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By John Simpson on 03-11-18

An Excellent Biography

An excellent account of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

This text covers in great detail the factors in his life that shaped his theological convictions, leading him to stand firm in the light of truth in dark days.
Bonhoeffer's life is a testament to faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and the fruit of obedience.
Christian community, discipleship, spiritual disciplines; and suffering, were all themes Bonhoeffer touched on during his ministry.

In Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the church has an example for all time. He lived to the ends of His glory, and in great anticipation of our final joy.

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