Dietrich Bonhoeffer has been the subject of some interesting discussion recently. If you missed it, here’s a quick overview.
- It started with the publication of Eric Metaxas’s “groundbreaking biography” Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (Amazon | WTS Books).
- Its publication has been largely met with rave reviews, awards, and lots of secular press.
- It has 174 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4 ½ stars. (See also here.)
- It ranked high in the list of the top 25 titles of Barnes & Noble’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2010. It also made the top books of the year lists from CBD Academic, Relevant Magazine, The Gospel Coalition, Kirkus Reviews, and the Zambian Economist.
- It was covered on National Review, Fox News, Harper’s Magazine, The New Republic, and several other places.
- Bonhoeffer scholars Richard Weikart and Clifford Green called Metaxas’s reading of Bonhoeffer into question.
- Blogger Tim Challies highlighted these critiques in a recent post.
- Church historian Carl Trueman weighed in with some wise insight.
Update: Joe McGarry, a PhD candidate and Bonhoeffer scholar at the University of Aberdeen, reviews Bonhoeffer on the CBD Academic blog and echoes some of the same concerns of Weikart and Green.
Update 2: Nancy Lukens compares Metaxas’s and Schlingensiepen’s biographies of Bonhoeffer in “Agenda-Driven Biography: Two Very Different Tellings of the Life and Times of Dietrich Bonhoeffer” at Sojourner.
If you want to learn more, there are a host of videos about Metaxas’s Bonhoeffer: