In college, unrelated to actual coursework, I discovered Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship and felt like I’d been grabbed by the ankles, turned upside down and shaken. In a good way. Ever since then Bonhoeffer has been a regular voice in my ear, particularly in matters of community and personal devotion to Jesus. A few years back I saw the Chicago premier of Bonhoeffer, the superb documentary by Martin Doblmeier who was in the audience that night and took questions following the screening. (Netflix subscribers can view the film online.)
Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian who joined the Nazi intelligence service so that he might travel abroad and covertly plot the overthrow of the Nazi regime. Meanwhile, he wrote critically acclaimed prose, lost his professorial position at Berlin University for his convictions, opened a secret training facility for young pastors, and fell in love. In the end, his story took a tragic turn: he was captured, imprisoned, and executed in 1945.
I’ve requested a review copy of the book from the publisher with the hope of reviewing it here. In the meantime, if you’re looking for some good summer reading, I trust Andy’s opinion that this book won’t disappoint.