Tag Archives: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Top Five Christians From History I Would Like to Meet

Over at my main website, I’m doing a series of top five lists to celebrate my fiftieth birthday. I thought I would do one here as well.

I am interested in church history, obviously since I write this blog and podcast. There are certain people from church history that I would have loved to have met.

I’m leaving out figures from the Bible, since I could easily fill up the five from there. Here are my top five.

  1. Augustine of Hippo
  2. Alfred the Great
  3. John Wesley
  4. William Wilberforce
  5. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Who would you have liked to have met?

 

The Plot to Kill Hitler

BonhoefferAt a recent book fair at my children’s school, I was surprised to find the book, The Plot to Kill Hitler. I was not surprised to find a book on World War Two, I was surprised to find a book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The story of a man whose most prized possessions was his Bible and his cigarettes is not what you would expect in a public elementary school.

This book by Patrick McCormick is the story of Bonhoeffer but packaged for a younger audience. However, it is not juvenile in content as it wrestles with the difficult parts of his story.

If you are not familiar with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he was a German pastor who came into conflict with the Nazis during World War Two. He opposed the German church’s capitulation to Hitler and set up an underground seminary to train pastors for the confessing church.

Although this book is titled, The Plot to Kill Hitler, that is not the most important thing Bonhoeffer did nor is it the main point of this book. Bonhoeffer was a brilliant theologian and church leader. He opposed evil in his own way long before he became involved in a plot to kill Hitler. Even when he was involved in that plot, he was the ethicist who guided the others more active in the plot. Unfortunately, this failed plan ultimately led to his execution.

One of the things that I appreciated about this book is that it really wrestled with the problem of Bonhoeffer’s pacifism and his involvement in the plot to kill Hitler. He never gave up on the principles of pacifism but felt that he needed to betray his own principles and face God’s judgment by helping to end the violence caused by Hitler.

If you know a young person who might be interested in Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Plot to Kill Hitler, is a great introduction for a younger audience. Even adults will be inspired by this short book and its important story.