Bonhoeffer Abridged: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy is the much shorter version of Eric Metaxas’ 2011 best-selling book of the same title. This is the book for anyone who wants to learn about Bonhoeffer’s life but feels overwhelmed holding the unabridged version–which weighs in at 624 pages.
I find myself drawn to Bonhoeffer’s story; I feel like his life was incredibly interesting. While I read his book Life Together I walked around referring to him as “B. Hoeff” like we were friends.* Metaxas humanizes Bonhoeffer by including details about his romantic relationship with Maria von Wedemeyer. It is this humanizing of Bonhoeffer that makes this book worth it. It reminds us that our saints of the Church were humans, not unapproachable holy beings. Metaxas’ writing holds your attention throughout the book.
Metaxas provides context for why Bonhoeffer did what he did. He provides a lot of background information about Bonhoeffer’s opposition to the Nazi movement. Bonhoeffer held firm to his theological convictions. He is not just an inspiration for Christians, but he is a model of remaining faithful despite tragedies and trials.
While I think most people would agree that you should read the unabridged version, this book serves as a good overview of Bonhoeffer’s life and death. Though I own the unabridged version of the book, I have not read it yet simply because its size feels overwhelming. Fortunately, reading the abridged version made me want to know more. I am more interested in reading the unabridged version now because I feel pulled into Bonhoeffer’s life story.
Overall, this book is a worthwhile read.
*I realize it is a pretty lame nickname, especially since “D. Hoeff” would probably make more sense.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.