The 10th Anniversary Edition of the New York Times bestseller — revised and with a new introduction from the author — is available now!
That ten years have passed since this book appeared is hard to fathom. Though a cliche, it’s nonetheless a rude certainty that as time passes it accelerates, until years skip past with the disconcertingly blurring rapidity of subway cars. I first observed this, albeit secondhand, in 1973 at age ten when my German grandmother saw a newspaper mentioning the tenth anniversary of JFK’s assassination. “Ach!” she said, incredulous. “Can that be ten years already?” And her observation—still so fresh and vivid to me—is itself nearly a half-century old.
The accelerating passage of time is as dismaying and as unnatural to our eternal souls as is death; and even when we try slightly to arrest the progress of a passing moment, if only to appreciate it the better, we are dismayed to see it cannot be done—except, perhaps, after some fashion in art. But even in art the ancient Greeks depicted Kairos, the god of opportune moments, as a man with a longish forelock, bald in back, so that as he approached you might attempt to grasp him, but once passed he was maddeningly ungraspable—forevermore.
Something about art—even the art of historical narratives like the one you hold in your hands—transcends time, magically pulling us away from the pinched present and into a larger realm partaking of eternity. But does not even that taste of eternity make us ache to enter eternity more truly and fully, at the same time knowing that we simply cannot, any more than we can lick the horizon?
Since this book is about him, should we not here admit that something about Dietrich Bonhoeffer in particular exacerbates these longings? His charm and intelligence make us want to be in his presence which, of course, we cannot be; but even more it is that he himself pondered the secret to undoing the Gordian knot of our time-cursed estate and claimed to have discovered the one path by which we may defeat death and slip beyond time.
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Who better to face the greatest evil of the 20th century than a humble man of faith?
As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a pastor and author, known as much for such spiritual classics as The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together, as for his 1945 execution in a concentration camp for his part in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
In the first major biography of Bonhoeffer in forty years, New York Timesbest-selling author Eric Metaxas takes both strands of Bonhoeffer’s life—the theologian and the spy—and draws them together to tell a searing story of incredible moral courage in the face of monstrous evil. In a deeply moving narrative, Metaxas uses previously unavailable documents—including personal letters, detailed journal entries, and firsthand personal accounts—to reveal dimensions of Bonhoeffer’s life and theology never before seen.
In Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy—A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich, Metaxas presents the fullest accounting of Bonhoeffer’s heart-wrenching 1939 decision to leave the safe haven of America for Hitler’s Germany, and using extended excerpts from love letters and coded messages written to and from Bonhoeffer’s Cell 92, Metaxas tells for the first time the full story of Bonhoeffer’s passionate and tragic romance.
Readers will discover fresh insights and revelations about his life-changing months at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and about his radical position on why Christians are obliged to stand up for the Jews. Metaxas also sheds new light on Bonhoeffer’s reaction to Kristallnacht, his involvement in the famous Valkyrie plot and in “Operation 7,” the effort to smuggle Jews into neutral Switzerland.
Bonhoeffer gives witness to one man’s extraordinary faith and to the tortured fate of the nation he sought to deliver from the curse of Nazism. It brings the reader face to face with a man determined to do the will of God radically, courageously, and joyfully—even to the point of death. Bonhoeffer is the story of a life framed by a passion for truth and a commitment to justice on behalf of those who face implacable evil.
Chinese | Simplified Chinese | Danish | Dutch | English/Kenya (Student Edition) | Finnish | French | German | Greek | Greek (Abridged) | Hungarian | Italian | Korean | Norwegian (Abridged) | Polish | Portuguese | Romanian | Russian | Spanish | Swedish (Abridged) | Ukrainian
“A welcome new biography of one of the 20th century’s leading lights. Metaxas magnificently captures the life of theologian and anti-Nazi activist Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945), who ‘thought it the plain duty of the Christian—and the privilege and honor—to suffer with those who suffered.’ In the finest treatment of the man since Eberhard Bethge’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Man of Vision, Man of Courage (1970), Metaxas presents a complete, accessible picture of this important figure, whose story is inspiring, instructive and international in scope. …A definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the 21st century.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Eric Metaxas tells Bonhoeffer’s story with passion and theological sophistication, often challenging revisionist accounts that make Bonhoeffer out to be a ‘humanist’ or ethicist for whom religious doctrine was easily disposable. In Bonhoeffer we meet a complex, provocative figure: an orthodox Christian who, at a grave historical moment, rejected what he called ‘cheap grace’—belief without bold and sacrificial action…. Metaxas reminds us that there are forms of religion—respectable, domesticated, timid—that may end up doing the devil’s work for him.” – The Wall Street Journal
“For anyone whose faith has been strengthened by the life and witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this is the biography you have always wanted. Eric Metaxas has written a rich, detailed, and beautiful account of the great pastor and theologian who gave us The Cost of Discipleship and sacrificed his life for opposing Hitler. Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer is a monumental achievement and a deeply important work.” — Greg Thornbury, PhD, Dean of the School of Christian Studies at Union University
“A captivating and inspiring read from start to finish. Sets the record straight on Bonhoeffer’s commitment to Scripture and his unyielding passion for truth that led him to give up his life in the battle to save the Jews of Europe. Buy it. This book could change your life.” – James N. Lane, Founder, New Canaan Society; Former General Partner, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s great gift is that his understanding of faith in times of conflict speaks to generation after generation. Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer is the biography for this generation. A masterpiece that reads like a great novel and weaves together in one opus an understanding of Bonhoeffer’s theology, the complex and tragic history of 20th century Germany, and the human struggle of a true Christian hero. Eric Metaxas is claiming his place as the preeminent biographer of Christianity’s most courageous figures.” — Martin Doblmeier, Filmmaker, BONHOEFFER
“With great skill, energy, and warmth, Metaxas reminds us why the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer stands as a rebuke both to believers and skeptics. Rarely has the story of a Christian martyr been told with such realism and depth. It’s a gem of a book.” — Joseph Loconte, Lecturer in Politics, The King’s College, New York City; Editor of The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler’s Gathering Storm
“A stunning achievement recounting Bonhoeffer’s life with lucidity, historical detail, and a concretely contextualized handling of Bonhoeffer’s often misunderstood theological legacy. …Metaxas masterfully distills Bonhoeffer’s eventful and complex life into a true narrative biography that is comprehensive and vivid without being overwhelming.” – Matthew Miller, Christianbook.com
The Canterbury Medal by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
The Christopher Award
Kirkus Reviews—Top 25 Non-Fiction Books of the Year
Kirkus Reviews—Pleasant Surprise of the Year
Barnes & Noble—Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of the Year
Evangelical Christian Publishing Association’s 2011 Christian Book of the Year
Evangelical Christian Publishing Association’s 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Year
Preaching Today—Feeding the Preacher’s Soul Book of the Year Award
John Pollock Award for Christian Biography
Relevant—Top 10 Books of the Year
Townhall.com—Top 10 Gifts for Men
Christian Retailing—2011 Readers Choice Award
Letter to the American Church is an earnest and searing wake-up call from the author of the bestseller Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy who warns of the haunting similarities between today’s American church and the German church of the 1930s. Echoing Bonhoeffer’s prophetic call, Eric Metaxas exhorts his fellow Christians to repent of their silence […]Learn More
Is Atheism Dead? is an entertaining, impressively wide-ranging, and decidedly provocative answer to that famous 1966 TIME cover that itself provocatively asked “Is God Dead?”Learn More
For signed copies, Visit the Shop at Socrates in the City or call New Life Bookstore and ask for Rich: (718) 739-0707. *** What Happens When One of America’s Most Beloved Biographers Writes His Own Biography? For Eric Metaxas, the answer is Fish Out of Water: A Search for the Meaning of Life—a poetic and sometimes […]Learn More
In Seven More Men, the sequel to the enormously successful Seven Men , #1 New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas offers more captivating stories of some of the most inspiring men in history. A gallery of greatness comes to life as Metaxas reveals men who faced insurmountable struggles and challenges with victorious resolve.Learn More
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas comes an inspiring biography of the most influential man in modern history, Martin Luther.Learn More
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas comes “If You Can Keep It,” a new book that is part history and part manifesto, steeped in a critical analysis of our founding fathers’ original intentions for America. Two hundred and forty years after the Declaration of Independence, it examines how we as a nation are living up to our founders’ lofty vision for liberty and justice.Learn More
In his eagerly anticipated follow-up to the enormously successful Seven Men, New York Times #1 best-selling author Eric Metaxas gives us seven captivating portraits of some of history’s greatest women, each of whom changed the course of history by following God’s call upon their lives – as women.Learn More
What are miracles, and why do so many people believe in them? What do they tell us about ourselves? And what do we do with experiences that we cannot explain?Learn More
What is a man and what make a man great? Metaxas offers seven exquisitely crafted portraits of widely known–but not well understood–great men from history. You’ll be inspired by the lives these seven men lived, often in the face of overwhelming adversity, and always at heroic sacrifice to themselves for the sake of others.Learn More
After the double happy ending of Uncle Mugsy and the Terrible Twins of Christmas, we find Mugsy happily married to Margaret Dogmont and father figure to the Twins. The new family is celebrating the Fourth of July when who should arrive unannounced but Mugsy’s English mother-in-law, Lady Hortensia! She’s come to make proper Englishmen […]Learn More
We all have questions about Jesus, but very few of us get the answers we’re looking for — if the answers even exist! Do they? Where (in heaven’s name) do you go to find out? New York Times #1 bestselling author Eric Metaxas understands how hard it can be to get hard truths, and that’s why he has written this hilarious, entertaining guide to the most influential single Person to have ever lived on the face of the earth.Learn More
Mega-best-selling author/illustrator Nancy Tillman (On the Night You Were Born) has teamed up with Eric Metaxas to produce It’s Time to Sleep, My Love, a gorgeously illustrated lullaby picture book destined to become the bedtime children’s classic of a new generation.Learn More
“Amazing Grace” tells the story of the remarkable life of the British abolitionist William Wilberforce (1759-1833). This accessible biography chronicles Wilberforce’s extraordinary role as a human rights activist, cultural reformer, and member of Parliament. At the center of this heroic life was a passionate twenty-year fight to abolish the British slave trade, a battle Wilberforce won in 1807, as well as efforts to abolish slavery itself in the British colonies, a victory achieved just three days before his death in 1833.Learn More
Uncle Mugsy is a confirmed bachelor — bachelor bulldog, that is — who lives in a very comfortable mansion without a care in the world. He’s a lovable curmudgeon who, like W.C. Fields, has a distinct disaffection for children. His only companion is his faithful butler, Peeves, who sees to Mugsy’s every worldly need. The […]Learn More
The long-awaited sequel to Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask), Everything ELSE carries on the conversation to explore more questions that are commonly asked about the nature and existence of God.Learn More
We all have questions about God. But very few of us get the answers we’re looking for–if those answers even exist! Do they? Where (in heaven’s name) do you go to find out? Eric Metaxas understands. That’s why he’s written this refreshingly down-to-earth take on the big questions everyone asks (but not always out loud)…Learn More
This entertaining and historical story shows that the actual hero of the Thanksgiving was neither white nor Indian, but God. In 1608, English traders came to Massachusetts and captured a 12-year old Indian, Squanto, and sold him into slavery. He was raised by Christians and taught faith in God. Ten years later he was sent home to America. Upon arrival, he learned an epidemic had wiped out his entire village. But God had plans for Squanto. God delivered a Thanksgiving miracle: an English-speaking Indian living in the exact place where the Pilgrims land in a strange new world.Learn More
S is for Samson, whose hair held his strength, provided it grew to a certain length. So it’s good to be clean-cut and handsome, but not to be clean-cut and Samson.Learn More
Backward-flowing waterflows! Invisible monuments! Ferocious meat-eating deer! A chicken egg in the shape of the Taj Mahal! Eric Metaxas has combed the far corners of the known and the unknown world to assemble this book chock full of startling, uncanny, and often seriously frightening phenomena. Marc Dennis has converted them into mind-bending, eye-popping drawings. Are they possible? Don’t You Believe It!Learn More
A combination alphabet and birthday book presents a humorous romp with a cast of amazing animals dressed in period costumes, including the tall Giraffe with his long throaty laugh and the grizzled Vulture, a vulgar chap with little culture. Booklist said it best: “With consistency in style and tone, this sprightly excursion through the alphabet […]Learn More