The new English translation of Bethge's 1970 biography, skillfully rendered by Barnett, includes all corrections and revisions of earlier editions. As a result, the edifying story of a remarkable 20th-century Christian life is now available in even greater detail. At 941 pages it's not a quick read, but Bethge offers a compelling account of a complex man.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer has become
an almost mythical being, whose legacy everyone seems intent on claiming. From death-of-God
theologians to evangelicals to radical antiabortionists, partisans of all
stripes have remade Bonhoeffer in their own image.
"I want my seminary experience to form me as a person of prayer.” We had never heard a student state this desire so eloquently and succinctly. We sensed in this comment something much more than a first-year student’s desire for greater piety in the school environment. This student had done extremely well at a college with a strong undergraduate program.
Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Augsburg Fortress). I would bundle this latest Lutheran hymnal with its earlier iterations, the most important being The Lutheran Hymnal of 1941, as well as The Daily Office, published in 1965.
Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity, by Eugene H. Peterson (Eerdmans). This book, along with Peterson’s The Contemplative Pastor, reminded me again and again of my responsibility to guard my heart well, “for from it flow the springs of life,” as the proverb says.
In his comparative study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr., Deotis Robert presents striking parallels in the biographies and theological commitments of the two activist-theologians. Each gave his life in a resistance movement led by a dissenting church struggling against a racist regime.
This book documents a life interrupted. It might be argued that every life knows interruption, though we rarely look at it that way. For all of us human fallibility, accidents, illness, political events and death overtake what we imagine should be the normal course of our lives.