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The Pastor Who Tried to Kill Hitler

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
August 9, 2023 3:00 am

The Pastor Who Tried to Kill Hitler

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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August 9, 2023 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, our next story is about a German citizen - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who left the safety of American soil in order to sacrifice his life by opposing Hitler. Eric Metaxas is the New York Times best-selling author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. 

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For each person living with myasthenia gravis, or MG, their journey with this rare condition is unique. That's why Untold Stories Life with myasthenia gravis, a new podcast from iHeartRadio in partnership with Argenics, is exploring the extraordinary challenges and personal triumphs of underserved communities living with MG. Host Martine Hackett will share these powerful perspectives from real people with MG so their experiences can help inspire the MG community and educate others about this rare condition. Listen to find strength in community on the MG journey on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Visit www.NissanUSA.com Say free this week into your Xfinity voice remote. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. And large numbers of Americans cite faith as one of the drivers of their life. And this is one heck of a faith story. It's about a German citizen who left the safety of American soil in order to sacrifice his own life by opposing Adolf Hitler. Eric Metaxas is the New York Times bestselling author of Bonhoeffer, pastor, martyr, prophet, spy. Here's Eric with the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer, in a nutshell, was born in 1906 into what must fairly be described as an absolutely spectacular family. For there's some great men that arise out of a vacuum, not Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

He comes out of a truly great family. His father was the most famous psychiatrist in Germany for the first half of the 20th century. A very famous doctor and scientist, Bonhoeffer's mother was a genius. And all the brothers and sisters, there were four boys and four girls, all geniuses, all married geniuses. His brother Carl Friedrich goes into physics and for Bonhoeffer going into physics means you will split the atom with Max Planck and Albert Einstein.

That's exactly what he did. Bonhoeffer's other brother became the legal head of Lufthansa. His sisters were geniuses, they married geniuses, on and on it goes. So he grows up in this family and at age 14 he shocks the family by announcing to them that he wants to be a theologian.

They weren't so happy about this, most of them. The mother's father and the mother's grandfather were theologians. The grandfather was quite a famous theologian. But the father as a scientist wasn't so keen on this, he was more of an agnostic.

But he had trained his kids rather strictly to think clearly, to think like a scientist. To follow the facts and the evidence and the logic where it leads so that you know what you believe. That you don't think with your emotions, you don't express yourself in clichés. You think clearly, you express yourself clearly.

At the Bonhoeffer dining room table, you know, if you didn't have something to say, you would absolutely shut up. Now the family not only put a premium on thinking clearly and on expressing oneself clearly, but also on living out what one said one believed. In other words, you could not say something and not live it.

If you didn't live it, you were a hypocrite, a liar, phony. You have to actually live out what you say you believe. They put a premium on this and I think this is very important for Bonhoeffer as he grows up. His mother always made that clear that they, well both parents I should say, expected the children to behave a certain way, to live out what they claimed to believe.

Very, very important going ahead. So he decides at age 14 he's going to be a theologian. He decided it, I should say, at age 13, but he kept his mouth shut for a year because, you know, the Bonhoeffer house, you wouldn't just cavalierly announce things like this because if you said at age 13 you want to be a theologian, you know, they would hold you to it for at least one lifetime.

So you'd be very careful about declaring anything foolishly. But he announces it at 14. He knew that he was going to be a great academic theologian. He knew that and he was that. He was in fact a theological genius. He gets his doctorate in theology from Berlin University at age 21. And so he gets his doctorate and the question he's asking and answering in his two dissertations is, what is the church? He had an epiphany in Rome at St. Peter's where he saw a raid on the altar celebrating mass on Palm Sunday, men of all different races. And this moved him to think about the church, the church beyond Germany, the church beyond the Lutheran church. He was always thinking of this and so he wrote his dissertation on this question, what is the church? But he finds in answering the question on this very high theological level, what is the church, that he has a love for the church itself and decides that not only does he want to be an academic theologian, he also wants to be ordained as a Lutheran minister.

But you had to be 25 at that time to be ordained. And so at age 22 he spends a year in Barcelona, Spain as an assistant vicar and a German-speaking congregation. He picks up Spanish in a weekend, I think. He then at age 24 decides to go to America.

Now his brother Carl Friedrich, the physicist, had been to America. But he decides at age 24 to go to New York to have this experience of living in New York. And I don't get the impression that he was going there for theological reasons. The ostensible reason you always read about is that he studied at Union Theological Seminary for that year. But he wasn't expecting to find much by way of theology at Union Theological Seminary. And it's safe to say he was not disappointed. He really writes in his letters.

It's funny, I quote the letters copiously because it's so funny to write what he writes. He's very generous, very gracious, but nonetheless clearly sneering in what his phrase passes for theology because he found it to be very shallow theology. He was not theologically liberal, but he was impressed by the theological liberals at Berlin University. They were fine minds and he could learn from them even though ultimately he ends up disagreeing with them.

He could learn from them, learn to speak their language. Now he comes to New York and the theological liberalism that he encounters is quite shallow as far as he's concerned. He says it's just knee-jerk anti-fundamentalism.

Whatever the fundamentalists are for, they're against it. So it really is a warmed-over social gospel. And so one Sunday in September of 1930 when he arrives, one of his fellow students, an African-American student from Alabama named Frank Fisher, invites Bonhoeffer to go up to Harlem to visit Abyssinian Baptist Church. Bonhoeffer is thrilled to be invited and he goes.

Again, culturally curious. He goes and what he experiences in this African-American church in September of 1930, to cut to the chase, changes his life forever. He is profoundly moved by seeing a congregation, a huge congregation, by the way, of people who are not strangers to suffering. These people somehow take what they're doing here in this church seriously. They're worshiping God.

It's palpable. The worship is not just music, but it's clearly worship. They're worshiping Jesus Christ with everything they have. Bonhoeffer was impressed by the preaching, fiery gospel preaching that exhorted people to live out the gospel in their lives.

So it was everything together. Bonhoeffer had not really seen much of this, if any of this, kind of vibrant, full-throated Christian faith. He'd experienced a lot of, I would say, fussy Lutheranism. You know, we've all been to churches where they do church very well.

Bonhoeffer had seen a lot of that. He had not seen anything like what he saw at Abyssinian Baptist Church. So it touched him so profoundly that he makes a decision to go back to this church every Sunday that he's in New York. And just imagine the idea of this toeheaded, bespectacled Berlin academic going up to Harlem every Sunday to worship in this extraordinary church.

But it really did change him. And you've been listening to Eric Metaxas tell the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. America has changed Bonhoeffer.

How does Bonhoeffer go back and change Germany? That story continues here on Our American Stories. Lee Habib here, the host of Our American Stories. Every day on this show, we're bringing inspiring stories from across this great country.

Stories from our big cities and small towns. But we truly can't do this show without you. Our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love what you hear, go to OurAmericanStories.com and click the donate button. Give a little, give a lot.

Go to OurAmericanStories.com and give. For each person living with myasthenia gravis, or MG, their journey with this rare neuromuscular condition is unique. That's why Untold Stories Life with myasthenia gravis, a new podcast from iHeartRadio in partnership with Argenics, is exploring the extraordinary challenges and personal triumphs of underserved communities living with MG. Host Martine Hackett will share powerful perspectives from people living with the debilitating muscle weakness and fatigue caused by this rare disorder. Each episode will uncover the reality of life with myasthenia gravis. From early signs and symptoms to obtaining an accurate diagnosis and finding care, every person with MG has a story to tell. And by featuring these real-life experiences, this podcast hopes to inspire the MG community, educate others about this rare condition, and let those living with it know that they are not alone.

Listen to Untold Stories Life with myasthenia gravis on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. You never know what a project will throw at you. Whether you're in the middle of building a shed, replacing a sink, or hanging a ceiling fan, sometimes you get stuck. That's why the Home Depot app is made for doing that doesn't miss a beat. Need help identifying a part?

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To learn more about Nissan's electric vehicle lineup, visit www.NissanUSA.com. And we return to our American stories and to Eric Metaxas sharing his story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. And it comes from his New York Times bestselling book, Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Profit, and Spy, an extraordinary read. I urge you to pick it up.

Go to Amazon or the usual suspects. Let's return to Eric. He got involved in the lives of the congregation. He ended up teaching Sunday school there, and he traveled with a number of these prominent African-Americans down to Howard University.

And I know Thurgood Marshall would have been a student at Howard at the time, and he traveled to the nation's capital and was very involved in the idea of this nascent civil rights movement. So he goes back to Germany, and his friends notice he's somehow different. He seems to take Christianity somehow more seriously. He gets the gospel spectacularly well, but somehow his heart was touched in the experience of this African-American church. Somehow he had seen true faith in a way that was new to him, and over the course of those months, it changes him.

And his friends can see this, that he is, in fact, different. When he's teaching from behind the lectern at Berlin University or when he's preaching from the pulpit, he's saying things that you wouldn't ordinarily hear. For example, from behind the lectern, he's talking about the Bible as the word of God through which a living God wishes to speak to his children, an amazing thing to hear in Berlin at Berlin University during this period.

You wouldn't. But he was brilliant enough he could sort of get away with it. He asked one of his students at one time, do you love Jesus? It was clear that Bonhoeffer had had an experience with God somehow, and he was communicating this to his students. Now, we have to say that Germany during this period had also changed when Bonhoeffer left for New York the Nazis were the ninth largest political party in the Reichstag. When he returns, they're the second largest political party in the Reichstag. And Bonhoeffer can see this. He can smell this. He can sense that Germany is turning toward Nazism, and we can understand why if we're fair-minded.

We can understand that probably we would have done the same thing. The Nazis were not exactly advertising themselves as evil incarnate. Political figures don't do that, right? And so you've got somebody who was an extremely canny politician who was not about to tell the German people that he despised Christianity as a weak faith, which is exactly what Hitler said and what his top lieutenants believed.

But pretend to be a churchgoer and so on and so forth. But Bonhoeffer can see through this, and he sees Germany turning toward National Socialism, and he begins now to speak out against it publicly. He says, for example, in Germany, Christians can only have one savior, and that is Jesus Christ. A very pointed thing to say when most Germans are looking with a messianic fervor to Hitler. In 1933, of course, Hitler becomes chancellor. Two days later, Bonhoeffer goes on the radio and gives a famous speech in which he dissects the bad idea, extremely popular idea, of the Fuhrer principle.

Fuhrer, of course, is German for leader, and there was this idea in Germany, between the wars especially, that what we need is strong leadership. They'd had that under the Kaiser. They lost it at the end of World War I when the Kaiser abdicated. And most Germans thought, we need that again. We had that once, and we were great. We lost that.

We were miserable. We're rudderless. We have the Weimar Republic. We have this kind of democracy that we don't know what to think of it.

We've never had it before. It's not working for us, and we'd like a strong leader. Well, we know they got a strong leader. If you'd asked them what kind of leader you're looking for, they would say, a leader who leads. That's what they were looking for. They got one of those.

They weren't really terribly specific about it. And, of course, Hitler comes right into this vacuum, and Bonhoeffer, again, he sees this, and on the radio two days after Hitler becomes the Fuhrer, Bonhoeffer dissects this idea for the nation on the radio, and he talks about God's idea of leadership, the idea that true leadership, true authority, is by definition submitted to a higher authority. And we know that Hitler was submitted to no one.

The German idea of leader, the Fuhrer was, well, it was a tautology. It's a snake swallowing its own tail. He's submitted to no one. Where does he get his leadership from?

From no one. Somehow it's just his, and he takes it. It almost has a demonic aspect to it. Well, Bonhoeffer sees this. He dissects this idea on the radio. He also says that a true leader must be a servant leader. That's what a leader does.

A leader doesn't lord it over his subjects. Well, Bonhoeffer says this, and from the beginning, two days after Hitler's rise to power, Bonhoeffer's on the record as seeing what's going on and speaking out publicly against this. The first way Bonhoeffer gets involved really in what is happening is in what's called the Kirchenkampf, the church struggle. The Nazis, being good totalitarians, weren't just taking over every part of society. They were also taking over the church because they thought it's a legitimate part of society for us to take over, to reshape in our own monstrous image. And so they were trying to do that and trying to change Christianity from the inside. In other words, not to abolish it. Of course, they wanted to abolish it, but they wouldn't do that publicly.

They'd rather just sort of hollow it out and fill it with their own ideology. And that's exactly what they were doing. And Bonhoeffer was one of the leading figures who saw this happening and saw that Christians must stand up and fight this together. And he was one of the leaders in what came to be known as the Confessing Church.

And they make a break. About 6,000 pastors sign the Barman Declaration a year after the Nazis came to power. And these 6,000 pastors break away from the Nazified Reichskirche, the state church, a victory. But Bonhoeffer could see that the Nazis are gaining more and more power and that this victory ultimately won't mean so much because the Nazis kept getting power. They knew how to use the laws to make it tougher and tougher for the church to be the church.

But it's an extraordinary thing how using legality you can sort of outmaneuver people. The Nazis were masterful at this, at dividing this one from that one. And I have to say that Bonhoeffer somehow was able to see with his fine mind and his finely trained mind and with, I think, on some level, a mystical, prophetic sense, able to see way past what others were seeing at where this was going. Even into the mid-30s, you have many solid Christians who seem to think that the Nazis are okay, maybe they're not perfect, but we can work with them, they won't be here forever. Bonhoeffer was never fooled, and he was frustrated in trying to wake the church up, in trying to get the church to be the church, to see what was happening, to fight against it now because it'll be too late, which is, of course, exactly what happened.

He was praying diligently, always, asking the Lord to lead him, to show him what to do next. In 1935, the Confessing Church leaders deputized Bonhoeffer to lead an illegal seminary because, of course, the German Reichskirche, they were not raising up men of God, and the Confessing Church realized we need real seminaries where our young men will be trained properly. So Bonhoeffer continues to do this. Of course, the Gestapo finally shuts down Finkenwalde, they know what's going on, so it's shut down. But Bonhoeffer, being the canny man that he was, sort of takes this education underground.

It becomes, I always think, like a floating-craps game, the Nazis don't know where it's happening, in a vicarage here, in a farmyard there, in a farmhouse there. It's just very funny to me that Bonhoeffer had no problem with fooling the Nazis, with deceiving the evil Nazis. So this theological training continues for some time, but around 1938, the Gestapo shuts that down. They forbid Bonhoeffer from doing this, and they also forbid him from speaking publicly, and then finally from publishing, because the temerity to write a book on the Psalms, which are located in the Old Testament. But the reason I say that is because the Nazified church in Germany was trying to redefine Christianity, as I said, along Nazi lines, which means that German Christianity was supposed to be purely German, and therefore devoid of all Jewish elements.

Good luck with that project. And you've been listening to Erich Metaxas tell the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Bonhoeffer's very short time in America changed him, but he came back to a changed Germany. The Nazi party, that's National Socialists, by the way, always remember that.

They were the National Socialists. He knew what they were up to, and particularly he understood quickly who Hitler was and what attacks he was going to make on his beloved church. In Germany, Christians can only have one savior, he said on the radio not long before Hitler took power. Jesus Christ is our savior. Two days after Hitler takes power, Bonhoeffer goes on the air to talk about God's idea of leadership. True leadership is submitted to a higher authority. And by the way, what Erich Metaxas said about Nazism was dead on. It was a tautology, a snake swallowing its own tail.

And then, of course, Hitler's move for the church itself, hollowing it out by filling the churches with their own political orthodoxy and ideology. When we come back, more of the story of this remarkable man, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and this remarkable storyteller, Erich Metaxas, here on Our American Stories. For each person living with myasthenia gravis, or MG, their journey with this rare neuromuscular condition is unique. That's why Untold Stories Life with myasthenia gravis, a new podcast from iHeartRadio in partnership with Argenics, is exploring the extraordinary challenges and personal triumphs of underserved communities living with MG. Host Martine Hackett will share powerful perspectives from people living with the debilitating muscle weakness and fatigue caused by this rare disorder. Each episode will uncover the reality of life with myasthenia gravis. From early signs and symptoms to obtaining an accurate diagnosis and finding care, every person with MG has a story to tell. And by featuring these real-life experiences, this podcast hopes to inspire the MG community, educate others about this rare condition, and let those living with it know that they are not alone.

Listen to Untold Stories Life with myasthenia gravis on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. You never know what a project will throw at you. Whether you're in the middle of building a shed, replacing a sink, or hanging a ceiling fan, sometimes you get stuck. That's why the Home Depot app is made for doing that doesn't miss a beat. Need help identifying a part?

Snap a picture and image search will tell you what it is. Heading to the store? With Store Mode, you can find everything on your list and navigate to it faster with Product Locator. Want to pick up your order or get it delivered? Take advantage of convenient delivery options so you can get your shopping done fast and get back to doing. The app gives you easy access to the digital tools you need to take any project from doing to done. For doing that doesn't stop, download the Home Depot app.

Nissan's electric vehicles run on a special electricity, not the electricity that turns on light bulbs or runs through your outlets. Think about it. What's that rush that gets you excited and creative sparks fly? I'm talking that spying, tingling, goosebumps feeling that electrifies your body and soul. It could be the simple win of leaving on time for your morning commute, locking eyes with your crush, or scoring the largest deal of your career. But really it's pushing new ideas forward and being fearless, believing that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Even though it may be uneasy, the journey ahead will produce great results.

And that's the most thrilling ride, empowering yourself to embrace any new adventure that comes your way. And you can get that same electrifying feeling when driving a Nissan. Nissan is ever-evolving in changing the game through electric vehicle innovation because the electricity their cars generate not only moves engines, but it also moves the emotions of those who drive them.

To learn more about Nissan's electric vehicle lineup, visit www.NissanUSA.com. And we continue with our American stories and with Eric Mataxas, author of the New York Times best-selling book, Bonhoeffer. Pastor, martyr, prophet, spy, let's pick up where we last left off. Some of it's quite funny and so sick and tragic at the same time that they actually seem to think that we can dispense with the Old Testament because it's too Jewish, but we'll invent our own Aryan Christianity. And so Bonhoeffer has the temerity or maybe the chutzpah to write a book on the Old Testament's Psalms and is for this forbidden from publishing further. And he's continually praying and asking the Lord, what do I do now?

What do I do now? Lord, lead me. How can I serve you in the Third Reich? Of course, now the war is coming and he would be forced to participate in the war. He would not fight in the war, not because he's a pacifist in the way that we think, but the reality is that he was a pacifist the way any Christian is a pacifist where you say, I will not fight in a war of aggression. And he could see that Hitler was leading Germany to a hypernationalistic war of aggression and there was no way he would allow himself to participate in this. Nonetheless, he knew he could not fight in Hitler's war. So what's he going to do now?

The war is coming. Where does he go? He can't say I want to be a conscientious objector. So basically what happens is he decides to effectively escape to New York, to go back to New York. He has friends pull strings.

It was not easy. Reinhold Niebuhr gets involved and Bonhoeffer is able to go to New York before the war, starts with the idea that he will stay there and kind of ride things out safely in America. But no sooner does he get off the ship in June of 1939 than he has a keen sense that he has missed God. He does not have the peace of God. He's praying assiduously. And you can see him wrestling with the Lord and saying, Lord, lead me. You must lead me. There's no magic scripture that tells me the answer. You've got to show me in the scriptures.

What do you have for me? He knew that he had to hear from God and he does and he feels keenly that he must go back. Now when you think about this, it's an extraordinary thing to go back to Nazi Germany as Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the summer of 1939. But he felt the Lord was calling him to this and so he went, obedient disciple of Jesus Christ that he was. Now the question is, what was he going to do when he got there?

And this is where the story, of course, gets exceedingly strange. His brother-in-law, Denanyi, was a leading member of German military intelligence, the Abwehr. The Abwehr was the center of the conspiracy against Adolf Hitler.

So Bonhoeffer is hired by his brother-in-law. His brother-in-law says, how would you like to come to work for me in the Abwehr? That way you'll look like you're serving the Third Reich in time of war. We can use your great brain and your contacts throughout Europe to work for German military intelligence.

But we know, and the family knows, what you'll really be doing. You'll be working for me in the conspiracy to defeat Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. And what he was supposed to do, of course, was travel around Europe to neutral countries, which you certainly could not do unless you're a special member of military intelligence. But he could travel to Sweden and to Switzerland, travel to these countries in the hopes of making contact with members of the allied governments. Imagine talking to the enemy during a time of war. This is exactly what he set out to do. He continued writing and being a pastor during this time in some ways. Actually, his family was practically at the center of the conspiracy against Adolf Hitler.

It's an amazing thing. The whole family, from before the beginning of the Nazi rise, knew who the Nazis were and what they were and were against them from the beginning. There's some natural explanations for that. They were in Berlin. They were very highly connected.

I alluded to that. But I have to say, they were very connected in high circles. They knew everyone who was anyone, and they had all the secret information that your average German absolutely would have not been privy to. And they knew that in 1933, they're already having secret conversations in their home, this huge home, and closing the door so that the help doesn't hear.

In 1933, two months or three months after, in April of 1933, after Hitler has become chancellor, they're having sort of secret meetings. So in some ways, their home and their network, their wider network, was a center of the conspiracy against Hitler. And they knew many of the players. And of course, Bonhoeffer's brother-in-law, Danani, was one of the key players. So yes, they were at the center of it. And on the contrary, not only did they have no problem with it, but Bonhoeffer's brother, Klaus, was murdered by the Nazis for his role in the conspiracy. Bonhoeffer's brother-in-law, two of his brother-in-laws, were murdered by the Nazis.

So they were at the very center of the center of the conspiracy. I don't think that there was any Bonhoeffer that had any problems with this. In 1942, Bonhoeffer gets engaged. But no sooner does he get engaged, then finally, Gestapo catches up with him and arrests him. Not for his involvement in the plot to kill Hitler, because they hadn't yet discovered that, but for his involvement in something called Unternehmen Sieben, Operation 7, so-called, because it was a plot to get seven German Jews out of Germany and into Switzerland to save their lives. There were some financial irregularities and things that went on.

Gestapo picked up on it, and some names came up. Bonhoeffer was arrested and taken to Tegel Military Prison, but he had every hope of getting out. He is writing these wonderful letters to his fiancé and to his family. He's expecting to get married. He's thinking that he's going to be able to fool the prosecutor and convince the prosecutor that he's just a wooly-headed academic. But, of course, it didn't turn out that way. Well, I should say that he hoped that he could win the case, that things would come to trial soon, that he would win, or he thought the Allies will defeat Germany in this night where it will be over and I'll get out of prison that way, or the conspirators who haven't yet been discovered will succeed in killing Hitler and things will end that way. So he had every hope of getting out, but we know that he was still in Tegel Military Prison in the summer of 1944 when the Valkyrie plot happens where the briefcase is put under the table and the vector of the blast is divided. Hitler survives, but not only does Hitler survive, but for the first time the conspiracy is exposed. So in July of 1944, this huge conspiracy is exposed. Thousands are arrested.

Tortured names come up. One of those names, of course, top of the list is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. So he is now transferred to the dreaded Gestapo prison on Prince Albrecht's Strasse in Berlin, and then as the Allies are bombing Berlin, he's moved from there to Buchenwald, and in April of 1945, so close to the end of the war, weeks from the end of the war, weeks from the suicide of Adolf Hitler, on the express orders of Hitler, Bonhoeffer is transferred to Flossenbürg concentration camp where at dawn on April 9th he is executed. So we're tempted to think of this story, I think, initially as merely tragic, but I have to say that Bonhoeffer would be the first in line to rebuke us in the same way that Jesus rebukes Peter when Peter says, Oh no, Lord, you can't die that way.

He says, Get thee behind me, Satan, because you're not thinking the thoughts of God but the thoughts of man. It's clear that Bonhoeffer was such a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ that he was resigned to the will of God with the peace that comes from being resigned to the will of God. Resigned is really not the right word, that he rejoiced in the will of God for whatever it was for his life. He wrote a sermon in 1933, 12 years before his death, where he talks about death. And in that, to I think a fairly staid Lutheran congregation, he says, Death is the most terrible thing imaginable unless it is transformed by faith. And who knows but that your death can be the most wonderful thing imaginable. Actually, he says that if you have ever glimpsed the kingdom of heaven, truly, if you've ever come to know him and ever seen him on any level, you are homesick from that hour. You long to be with him. You know that that is your true home.

You're created for that. So Bonhoeffer plainly, clearly had no fear of death. He understood it for what it was. He knew that Jesus had in fact defeated death.

And death was the last station on the road to freedom. Bonhoeffer knew this and he believed it. And so Bonhoeffer went to the gallows with that peace. And a terrific job on the production and editing by our own Greg Hengler. A special thanks to Eric Metaxas, author of Bonhoeffer, pastor, martyr, prophet and spy. Pick up this book.

You will not put it down. In June of thirty nine, Bonhoeffer comes to America to seek safety. But he's so uncomfortable and God's calling him back to Germany and he goes. And in April nine, nineteen forty five, not long before VE Day, he's put to death by Hitler. But Bonhoeffer wouldn't have wanted to see this story as a tragedy. Death, Bonhoeffer said, is the most terrible thing imaginable unless it is transformed by faith. And indeed, his life was the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-09 04:14:22 / 2023-08-09 04:29:34 / 15

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