Monday, November 29, 2010

A Good Read

I am a voracious reader. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is go to Barnes and Noble and spend an evening browsing, topped off with a café latte. A dear friend and I like to go to see authors at area bookstores who read portions of their books and answer questions. We have seen Amy Tan, Isaac Stern, Edmund Morris, and too many others to name. My sister and I saw Condeleeza Rice and bought her most recent book earlier this month. I am not picky about genres, however I would probably say that historical fiction is my favorite and science fiction...not so much.


I am currently reading a book that is certainly not a light read, but one that is convicting to a Christian, a professed disciple of Christ. It is a biography titled Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a theologian during the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany. The book chronicles his journey of faith.

After visiting America in the early 1930’s, Bonhoeffer commented “In New York (he was attending seminary there) they preach about virtually everything, only one thing is not addressed, or is addressed so rarely that I have as yet been unable to hear it, namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, sin and forgiveness, death and life. So what stands in place of the Christian message? An ethical and social idealism borne by a faith in progress that – who knows how – claims the right to call itself “Christian.” …some churches are basically “charitable” churches, others have primarily a social identity. One cannot avoid the impression, however, that in both cases they have forgotten what the real point is.” He also said “I believe that the Bible alone is the answer to all our questions, and that we need only to ask repeatedly and a little humbly, in order to receive this answer. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it. That is because in the Bible God speaks to us.”

His utter submission to the will of God ultimately cost him his life as he stood against Hitler and the Nazis and with the Jews. As he was being taken to be executed (although he had not been told where he was going), he said “This is the end, for me the beginning of life.”

If you want to read a book about an amazing man who was mightily used by God, then read this book. If you want to be challenged to live a life in awe and wonder at the grace that was obtained at the foot of the cross, then read this book.

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