The evangelical Bonhoeffer?
January 18, 2011
I have not read all of Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but I did compare a few sections with Bethge’s standard biography. Without doubt, Bethge has a stronger grasp of both the socio-political currents and the theological currents. I watched an hour-long speech by Metaxas on Bonhoeffer and was not impressed. I loved his biography of Wilberforce, and he is a gifted writer. But you can’t understand as complex a topic as Bonhoeffer with a few years of study. You need to be schooled in both the European political scene and the developments in German philosophy and theology, including the fact that “liberal” or “orthodox” are scarcely adequate categories for understanding Bonhoeffer (and a large number of theologians at the time, like Brunner and Barth or even Bultmann and Tillich). Thus, I greatly appreciate (conservative Reformed blogger) Tim Challies’ recent post gathering some of the critical reactions to Metaxas’ biography.