Dietrich Bonhoeffer held that “silence in the face of evil is itself evil. … Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

The German theologian, martyred trying to stop Hitler, scorned “cheap grace” — faith that requires no sacrifice.

The ideals Bonhoeffer acted on profoundly impressed his biographer, a Yale-educated Manhattanite who attends an Episcopal church.

After researching Bonhoeffer’s life and times, “I found myself forced to speak out for religious freedom,” Eric Metaxas said in a telephone interview last week as he prepared for a March 12 Lancaster Literary Guild lecture.

Metaxas identifies two “hot-button issues” that he believes threaten one of this country’s most important founding principles.

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