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Dietrich Bonhoeffer “was thoroughly disillusioned  by the cowardice of his fellow clergy. Now he had a decision to make. To do nothing against Hitler was a sin, he had reasoned. But to kill was also a sin. How could a pacifist, a man of God, justify what he was about to do? The answer was one that had first been articulated by Martin Luther, the founder of the church Bonhoeffer had loved. Sometimes, Luther said a true believer must ‘sin and sin boldly.’ Bonhoeffer would break the Commandments he vowed to uphold and renounce his cherished philosophy of nonviolence. He would lie, cheat, and plot murder. And he would do it by using the church as his camouflage.”

~ Patricia McCormick, The Plot to Kill Hitler97.

Free Book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer!

  |  Sat, March 1, 2014  |
Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was among the most interesting, inspiring people you’ll ever read about. Not only was he a theologian, a poet, a secret-service double agent, a musician, and one of the most famous martyrs of the twentieth century—he also played a role in the famous “July 20″ plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.And through March 31, you can get Bonhoeffer for Armchair Theologians for free!

The making of a martyr

In the wake of World War I, the Germans were desperate for a strong, proud leader who would guide Germany to economic and social recovery. When the enigmatic Hitler became chancellor and later dictator, much of Germany embraced his ambitious vision. But not everyone was fooled. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a gifted pianist who, despite his aristocratic family’s wishes, became a minister and theologian, was determined to remove the Nazis from power—even if it killed him.

Nothing—not even Hitler’s suffocating grip on civil liberties—could stop Bonhoeffer from preaching the truth. After being banned from openly teaching, Bonhoeffer worked in an underground ministry. After his ministry was discovered and the church became terrified to speak out against Hitler, Bonhoeffer joined the German secret service as a double agent, helping Jews escape Nazi oppression. He even turned down the chance to seek refuge in America, where he was touring as a guest lecturer, writing:

“I have made a mistake in coming to America. I must live through this difficult period in our national history with the Christian people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people.”

On April 5, 1943, after returning to Germany, Boenhoeffer was arrested for his resistance efforts. He spent the next year and half incarcerated, and was later moved to Buchenwald. Even while imprisoned, Bonhoeffer continued ministering and developing his theology, much of which is documented in his Letters and Papers from Prison.

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