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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 22, 2010 / 10 Tamuz 5770

Bonhoeffer: A True Believer

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | June 18, 2010 marked the 70th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle's historic call to arms for the French to resist the Nazis and also Winston Churchill's "finest hour" address.

Another anniversary might have gone unnoticed were it not for a brilliant new biography of a man who gave his life in a failed plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. "Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy" by Eric Metaxas, is a major biography of this giant of faith published 65 years after his death.

Bonhoeffer came from a family of intellectuals. His father was Germany's leading psychiatrist. His siblings succeeded in their chosen fields. Dietrich became a theologian to the surprise and initial disappointment of his parents and puzzlement of his siblings.

Twice Bonhoeffer visited the United States. On the first occasion he studied at the liberal Union Theological Seminary in New York where he met the theological giants of the time, including Reinhold Niebuhr. Bonhoeffer quickly tired of the "G0d-lite" theology at Union and decided to visit churches that held more substantive beliefs. He discovered an African-American church in Harlem where Adam Clayton Powell Sr. preached riveting sermons and people joyfully worshipped G0d as if they actually believed He exists.


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Bonhoeffer's theology might be summed up in a letter he wrote in 1936 to his brother-in-law, Rudiger Schleicher: "One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books. One must be prepared really to enquire of it. Only thus will it reveal itself. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it."

Bonhoeffer struggled over whether to join the conspiracy to assassinate Hitler and that struggle is chronicled in Metaxas' book. His may have been a simple faith surrounded by theological muscle, but its application -- which he knew might cost him his life -- was a classic struggle of flesh vs. spirit faced by all who seek to take G0d seriously.

Metaxas writes of the attempt by Hitler to create a state church that would give him moral cover for his immoral acts, especially his goal of exterminating Jews. The willingness of so many to sign on to this rogue and apostate church warns us moderns about the dangers of a church that is more interested in advancing an earthly political agenda than the Kingdom of G0d.

Clerics are seen sieg-heiling and speaking lovingly of their Fuhrer with a reverence that convicts them of spiritual adultery. Bonhoeffer bravely stood against them as he participated in the formation of the "Confessing Church," which, among other things, spoke up for the Jews. The high regard in which the Bonhoeffer family was held in Germany and their supreme intellect temporarily protected Dietrich from the hands of the Gestapo.



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Inevitably he was arrested, but even then he won the respect of prison guards, who offered him special treatment, which he refused. Further complicating things and adding to his temptation to live was that he had fallen in love with a young woman, 18 years his junior. Their love letters, mostly written when Dietrich was in prison, are riveting.

Metaxas writes, "Bonhoeffer thought it the plain duty of a Christian -- and the privilege and honor -- to suffer with those who suffered." That's why he considered it both privilege and honor to be executed at the Flossenburg Concentration Camp on April 9, 1945 where his body was burned in a pile of bodies, many of which were likely Jewish. The doctor at the camp said he had never seen anyone die with such peace. Two weeks later, the Allies marched into Flossenburg. A week after that, Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker.

Bonhoeffer's memorial service at Holy Trinity Church in London on July 27, 1945 was broadcast in Germany where his parents listened. The sermon by Bonhoeffer's longtime friend, Bishop George Bell, is reprinted in the book.

In an age (then and now) full of "cheap grace," here is a book that will challenge Christians and non-Christians alike. Few books can claim to be a "must-read." This is one.


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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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