Saturday, February 12, 2011

What Kind of "Christian" Was Dietrich Bonhoeffer?

If you didn't know, Dietrich Bonhoeffer lead the "Christian resistance" against Hitler in Nazi Germany and was martyred for it.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer relates to American Creation's mission for a variety of reasons. We've discussed Romans 13 and the reductio "does that mean Christians have to submit to Nazi government?" And then there's the dynamic of folks wanting to claim someone who history judges as a great hero as "one of them." Evangelicals are certainly guilty of this, but no more so than any other social group. And at American Creation we -- or at least I -- highlight when evangelicals (and others) do that with America's Founding Fathers.

With that evangelical Eric Metaxas has done this with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. And now some of his fellow evangelicals are calling him out for it.

See here, here and here.

A few points I get from the reviews on what Eric Metaxas does not adequately deal with: 1) Like a lot of his fellow contemporary German intellectuals, DB's "Christian theology" was imbibed in German post modern philosophy (indeed the very philosophy that led Heidegger to support Nazism). And 2) Bonhoeffer did not believe the Bible was the inerrant, infallible Word of God. Well there you go, that explains how his hermeneutic could get around an "absolute" reading of Romans 13.

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