Monday, June 21, 2010

Bonhoeffer

I've been reading the recently published biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas, and I have to say, Bonhoeffer was one legit dude. He finished his PhD by age 21, with his doctoral dissertation Sanctorum Communio (a theological study of the sociology of the church) and finished at age 23 his habilitation, a post-doctoral degree which is basically another PhD (arguably even more research-focused, with stricter rules on publishing, lectures, etc.) with Akt und Sein. He was eventually hanged for his involvement with the plot to assassinate Hitler during WWII. Near the end of his life, he was almost finished with his magnum opus, Ethics, eventually compiled/editted by his best friend Eberhard Bethge. I'm almost done with the biography, and I have to say, Bonhoeffer was an amazingly unique individual with immense intellect as well as a pastoral heart and love for people. I am going to start reading through his various works soon, and as a way to whet your appetite for his thoughts, I will quote the opening lines of Ethics here:

"Those who wish even to focus on the problem of a Christian ethic are faced with an outrageous demand--from the outset they must give up, as inappropriate to this topic, the very two questions that led them to deal with the ethical problem: 'How can I be good?' and 'How can I do something good?' Instead they must ask the wholly other, completely different question: 'What is the will of God?'"
--Dietrich Bonhoeffer

2 comments:

crazysush said...

I think my roommate is reading a book by him (The cost of discipleship) if it is the same guy for her small group. She really like his book.

Mike S. said...

Noona: Yup that's the same guy. That is a great book!