“It is only the cynic who claims to “speak the truth” at all times and in all places to all men in the same way, but who, in fact, displays nothing but a lifeless image of the truth…
“He dons the halo of the fanatical devotee of truth who can make no allowance for human weaknesses; but, in fact, he is destroying the living truth between men.
“He wounds shame,
betrays the community in which he lives,
and laughs arrogantly
at the devastation he has wrought
and at the human weakness which ‘cannot bear the truth‘”
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Germany 1940
I cannot stop pressing my face against the small window I have of D.Bonhoeffer’s life. I’ve been devouring this biography.
I know all of this is in the past – it’s history, it’s over. And, I’m aware that biographies tend to caricature humans into saints. Eric Metaxas’ book is no different. But, in almost every way, Bonhoeffer’s life and words ring so very relevant and paint him as wholly deserving of this deification.
He was brave, but always first thoughtful and open minded. His family was intelligent and well-connected and, because of this, he was able to leave Germany a number of times as the war approached. However, Bonhoeffer’s conscience forced him back to accomplish what he believed was the greater moral good – which made an oxymoron out of what his life as a pastor had been. To do “right” required outright lying, saluting “the Furhrer,” (Heil, Hitler), contemplating murder, and abandoning the church he founded.