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Extended Audio Sample Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy Audiobook, by Eric Metaxas Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.99975621647977 out of 53.99975621647977 out of 53.99975621647977 out of 53.99975621647977 out of 53.99975621647977 out of 5 4.00 (12,306 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Eric Metaxas Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2010 ISBN: 9781455199594
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In April 1933 Hitler's "Aryan Paragraph," a law banning Jews from working within the German government, went into effect. Since German churches relied on support from the state, most complied by dismissing their pastors and any employees of Jewish decent. Deitrich Bonhoeffer's faith, however, compelled him to defy Hitler and speak out against him. Within days of the implementation of the new law, Bonhoeffer published an essay titled "The Church and the Jewish Question" that asserted Christians have an obligation to help victims of the state, even if they were not of the Christian faith. His convictions drove him to stand up to a regime that few dared.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich is a detailed account of this complex person. In addition to being an outspoken Lutheran theologian, Bonhoeffer became a double-agent, spying on the enemy and pretending to be in subjection to the regime, all the while gathering information that would be used in an assassination attempt on Hitler.

Bonhoeffer's understanding of his faith required more of him than adhering to a personal moral code and a life of non-violence. His rejection of Hitler's philosophy was unique for a loyal German, especially a religious man. This audiobook contains never-before-revealed facts about his intriguing saga.

Eric Metaxas is a well-known American biographer. In addition to Bonhoeffer, he wrote Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery. His other works include children's books and television scripts, including Veggie Tales and Strawberry Shortcake. Bonhoeffer's works have won awards and attracted accolades, including the 2010 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association's "Christian Book of the Year" Award.

Metaxas is also known as an effective commentator, narrator and debater. He's commentated for CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Additionally, he's been featured on NPR and The History Channel, and has debated at the Oxford Union, the nation's oldest debating society.

Mataxas resides in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.

This New York Times bestseller is the groundbreaking biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the greatest heroes of the twentieth century, the man who stood up to Hitler. A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism.

As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a pastor and author. Eric Metaxas takes both strands of Bonhoeffer’s life—the theologian and the spy—and draws them together, presenting the fullest account of Bonhoeffer’s life written to date. He tells of Bonhoeffer’s heart-wrenching decision to leave the safe haven of America to return to Hitler’s Germany and sheds new light on Bonhoeffer’s involvement in the famous Valkyrie plot, as well as “Operation 7,” the effort to smuggle Jews into neutral Switzerland. Since his death in Flossenbürg concentration camp at age thirty-nine, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the twentieth century. This fascinating account uncovers never-before-revealed facts about the profoundly orthodox Christian theologian, including the story of his passionate romance.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In Hitler’s Germany, a Lutheran pastor chooses resistance and pays with his life…Eric Metaxas tells Bonhoeffer’s story with passion and theological sophistication, often challenging revisionist accounts that make Bonhoeffer out to be a ‘humanist’ or ethicist for whom religious doctrine was easily disposable…Metaxas reminds us that there are forms of religion—respectable, domesticated, timid—that may end up doing the devil’s work for him.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Massive and masterful.”

    Christianity Today

  • “In this weighty, riveting analysis of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Metaxas offers a comprehensive review of one of history’s darkest eras, along with a fascinating exploration of the familial, cultural, and religious influences that formed one of the world’s greatest contemporary theologians. A passionate narrative voice combines with meticulous research…Abundant source documentation brings to life the personalities and experiences that shaped Bonhoeffer…Insightful and illuminating, this tome makes a powerful contribution to biography, history, and theology.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Raised in a strict German family, Dietrich Bonhoeffer studied at prestigious schools and later became a Lutheran pastor, theologian, and, finally, a martyr. The National Socialist policy of hatred against Jews led him to join the Nazi resistance and then to a plot to murder the Fürher. The biography contains large doses of religious doctrine and history necessary to understand how Bonhoeffer came to the beliefs that put his life in peril. In English, narrator Malcolm Hillgartner speaks forcefully and slowly. He avoids any characterizations in the quotations, instead reading them straight from the page. While neither perfectly pronounced nor perfectly consistent, weaknesses in his delivery of German should not distract most listeners from this important life story.”


  • “Moving, comprehensive, and engaging…Metaxas tells a compelling story…Recommended.”

    Library Journal

  •  “A welcome new biography of one of the twentieth century’s leading lights. Metaxas magnificently captures the life of theologian and anti-Nazi activist Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945), who ‘thought it the plain duty of the Christian-and the privilege and honor-to suffer with those who suffered.’ In the finest treatment of the man since Eberhard Bethge’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Man of Vision, Man of Courage (1970), Metaxas presents a complete, accessible picture of this important figure, whose story is inspiring, instructive, and international in scope…Metaxas rightly focuses on his subject’s life, not his theology, though readers will learn plenty about his theology as well. The author makes liberal use of primary sources, which bring Bonhoeffer and other characters to vivid life. For the most part, Metaxas allows this epic story to play itself out, unhindered by commentary; where he does add his own voice, the conclusions are sage. A definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the twenty-first century.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • One of Barnes & Noble Top 10 Books for 2010
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books
  • Winner of the Christian Book of the Year Award in 2011
  • Winner of the 2011 Christian Book Award
  • One of Relevant Magazine’s Top 10 Books
  • Winner of the 2011 John C. Pollock Award for Best Christian Biography of the Year

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renah | 2/13/2014

    " Wow. I was really impressed by this book. Both an engrossing story about a fascinating and complex man, and a clear and convicting challenge to live in faith-- not just "for something that matters" but wholly committed to God and in obedience to whatever his call might be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Hayes | 2/11/2014

    " My current audio--should be required reading for ALL Christians today. Scary parallels to today's world in this book......... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dustin | 2/10/2014

    " Great book. Pacing was a bit slow at times, but that's expected with a biography. There's something in this book for everyone. If anything, Bonhoeffer shows that Christians need to have a healthy, Biblical interest and understanding of politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 B Jeanne | 2/1/2014

    " The Lutheran Shindler, some called him. Inspiring true story from NAZI Germany and the sacrifice one man made because of his deep faith and beliefs. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy Utley | 1/30/2014

    " Couldn't put it down, is resulting in somber personal reflection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 1/20/2014

    " Supremely long but every page is so worth it! Really takes you into the life of a man who not only trusted in the gospel but lived out the gospel! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carole Hutter | 1/10/2014

    " I am still in the process of reading this book, but have taken a turn for a while and finished LAST IN TOWER and am now in the midst of GREAT EXPECTATIONS. I will return to Bonhoeffer in a few days. I still feel it is a very interesting book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy | 1/6/2014

    " Wonderful! So many great quotes and nuggets to study on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 12/24/2013

    " I loved this book. It was a fascinating look at an incredible man. I learned a lot about the German perspective on the world wars, and I was convicted by this man's desire to live out his life before God. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 11/18/2013

    " A powerful story about an incredible life (and death) but a dry sometimes difficult read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 11/6/2013

    " Amazing... Humbling... Will shake your foundations... Did mine . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Igor | 11/2/2013

    " This Is a remarkable work. Eric Metaxas has put together this book like a jigsaw puzzle from the bits and pieces from other books. Bonhoeffer has lived a remarkable life, and this biography is one I will think of often and pick it up again in the years to come. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 10/28/2013

    " What a wonderful, inspiritual book. I found myself in tears several times as I saw what he and others went through and then comparing his devotion to God to my personal walk with God. It would have been an honor to meet him face to face and one day I will:) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly Grimmius | 10/20/2013

    " Amazing! An absolute must read. He led an extrodinary life. It also allowed such insight to life of Germans during WWII "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Russel Teschon | 10/19/2013

    " Great biography of a servant for Christ! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 6/4/2013

    " Best book on Bonhoeffer that I have read to date. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 4/2/2013

    " Reads like a novel. Fast paced and stirring look at bonhoeffer's life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 3/16/2013

    " Pretty heavy reading, but able to she'd light on Hitler Germany and the Church's failure to oppose Hitler. Get a better understanding of one of the 20th century's best theologians. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claudia Mundell | 12/8/2012

    " Hard book to read... heavy history, profound theology. The man's faith in God is powerful...but story is one more tale of Hilter and absolute Evil. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Missy | 8/29/2012

    " I understood how difficult Bonhoeffer's choices were after reading this book. His quotes are a bit dense and take time to think about, but it's worth the time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alan Zabel | 12/11/2011

    " This is a really excellent book. It gives real insight into the life of Bonhoeffer and reveals his spirit. Also, an excellent history lesson is woven into the narrative. So the book reveals the extraordinary faithful and courageous person against the backdrop of the evil that was Nazi Germany. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy Roberts | 9/20/2011

    " Deep, deep, deep. Good information but the book does not move. I found the book informative but not an easy read. Reports on a sad time in world history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 6/26/2011

    " Very well written book. It seems so fitting for a time like ours. Bonhoeffer leaves us an example of how we are to live out our Christian faith in a time of extreme evil. It's a long read but worth the time spent. It encourages me to read his writings and who others have written about him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 5/28/2011

    " It would be virtually impossible to write a better bio of Bonhoeffer than does Mataxes. Being a long time follower of B., I appreciate this book even more than Ray Monk's brilliant bio. of Wittgenstein, 'The Duty of Genius." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 5/10/2011

    " One should not pay attention to the fads and prejudices of current culture and thought. Bonhoeffer did not. He constantly tried to figure out what was right and what was wrong based on biblical principals. We need to do more of that today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn | 5/10/2011

    " Wonderful look at a very important Theologian at a critical point in history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 5/4/2011

    " I Agree with all the 5 star reviewers. Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy AND hero. Don't miss Metaxas' Acknowledgments. He had me from his first sentence. " It was the summer of 1988- that glorious season of my spiritual nativity." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dostalik | 5/3/2011

    " This was one of the most eddifying books I ever have read. He truly loved the Lord in all he thought, said and did. Germany is a better place because of him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Summisse | 5/1/2011

    " Well written, spell binding, well-documented! Bonhoeffer is the best biography I have ever read. It won EPCA Book of the Year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meredith | 4/28/2011

    " This is one of the best biographies I have ever read. He is an inspirational Christian. I have learned much about living an authentic Christian life from the way this man lived. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 4/25/2011

    " This was an excellent read and so educational. A must read for every Lutheran! It spawned a craving for books about the that era. "

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About the Author
Author Eric Metaxas

Eric Metaxas is a New York Times bestselling author whose biographies, children’s books, and works of popular apologetics have been translated into multiple languages around the world. He was awarded the Canterbury Medal in 2011 by the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom. He has been a frequent cultural commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel and has been featured on many radio programs, including NPR’s Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation.

About the Narrator

Malcolm Hillgartner is an accomplished actor, writer, and musician. Named an AudioFile Best Voice of 2013 and the recipient of several Earphones Awards, he has narrated over 175 audiobooks.