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Today Is Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Birthday


Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor and German patriot hanged by the Nazis for his involvement in a plot to assassinate Hitler, would be 107 years old today. Bonhoeffer’s extraordinary story of open defiance to Hitler out of loyalty to Christ, is told brilliantly by Eric Metaxas in “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.” This moving biography is not only the story of a man who went joyfully to his death, honored that God chose him to suffer as the Jews suffered, but also a chilling look at the slow creep of anti-Christian fascism at the hands of the state.

Today, Metaxas wonders what Bonhoeffer would think of our own government’s attacks on religious freedom, which is well worth a read:

[W]ere he alive today and living in America, costly grace for him would likely mean preaching what the Word of God teaches about human sexuality–even when activists and their allies in government try to suppress his work and attack his church. Costly grace would mean standing against churches that mix radical new doctrines about marriage with Christian truth. Costly grace would mean standing up to a government attempting to force him to buy health insurance that violates his beliefs–even if it led to his arrest.

Bonhoeffer wrote extensively on “costly” and “cheap” grace in 1937’s “The Cost of Discipleship.” Eight years later, at the age of 39, Bonhoeffer proved he was more than just a man of words.

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