This past month, on April 9th, many people around the world, Christians and non-Christians alike, remembered the death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer which came at the hands of the Nazis 66 years ago in Buchenwald prison, just 23 days before Germany surrendered to the Allies. Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran theologian who conscientiously opposed Hitler, the Third Reich, and the Reich Church during the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. He was a founder of the Confessing Church, an alternative church body to the Reich Church which arose in Germany during that period. He was also deeply involved in the Worldwide Ecumenical Movement of the day. Deeply committed and spiritually cerebral, Bonhoeffer’s theology was summed up in his advocacy for all Christians to simply live by the words of Christ in The Sermon on the Mount. The major corporis of The Sermon on the Mount is found in the first 12 verses of Chapter 5 in Matthew’s Gospel known as “The Beatitudes”.
It is in the spirit of Bonhoeffer’s delight in these timeless words and truths that I will be discussing in greater detail each of The Beatitudes with my readers over the course of the next couple of months. If you would like to read them all, post a comment, or be notified when a new post is up on this blog, please follow the instructions on the subscriptions button in the right hand column and subscribe to this blog site. You will receive an email when a new posting appears here.
So stay tuned. It is my prayer that this in-depth discussion and study of this paramount passage of Scripture will be of great value to all who are heeding The Upward Call!
P.S. My congratulations to Eric Metaxas, author of the New York Times Best-Seller Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy released last fall, for winning the Christian Book of the Year award! The Christian Book of the Year is chosen from among several worthy finalists to represent Christian publishing’s highest quality and greatest impact for 2011. The Christian Book Award winners and Christian Book of the Year were announced at the Executive Leadership Summit in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on May 2nd. He also was named this year’s recipient of the John Pollock Award for Christian Biography given by Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School. Metaxas received that award from Beeson dean Dr. Timothy George during an 11 a.m. service Tuesday, March 1, in the A. Gerow Hodges Chapel at Samford. For more information on this outstanding, engaging, and theologically definitive biography on Bonhoeffer go to Eric’s website by clicking here.