The Bonhoeffer documentary is simply fabulous. Thought provoking, inspiring and heartbreaking. It's on tomorrow night on most PBS stations.
In Krista Tippett's interview with Martin Doblmeier, he does such a nice job of summing up a complex and accomplished person. The interview is fascinating, whether or not you know Bonhoeffer. To hear, click here.
I love how Bonhoeffer approaches Christianity. For him, Christianity is hollow unless it takes into consideration and fights for the oppressed. I've come to find his work even more compelling and provoking in this era when we're dominated by those obsessed with imposing their moral code on the world yet don't flinch when critical programs for the poor are slashed. This is complete cognitive dissonance, completely opposite to the biblical Christ which Bonhoeffer writes about so well.
If you watch the Bonhoeffer documentary, you will be unnerved by the similarities between how the Nazis use Christian rhetoric to justify their policies and how the current administration speaks of God, good and evil. It is simply chilling.
The film honors Bonhoeffer's witness but doesn't paint him as perfect. It also shows how his work continues to impact. For example, Bonhoeffer was a very important model for the churches in South Africa during apartheid.
"The church is the church only when it exists for others ... The church must share in the secular problems of ordinary human life, not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men [sic] of every calling what it means to live in Christ, to exist for others." (Letters and Papers from Prison, italics are mine)
"I discovered later, and I'm still discovering right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith ... living unreservedly in life's duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God..." (Letters and Papers from Prison)
"Peace is the great adventure. It has to be dared." (Bonhoeffer at Fano)