Tag Archives: Germany

Check out this Harpers interview of Eric Metaxas, author of a bestelling new Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography


Cover of "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Pro...

Among the books I was privileged to read for the Christianity Today book awards this year was Eric Metaxas‘s excellent new biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Metaxas has gotten a lot of well-deserved buzz for this book, including the following interview in Harpers. I’m reproducing here the first two questions and answers out of six included in the interview. For now you can still link here for the whole article.

By Scott Horton

Eric Metaxas, whose best-selling biography of William Wilberforce, Amazing Grace, provided the framework for an important motion picture, is now out with a thick review of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and theologian who played a key role in one of the attempts to kill Adolf Hitler. I put six questions to Metaxas about Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy:

1. You dedicate your book, in German no less, to your grandfather. Tell us the significance of that dedication, and how in the course of your own life you were drawn to Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

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Eric Metaxas

My grandfather was a genuinely reluctant German soldier who was killed in the war in 1944, at the age of 31. My mother was nine. The tragedy of my mother’s losing her father at that age has been a big part of my life. My grandfather didn’t want to fight in Hitler’s war. My grandmother said that he used to listen to the BBC with his ear literally pressed against the radio speaker, because if you were caught listening to the BBC you could be sent to a concentration camp. Continue reading

The exorcism of a girl by the Rev. Johann Christoph Blumhardt


Johann Christoph Blumhardt, evangelisch-luther...

Johann Christoph Blumhardt (1805–1880)

Over at the blog run by several key folks at BIOLA’s Torrey Honors Institute, The Scriptorium Daily, today’s date elicited a meditation on Johann Christoph Blumhardt (1805-1880) and the exorcism that propelled him to fame, such that he came to influence Karl Barth, among others. The following is written by Fred Sanders:

Today (December 28) in 1843, an unclean spirit cried “Jesus is victor!” as it departed from a young girl in Möttlingen, Germany.

The possessed girl was Gottliebin Dittus, and the presiding pastor was Johann Christoph Blumhardt (1805-1880). An account of the conflict can be read in the book The Awakening, available as a free pdf from Plough books. In fact, several books by and about Blumhardt and his son are available from Plough. The account of Blumhardt’s encounter with the unclean spirit is carefully written to avoid anything prurient, and to discourage unhealthy curiosity. But given the subject matter, it’s inevitably chilling and weird. It ranges from standard poltergeist behavior (loud knocking) to apparitions of the guilty departed, to intimations of the dark, spiritual world inhabited by fallen angels. Some of the scenes are, to speak anachronistically, straight out of exorcist movies. Continue reading

Monks too heavenly minded to be any earthly good? Hardly. Meet the globe-trotting, pagan-busting Boniface


So you think medieval monks just sat in their cloisters, doing without stuff and looking pious? Check out Boniface (680 – 754):

The Pagan-Buster
How a brilliant monk laid the groundwork for Christian Europe
By Chris Armstrong

“Irony” seems a concept invented for such a situation as this: The man historian Christopher Dawson once called the most influential Englishman who ever lived is the patron saint of … Germany.

And, as journalist Uwe Siemon-Netto has recently reminded us, the 60th anniversary of D-Day is also the 1250th anniversary of this man’s death.

There is one more layer of seeming irony in this story of the man who evangelized Germany and set the stage for Western Christendom: he was a monk. Continue reading