Bonhoeffer, Christ and CultureBy: Keith L Johnson, Timothy Larson
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was one of the most compelling theologians of the twentieth century. A complex mix of scholarship and passion, his life and writings continue to fascinate and challenge Christians worldwide. He was a pastor and profound teacher and writer on Christian theology and ethics, yet was also involved in the resistance against Hitler which plotted his assassination. Bonhoeffer graduated from the University of Berlin and earned his doctorate in theology at the age of twenty-one. While pursuing postgraduate work at New York's Union Theological Seminary his life and ministry was profoundly influenced by his unanticipated involvement with the African American Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem during that time. Protesting the unconstitutional interference by Hitler of the established national Protestant church and the persecution of the Jews, and rejecting the alignment of the German Christian movement with the Nazi regime, Bonhoeffer became head of an underground seminary for the resisting Confessing Church in Germany. At the 2012 Wheaton Theology Conference, Bonhoeffer's thought and ministry were explored in stimulating presentations. Bonhoeffer's views of Jesus Christ, the Christian community, and the church's engagement with culture enjoyed special focus. Throughout it is clear that in the twenty-first century, Bonhoeffer's legacy is as provocative and powerful as ever.