I have to say that when I read (actually I listened to the audio of) Metaxas’s Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, I liked the book. But this one . . .
I loved it!
In his introduction, Metaxas says, “The German Church of the 1930s was silent in the face of evil; but can there be any question whether the American Church of our own time is guilty of the same silence?” It’s a pretty direct, confrontational, and offputting question, right? He goes on to stridently call out the Church in our day for failing to address what he calls the inescapably anti-God and anti-human ideologies of Critical Race Theory and Abortion.
Metaxas paints an eery yet incredibly compelling portrait of the German Church of the 30s and 40s that, if shown in a mirror, might easily display our American Evangelical Christian Church of today.
At issue for Metaxas is whether today’s Church has “buried its head in the sand,” focused on “preaching only the Gospel,” while the reigning social and political powers make war with all of conservative, values-driven, Judeo-Christian society. And as Christians are attempting to “be tolerant,” and focus on the spiritual concerns around us, trying to be apolitical and “submit to the ruling authorities,” (Rom 13:1) the enemy is winning because we are failing to BE the Church in our day.
Some critical issues bear attention:
- What is the Church?
- What if Bonhoeffer was a prophet for us?
- What does true leadership in the Church look like? And when do we need to repent of our failure to address sin?
- There were at least 12,000 pastors in Germany who refused to take a stand. How does that compare with the number of pastors here in the USA who are tolerating evil?
- Have we fallen into the Spiral of Silence?
- What does true faith look like when lived out?
- Has “Evangelism” become an idol?
- What does “Speaking the Truth in Love” really look like?
- Does political involvement mean we’ve strayed from the Truth of the Gospel?
- What about “Playing it Safe” in an environment where dissent gets you canceled — or worse?
- What are you going to do about this?
This is a MUST READ for everyone calling himself or herself a believer in the Gospel of Jesus and living in the US (especially California or Washington) today. I’d love to hear what you think! The book cover above (or here) is a link to the Amazon page for the book.
Also, if you’d like to make this a book club read . . . I want in!