Don't know that I've read one longer than that before, especially a biography! It was awesome.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book and why:
"There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security... Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand on Almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
This is so true. We think of peace as lack of confrontation, getting along well with everyone, no fighting. But peace is actually in our hearts - when we know we're doing what we were made to do. "Wanting no security... not safe". The peace of God is what transcends all understanding (Phil 4:7) - that's the peace he's talking about, and God "is not safe" - according to Lucy (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe) - "but he's good"! And in knowing we are being obedient, whether safe or not, warrants a peaceful soul.
Metaxas said of Bonhoeffer: "He had theologically redefined the Christian life as something active, not reactive. It had nothing to do with avoiding sin or with merely talking or teaching or believing theological notions or principles or rules or tenets. It had everything to do with living one's whole life in obedience to God's call through action. It did not require a mind, but a body too. It was God's call to be fully human, to live as human beings obedient to the one who had made us, which was the fulfillment of our destiny. It was not a cramped, compromised, circumspect life, but a life lived in a kind of wild, joyful, full-throated freedom - that was what it was to obey God."
All over the book, Bonhoeffer defines Christianity not as avoiding sin, but being obedient to God's call. I like this because it doesn't make Christianity out to be all about what we can't do - but the adventurous life! In order to be fully human, we are called to live! Abundantly! Bonhoeffer knew this - he lived this - he tried to kill Hitler because it was more important to him to obey God's call on him to save the rest of the Jews from destruction, rather than avoid the sin of murder...
What are we so wrapped up in NOT doing, that we can't hear the adventure God is calling us to?
We have been called to live abundantly (John 10:10), not hesitantly.
Bonhoeffer's life was one that was radical - and that is what we have been saved for, too.