Serving Jesus in the Severest of Trials -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

by Bryan Galloway

INTRODUCTION

The fifth reason Dietrich Bonhoeffer can impact twenty-first century preaching and preachers is that he exemplified serving Jesus in the severest of trials. While Bonhoeffer often agonized over the role the church should play as Adolf Hitler's polices were enacted, he continued to focus his energy on pleasing his Lord and obeying the Word of God. From the moment Hitler became chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, Bonhoeffer suffered setbacks and opposition for his commitment to Jesus and for his stance that the church should be a voice for the innocent in society.

For example, just two days after Hitler rose to power, Bonhoeffer delivered a message on the radio warning the nation that Hitler may be a "misleader"[1] who will eventually mock God. Bonhoeffer never finished this address because he was cut off the air. This may have been the first action by the new government against free speech.[2] Of course, Bonhoeffer was now in a sense a "marked man" because of his views.

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