Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Black America
Cal Thomas' review of "a major biography of this giant of faith" offers some insights into the Lutheran theologian and martyr's life of which I was unaware — Bonhoeffer: A True Believer:
- Bonhoeffer came from a family of intellectuals. His father was Germany's leading psychiatrist. His siblings succeeded in their chosen fields. Dietrich became a theologian to the surprise and initial disappointment of his parents and puzzlement of his siblings.
Twice Bonhoeffer visited the United States. On the first occasion he studied at the liberal Union Theological Seminary in New York where he met the theological giants of the time, including Reinhold Niebuhr. Bonhoeffer quickly tired of the "God-lite" theology at Union and decided to visit churches that held more substantive beliefs. He discovered an African-American church in Harlem where Adam Clayton Powell Sr. preached riveting sermons and people joyfully worshipped God as if they actually believed He exists.