Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Great Documentary

I ran across a great documentary on Netflix the other day. For those who have Netflix, you can watch the whole thing online, or you can buy a copy of it at various places. The documentary came out in 2003, and originally aired on PBS. It is entitled Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Pacifist, Nazi Resistor. The documentary is about the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the patron saint of this blog.

This film is a wonderful and well thought out biography on Bonhoeffer and his life from a theological perspective. I've read and studied Bonhoeffer at some length. The name of this blog is derived from his work in the classic book, The Cost of Discipleship. I highly recommend watching the documentary. There is commentary by some very well known theologians and church leaders ranging from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to John de Gruchy to friends and students who knew Bonhoeffer personally.

The official website, which I linked to above, has resources for group discussions and all sorts of other goodies. I think the documentary would make for a great discussion of Bonhoeffer or Christian morals/ethics in war time in general. Bonhoeffer was a pacifist for most of his life, but ultimately felt that he was forced to get involved in the Resistance and finally the plot to kill Hitler, the event depicted in the Tom Cruise movie, Valkyrie, a while back.

Bonhoeffer was greatly conflicted about giving up his pacifist ideals, but ultimately felt that he had to do something to prevent even greater atrocities, even if it meant "risking his seat in heaven." He is a truly fascinating Christian saint, commemorated in the Episcopal church calendar of saints on April 9th, the day he was executed by the Nazis.

Check it out, the documentary is worth the time.

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