German pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer was involved in a plot to kill Hitler, according to Eric Metaxas during a question and answer session with Dr. John Piper, which was tweeted on the author's Twitter page today via youtube. The event was part of Metaxas Bonhoeffer book tour at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota with Piper, who is pastor of the church.
The plot to kill Hitler was discussed in response to a question from the audience as follows: "How can someone like Bonhoeffer attempt to kill Hitler when Romans 13 says leaders are appointed by God even when they're evil?"
Jason Meyer, Pastor of Preaching, read the question from the audience aloud to Metaxas and Piper who were responding to the questions.
Metaxas answered with a distinction between the words "killing" and "murder." He said, "Cops have guns and the military has weapons. Cops have guns to kill to protect the innocent. And the military has weapons to defend a country. That's not the same as murder."
He then referred to the story of David and Goliath from the Old Testament as an example. No one criticizes David for killing Goliath, he said.
Dr. Piper then cited several examples mentioned in the Old Testament books of Daniel, Esther and Exodus and the New Testament book of Acts of civil disobedience against governments. The children of Israel were certainly disobeying the Egyptian government and the orders of ruler Pharaoh when they exited Egypt and crossed the Red Sea."
Metaxas further said, "Suppose someone is out here in the foyer of this church shooting people. Should a Christian just say 'I'll pray about it?' and take no action? Or should the Christian take his gun and prevent the man in the foyer from murdering more people."
He also quoted Bonhoeffer's famous sentence, "Silence in the face of evil is evil."
Metaxas was also asked what surprised him the most as he researched his book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.
He said he was shocked to discover that Bonhoeffer scholars had mis-represented the martyr's positions for the last 50 years. He initially had the impression Bonhoeffer had become a liberal. Metaxas said his research showed the German theologian "was serious in his faith and had a high regard for the Scriptures."
The author said he was really blessed to see the strong faith Bonhoeffer had.
Bonhoeffer was executed in a German concentration camp only days before the Allies freed the prisoners there.
Metaxas book is a No. 1 bestseller on the New York Times list.
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