Eric Metaxas Thinks He Saved Bonhoeffer from the Cultural Marxists

David Barton (Left); Eric Metaxas (Right)

Although this is entirely predictable, I want to preserve the moment. Eric Metaxas believes he saved Bonhoeffer’s legacy from the cultural Marxist academics who study Bonhoeffer for a living.

Metaxas tweeted this in response to a statement from the International Bonhoeffer Society calling for the end of Donald Trump’s presidency. An article by Jim Wallis summarized the statement and served as the trigger for Metaxas’ tweet.

It is a fine statement of objections to Trump’s term in office and Wallis offers some sobering parallels to Christian sentiment about Hitler during the 1930s and 1940s. The cultish devotion to Trump does mimic some things said about Hitler. I can understand support for certain of Trump’s policy positions, but I cannot understand the slavish fealty to Trump as a man. This is idolatrous and dangerous.  I urge you to read the IBS statement and support their work. They are fine and serious scholars.

Metaxas’ tweet exposes more about him than it does about the Bonhoeffer Society. It is one thing to believe you have a significant perspective to add to a field, it is quite another to believe you alone have the truth. Bonhoeffer scholars have documented significant omissions and problems in Metaxas’ book on Bonhoeffer.  He scoffs at their work and fails to respond in a scholarly manner. Mostly, he told journalist Jon Ward, he ignores them:

The handful of early negative reviews of my book on Bonhoeffer have not struck me as substantive, or as anything more than ideological griping, so I have labored to ignore them.

This is the way of so many Christian celebrities. Metaxas, like David Barton and Dinesh D’Souza, portrays an arrogance about his work. They are above correction and error. Any criticism is ideological and therefore beneath them.

And so it goes. Metaxas continues his labor. It must be a hard labor because these days there is so much he has to ignore.

6 thoughts on “Eric Metaxas Thinks He Saved Bonhoeffer from the Cultural Marxists”

  1. Every time I see Eric Metaxas blathering on about Bonhoeffer, I want to smack him upside the head with Eberhard Bethge’s biography. It had its faults but man, Metaxas thinks too highly of himself.

  2. Bonhoeffer speaks for himself. I read “Discipleship” shortly after receiving Christ at the age of 15. I learned early in my faith that my salvation came at a cost, and my response was to be total surrender. Bonhoeffer’s works and example have done much for my own spiritual formation, and no one needs to salvage him.

  3. The cultish devotion to the person of Trump is perhaps the most worrying aspect of the current political situation, and is, I think, unparalleled in recent US history. It is also unparalleled in other ‘western’ polities: Johnson might have won the UK election last month, but, while he is undeniably popular in some quarters, there just does not seem to be anything remotely like the same kind of (pseudo-)religious adulation. Indeed, Christian leaders, evangelical or otherwise, seem to have almost nothing to say about him at all. (It is worth noting that the UK political party that is perhaps the most inclined to political religiosity – the Democratic Unionist Party in N Ireland – is really not very keen on him, perhaps because the Johnson Brexit ‘deal’ effectively points to a situation where N Ireland becomes more economically ‘united’ with Ireland than with Great Britain.*)

    *Under the circumstances, I’d say “fair enough” to that.

  4. “Metaxas, like David Barton and Dinesh D’Souza, portrays an arrogance about his work.”

    Aside from arrogance, what else do these three have in common? They’re all of them proven liars.

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