Although Dietrich Bonhoeffer only lived for thirty-nine years, his impact on the world is still
1500 WordsApr 23, 20196 Pages
Although Dietrich Bonhoeffer only lived for thirty-nine years, his impact on the world is still felt to this day. Bonhoeffer was born in Breslau, the largest city in what is now western Poland, on February 4, 1906, and a few seconds later, his twin sister Sabine was born (Kelly and Nelson, 3). Ever since he was born, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was essentially destined to have an impact on the world in which he lived. He was the third youngest child, and youngest male, of eight children born to Karl and Paula Bonhoeffer (Kelly and Nelson, 3). As the youngest male, Bonhoeffer understood that he needed to stand out to have an impact. Geffrey Kelly and F. Burton Nelson wrote that, “The father held high expectations for every child of the family,…show more content…
Eberhard Bethge writes, “At the root of his choice was a basic drive towards independence. This did not exclude his insatiable appetite for all kinds of different knowledge, but the driving force in his life was the need for unchallenged self-realization” (Bethge, 37). Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a very motivated individual, and these motives guided every decision he made, whether colossal or miniscule. A large motivating factor in his life was his “isolation among his brothers and sisters…it might be said that because he was lonely he became a theologian, and because he became a theologian he was lonely” (Bethge, 37). The motivation to stand out amongst his siblings, and break out of his shell strongly influenced his decision to turn to theology.
Bonhoeffer’s path to theology “began in a ‘secular atmosphere’…Unlike theologians who came from families who were active in the church and theology, Bonhoeffer embarked on his journey and eventually discovered the church” (Bethge, 44). Bonhoeffer has the habit, throughout his life, to “focus on what was most remote from his previous experience, to understand it on ingenious terms as far as possible, and then to let it adjust his own horizons” (Rasmussen, 35). In other words, Bonhoeffer wanted to place emphasis on the things he did not truly understand and attempt to cleverly apply them