Book Review: “The Faithful Spy” by John Hendrix

John Hendrix, The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler (Amulet Books, 2018), 172 pages.


I first heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer while driving home from work one evening. His story intrigued me, so I went and purchased my first biography of him. It was written by Eberhard Bethge, one of Bonhoeffer’s students and close friend. The massive work was thoroughly enjoyable! I wanted to learn more, so I purchased some more biographies, books written by Bonhoeffer, and even works that address his theological views.

With that said, Bonhoeffer can be an overwhelming figure. Regardless of your agreements with his theological views, the man was blessed with an incredible intellect. His entire family stood at the top of most of their fields. Add to that the enormous conflict that was World War II, and Bonhoeffer becomes similar to Mt. Everest, only a few brave people can climb its height.

That is where John Hendrix’s work comes in. He writes at the end of the work, “This story is not primarily a work of scholarship but a work of art.” (170) He is right. It is a work of art. The graphic pictures, stark color contrasts, and handwritten font all give a glimpse at his ability. More than simply a work of art, however, is the story of one of the most influential pastor-theologians of our time. Add to this the discussions of world events, particularly within Germany, and you have Hendrix’s work.

Several positive aspects are worth noting. First, I love the art work. Many of the pictures display exquisite detail. Hendrix uses 3-4 shades of colors, which is easy on the eyes. The story of Hitler’s rise to power, Bonhoeffer’s inner conflict, and the actions of many Germans can be read from the artwork alone. Another great asset to the work is the font. It is handwritten, which I loved! It changes from all capitals to regular print. The colors, size, and placement of the font is varied as well. Each page provides a new layout for the reader’s eyes, and yet the consistent use of color schemes and font give a holistic feel to the book. One final aspect worth mentioning is the story itself. I am amazed at how Hendrix gives such an excellent overview of Germany, WWII, and Bonhoeffer. I could never author such a work! After reading Bethge’s 933 pages, I cannot imagine dwindling it down to 167 pages! Yet, Hendrix does so without leaving out any key details.

This work would be excellent for the average individual. It is also helpful for the scholar. Most importantly, it is great for anyone wanting to know history and how pastors can have influence in the community at large.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.

A Study in Affliction: The Sufficiency of God’s Word in Psalm 119 for the Believer’s Affliction (Part 5)

Today something terrible happened to our family: my Maw Maw died.

We knew it was coming. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease almost four years ago. My Maw Maw was one of the most selfless, loving people I have ever met. We traveled down to my parents yesterday, and we enjoyed one brief visit with her before she went to heaven.

It is now 20:49, and as my brother, father, and I watch the Chargers and the Raiders play, I began researching for this post. I have been studying the verses with a form of afflicted. Today’s post focuses on Psalm 119:75.

David writes, “I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” (NASB)


There are times when I think on God’s sovereignty in the major events of the world. A certain president gets elected, a world leader passes away, or a enormous financial change occurs, and it is all attributed to God’s sovereign lead. But there are times when seemingly insignificant things seem completely driven by the hand of the sovereign God.

Today was one of those days. When my wife asked if we should head down to my parents, it seemed like a small push. But considering the events of today, it was all from God’s hand.

David, in considering his difficulties, acknowledged God’s sovereignty. This does not mean that God was guilty of sin, but that God allowed certain events to occur in his life. The afflictions David faced, though instigated by Saul, or Ahithophel, or whoever, all originated from the hand of the Almighty.

How this transforms our views of affliction! When we consider that God in His glorious sovereignty works all things, all things, for our good, we find ourselves realizing, like David, that “in faithfulness [God has] afflicted me.”


The basis for David’s realization is anchored in the righteousness of God. God’s acts are righteous. Because God is righteous, His acts are righteous. Everything God does stems from and is built upon His righteousness. There is nothing that occurs outside of His righteousness.

Study Psalm 119 and you will quickly see how God’s righteous helps David in his daily life. And when we begin to renew our minds (see Romans 12:1-2), our view of the afflictions of life come from the hands of the righteous God.


The death of my Maw Maw is a terrible affliction. Our hearts are breaking, for a wonderful woman has departed this life. But it comes from the hands of a righteous God, and in that we can rejoice.

What afflictions do you find yourself in? Do you realize that God is righteous?

Pray to be like David, and view all things, all afflictions, as coming from the hands of a righteous God.

“I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” (Psalm 119:75, NASB)

Six Reasons to Be Content (Part 1)

Six Reasons to Be Content

In Thomas Manton’s Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer he dissects the words of Christ in the minutest way. Like a surgeon performing microscopic surgery, Manton distills many wonderful, life changing truths.

I have shared some of those thoughts as I read through this volume, and I intend to continue sharing these wonderful gems.

Today I read six reasons to be content. It is found under his use 5. This fifth use is, “Let us be contented with that portion which God hath given us of worldly things, if the Lord be the donor.”[1]  So what are the six reasons? Read on to find out!

Reason First, “Because God stands upon his sovereignty; you must stand to God’s allowance, though he gives to others more and to you less; for God is supreme, and will not be controlled in the disposal of what is his own.”[2]

This one hit me hard. I am an achiever by nature. I like to accomplish tasks. I feel better about myself when I can point to several completed sermons, blog posts, etc. But sometimes I find myself discontented. I see people half my age in advanced ministry positions. They are publishing their fifth book, while I have not published an academic article. So I begin to feel discontented.

I am sure that you find yourself in this predicament as well. Perhaps you are feeling disgruntled because you do not have her body. Or, perhaps you are upset because so-and-so has a better paying job. The list of reasons to feel discontented are practically endless. But when we think this way, we end up forgetting one key aspect of life: God is sovereign.

As Manton notes, “The fullness of the earth and all is his; and, therefore, though others have better trading, and finer apparel, and be more amply provided for than we are, God is sovereign, and will give according to his pleasure, and you must be content.”[3]

Or, consider these soul-stirring words of Pink, “The sovereignty of God may be defined as the exercise of His supremacy. Being infinitely elevated above the highest creature, He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; God does as He pleases only as He pleases, always as He pleases.”[4]

Christian, have we forgotten this vital truth? Do we realize that when we exhibit discontentment, that we are questioning the sovereignty of God? The first reason, and perhaps the main reason to be content is that God is sovereign.

He made you with your body. He provided your station in life. He gives you breath to perform your duties. He moves and changes as He sees fit. While this may be frustrating, it is also invigorating. We can trust that our Sovereign Father is leading, guiding, protecting, and molding us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

The first reason to be content, then, is because He is sovereign.

[1] Thomas Manton, The Works of Thomas Manton Volume I (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1993), 164

[2] Manton, Works Volume I, 164.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Arthur W. Pink, The Attributes of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1975), 32.


For more from Manton, see:

4 Ways to Minister Like the Angels: A Word from T. Manton

3 Ways to Know You Love God’s Will

On the Goodness of God’s Will: Manton’s Marvelous Memoir