"Peace on earth is not a problem, but a commandment given at Christ’s coming…. 'Must God not have meant that we should talk about peace,… but that it is not to be literally translated into action? Must God not have really said that we should work for peace, of course, but also make ready tanks and poison gas for security?'… No, God did not say all that. What God has said is that there shall be peace among people—that we shall obey God without further question, that is what God means."
Adam Kirsch quotes this passage from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's 1934 speech in Fano, Denmark, entitled "The Church and the People of the World," in his review of Charles Marsh's excellent new biography of Bonhoeffer ("The Changing Faith of a Hero," New York Review of Books, 3 Dec. 2015). Marsh's work won Christianity Today's 2015 Book Award in History/Biography.
Kirsch writes: "Marsh, a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia and the director of the Project on Lived Theology, is at his best when he traces the evolution of Bonhoeffer’s religious vocation and theological vocabulary. He convinces us that only by understanding Bonhoeffer’s faith will we be able to understand his deeds."