Tomorrow (Feb. 4) is the birthday of Dietrich Bonhoeffer…
In the Trump era of propaganda (e.g., “alternative facts”) and violence and oppression toward anyone who is not a white heterosexual male, we would do well to return to the writings of Bonhoeffer — not just the wrongheaded spin of some who have written about Bonhoeffer (AHEM, Eric Metaxas), but his actual writings themselves.
Here are 5 stunning passages that shed light on our call to costly discipleship in the present age…
The church is the church
only when it exists for others.
The church is the church only when it exists for others. To make a start, it should give away all its property to those in need. The clergy must live solely on the free-will offerings of their congregations, or possibly engage in some secular calling. The church must share in the secular problems of ordinary human life, not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live in Christ, to exist for others. In particular, our own church will have to take the field against the vices of hubris, power-worship, envy, and humbug, as the roots of all evil. It will have to speak of moderation, purity, trust, loyalty, constancy, patience, discipline, humility, contentment and modesty. It must not under-estimate the importance of human example (which has its origin in the humanity of Jesus and is so important in Paul’s teaching); it is not abstract argument, but example, that gives its word emphasis and power.
- Letters and Papers from Prison, 382-383
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