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Dietrich Bonhoeffer Quotes

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer ( 10 of 47 )

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Maundy Thursday Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Teacher, Martyr, 1945 What do I mean by "interpret in a religious read more

Maundy Thursday Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Teacher, Martyr, 1945 What do I mean by "interpret in a religious sense"? In my view, that means to speak on the one hand metaphysically, and on the other individualistically. Neither of these is relevant to the Bible message or to the man of today. Is it not true to say that individualistic concern for personal salvation has almost completely left us all? Are we not really under the impression that there are more important things than bothering about such a matter? (Perhaps not more important than the matter itself, but more than bothering about it). I know it sounds pretty monstrous to say that. But is it not, at bottom, even Biblical?... It is not with the next world that we are concerned, but with this world as created and preserved and set subject to laws and atoned for and made new. What is above the world is, in the Gospel, intended to exist for this world -- I mean that not in the anthropocentric sense of liberal, pietistic, ethical theology, but in the Bible sense of the creation and of the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Teacher, Martyr, 1945 Not only the young Christian but also the adult Christian will complain read more

Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Teacher, Martyr, 1945 Not only the young Christian but also the adult Christian will complain that the Scripture reading is often too long for him, and that much therein he does not understand. To this it must be said that, for the mature Christian, every Scripture reading will be "too long", even the shortest one, [for] the Scripture is a whole, and every word, every sentence, possesses such multiple relationships with the whole that it is impossible always to keep the whole in view when listening to details. It becomes apparent, therefore, that the whole of Scripture, and hence every passage in it as well, far surpasses our understanding. It is good for us to be daily reminded of this fact.

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But when once Christ had called him, Peter had no alternative he must leave the ship and come to Him. read more

But when once Christ had called him, Peter had no alternative he must leave the ship and come to Him. In the end, the first step of obedience proves to be an act of faith in the word of Christ. But we should completely misunderstand the nature of grace if we were to suppose that there was no need to take the first-step, because faith was already there. Against that, we must boldly assert that the step of obedience must be taken before faith can be possible. Unless he obeys, a man cannot believe.

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Feast of Simon & Jude, Apostles The heart of man is revealed in temptation. Man knows his sin, which read more

Feast of Simon & Jude, Apostles The heart of man is revealed in temptation. Man knows his sin, which without temptation he could never have known; for in temptation man knows on what he has set his heart. The coming to light of sin is the work of the accuser, who thereby thinks to have won the victory. But it is sin which is become manifest which can be known, and therefore forgiven. Thus the manifestation of sin belongs to the salvation plan of God with man, and Satan must serve this plan.

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Feast of Mary Magdalen, Apostle to the Apostles Life together under the Word will remain sound and healthy read more

Feast of Mary Magdalen, Apostle to the Apostles Life together under the Word will remain sound and healthy only where it does not form itself into a movement, an order, a society... but rather where it understands itself as being a part of the one, holy, catholic, Christian Church, where it shares actively and passively in the sufferings and struggles of the whole Church. Every principle of selection, every separation connected with it that is not necessitated quite objectively by common work, local conditions, or family connections is of the greatest danger to a Christian community. When the way of intellectual or spiritual selection is taken, the human element always insinuates itself and robs the fellowship of its spiritual power and its effectiveness for the Church, and drives it into sectarianism.

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Seven principles for eradicating selfish ambition in the fellowship: 6. the ministry of proclaiming Where Christians live together read more

Seven principles for eradicating selfish ambition in the fellowship: 6. the ministry of proclaiming Where Christians live together the time must ultimately come when in some crisis one person will have to declare God's Word and will to another. It is inconceivable that the things that are of utmost importance to each individual should not be spoken by one to another. It is unchristian consciously to deprive another of the one decisive service we can render to him... The more we learn to allow others to speak the Word to us, to accept humbly and gratefully even severe reproaches and admonitions, the more free and objective will we be in speaking ourselves. The humble person will stick to truth and love. He will stick to the Word of God and let it lead him to his brother... Reproof is unavoidable. God's Word demands it when a brother falls into open sin. Where defection from God's Word in doctrine or life imperils the fellowship... the word of admonition and rebuke must be ventured. Nothing can be more cruel than the tenderness that consigns another to his sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe rebuke that calls a brother back from the path of sin. It is a ministry of mercy, an ultimate offer of genuine fellowship, when we allow nothing but God's Word to stand between us, judging and succoring.

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The deceit, the lie of the devil consists of this, that he wishes to make man believe that he can read more

The deceit, the lie of the devil consists of this, that he wishes to make man believe that he can live without God's Word. Thus he dangles before man's fantasy a kingdom of faith, of power, and of peace, into which only he can enter who consents to the temptations; and he conceals from men that he, as the devil, is the most unfortunate and unhappy of beings, since he is finally and eternally rejected by God.

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When the Bible speaks of "following Jesus", it is proclaiming a discipleship which will liberate mankind from all man-made dogma, read more

When the Bible speaks of "following Jesus", it is proclaiming a discipleship which will liberate mankind from all man-made dogma, from every burden and oppression, from every anxiety and torture which afflicts the conscience. If they follow Jesus, men escape from the hard yoke of their own laws, and submit to the kindly yoke of Jesus Christ. But does this mean that we can ignore the seriousness of His command? Far from it! We can only achieve perfect liberty and enjoy fellowship with Jesus when His command, His call to absolute discipleship, is appreciated in its entirety. Only the man who follows the command of Jesus without reserve, and submits unresistingly to His yoke, finds his burden easy, and under its gentle pressure receives the power to persevere in the right way. The command of Jesus is hard -- unutterably hard -- for those who try to resist it.

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Feast of Michael & All Angels When a man really gives up trying to make something out of himself read more

Feast of Michael & All Angels When a man really gives up trying to make something out of himself -- a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman, a righteous or unrighteous man, ... when in the fullness of tasks, questions, success or ill-hap, experiences and perplexities, a man throws himself into the arms of God... then he wakes with Christ in Gethsemane. That is faith, and it is thus that he becomes a man and Christian.

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Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678 Man is challenged to participate in the sufferings of God at the read more

Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678 Man is challenged to participate in the sufferings of God at the hands of a godless world. He must therefore plunge himself into the life of a godless world, without attempting to gloss over its ungodliness with a veneer of religion or trying to transfigure it. He must live a 'worldly' life and so participate in the suffering of God. He may live a worldly life as one emancipated from all false religions and obligations. To be a Christian does not mean to be religious in a particular way, to cultivate some particular form of asceticism (as a sinner, a penitent, or a saint), but to be a man. It is not some religious act which makes a Christian what he is, but participation in the suffering of God in the life of the world.

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