Bonhoeffer: 65 years on

Yesterday I was studying and came across a great quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) on counselling. I ended up pulling my Bonhoeffer books of the shelf, reading an amazing little essay called ‘Confession and Communion‘ and then realised something. I have never actually read any books by Bonhoeffer. Never.

I decided I should read ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ next week.

Strangely, as I browsed Justin Taylors blog this morning I saw that it is 65 years to the day that he was hanged to death.  I remember studying his life and death in school and being amazed at how he was killed just before the end of the war. I always felt that was tragic, yet now I see that even that sad event has been used for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Kingdom.

Bonhoeffer is the one who coined the phrase ‘cheap grace‘. This is a very challenging thought and something that needs deep consideration:

“cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”

I pray that I would not fall into living a life of cheap grace.


3 thoughts on “Bonhoeffer: 65 years on

  1. His letters from prison are fascinating; whilst not always full of what we might tick as strictly orthodox theology, he had a great mind and a great desire to serve Christ. I am currently battling my way through his “Ethics” which is hard going in German!

  2. I was re-reading The Cost of Disciplechip a few weeks ago, and found it challenging and moving. It’s an emphasis which needs to be remembered these days when being a Christian seems to be so easy in many ways. I did some blogs on the whole subject, and am still applying the principles to myself.
    I don’t agree with all that he says, but when you remember the theological context of the time his work is remarkable.

  3. We are reading it together as guys here in Pessac on Thursday lunchtimes. It serves as a good springboard for discussion of the various issues we face today.

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