Dietrich Bonhoeffer Sampler: The Cost of Discipleship

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(Editors note: Few messages are more timely for the church than Bonhoeffer’s words that are now 60 years old. It is disheartening to repeatedly return to prophetic words from the past to forge an acceptable future but is this not the situation in which we find ourselves?)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: From The Cost of Discipleship 1937 Macmillan Press

When Christ calls a man he bids him come and die.

Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace.

The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ.

We Lutherans have gathered like eagles around the carcass of cheap grace, and there we have drunk of the poison, which has killed the life of following Christ.

But do we also realize that this cheap grace has turned back upon us like a boomerang? The price we are having to pay today in the shape of the collapse of the organized church is only the inevitable consequence of our policy of making grace available to all at too low a cost.

Follow me, run along behind me! That is all. To follow in his steps is something which is void of all content. It gives us no intelligible program for a way of life, no goal or ideal to strive after. It is not a cause which human calculation might deem worthy of our devotion, even the devotion of ourselves.

Only the obedient believe. If we are to believe, we must obey a concrete command.

To endure the cross is not a tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ. When it comes, it is not an accident, but a necessity.

Posted in Staublog, Thoughts in March 26, 2004 by | No Comments »

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