Dietrich Bonhoeffer Quotes

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1. “We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”

Tags : Compassion Empathy Kindness Suffering Understanding Others
Source : Letters and Papers from Prison

2. “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

Tags : Calling Missions Persecution
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

3. “In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

Tags : Give Gratitude Receive

4. “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

Tags : Activism Justice Public Defense

5. “The fearful danger of the present time is that above the cry for authority, we forget that man stands alone before the ultimate authority, and that anyone who lays violent hands on man here, is infringing eternal laws, and taking upon himself superhuman authority, which will eventually crush him.”

Tags : Bonhoeffer Pastor Martyr Prophet Spy

6. “Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

Tags : Judge
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

7. “When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.”

Tags : Faith Human Nature Life Sin
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

8. “By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

Tags : Grace Judging
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

9. “Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. 'The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared' (Luther).”

Tags : Christ Christianity Cross Enemies Inspirational Love Luther
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

10. “The will of God, to which the law gives expression, is that men should defeat their enemies by loving them.”

Tags : Enemies God Love Loving Men Will Will Of God
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

11. “If we look more closely, we see that any violent display of power, whether political or religious, produces an outburst of folly in a large part of mankind; indeed, this seems actually to be a psychological and sociological law: the power of some needs the folly of others. It is not that certain human capacities, intellectual capacities for instance, become stunted of destroyed, but rather that the upsurge of power makes such an overwhelming impression that men are deprived of their independent judgment, and...give up trying to assess the new state of affairs for themselves.”

Tags : Politics Observation Theology War
Source : Letters and Papers from Prison

12. “If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.”

Tags : Christianity Pessimism

13. “The messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time. They will be blamed for all the division which rend cities and homes. Jesus and his disciples will be condemned on all sides for undermining family life, and for leading the nation astray; they will be called crazy fanatics and disturbers of the peace. The disciples will be sorely tempted to desert their Lord. But the end is also near, and they must hold on and persevere until it comes. Only he will be blessed who remains loyal to Jesus and his word until the end.”

Tags : Blame Blessing Christians City Condemn Crazy Disciples Disturb Division Family Fanatic Hate Home Jesus Loyalty Nation Peace Perseverence Temptation
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

14. “Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God- the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God. Where are these responsible people?”

Tags : Allegiance Christianity God Responsibility Responsible People Sacrifice Standards

15. “Whenever Christ calls us, his call leads us to death.”

Tags : Christ Christianity Death Discipleship Martyrdom
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

16. “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.”

Tags : Grace Justification

17. “The lack of mystery in our modern life is our downfall and our poverty. A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for the mystery. We retain the child in us to the extent that we honor the mystery. Therefore, children have open, wide-awake eyes, because they know that they are surrounded by the mystery. They are not yet finished with this world; they still don’t know how to struggle along and avoid the mystery, as we do. We destroy the mystery because we sense that here we reach the boundary of our being, because we want to be lord over everything and have it at our disposal, and that’s just what we cannot do with the mystery…. Living without mystery means knowing nothing of the mystery of our own life, nothing of the mystery of another person, nothing of the mystery of the world; it means passing over our own hidden qualities and those of others and the world. It means remaining on the surface, taking the world seriously only to the extent that it can be calculated and exploited, and not going beyond the world of calculation and exploitation. Living without mystery means not seeing the crucial processes of life at all and even denying them.”

Tags : Advent Children Dietrich Bonhoeffer Explanations Mystery Shallowness
Source : God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

18. “Due to some dim but irresistible notion of the way things are, it is simply not possible, out of order, not apprpriate to the situation at hand, if, within the circle of those who are experienced and advanced in years, the young person declaims ethical generalities. Young people will again and again find themselves in a situation that is so irritating, astounding, and incomprehensible to them that their word falls on deaf ears, while the word of an older person is heard and has weight even though its content is no different at all. It will be a sign of maturity or immaturity whether this experience leads them to understand that what is at stake here is not the stubborn self-satisfaction of old age, or the anxious effort to keep youth in their place, but the pereservation or violation of an essential ethical law. Ethical discourse needs authorization, which youth are simply not able to bestow upon themselves, even if they speak out of the purest pathos of their ethical conviction. Ethical discourse does not merely depend on the correct content of what is said, but also on the speaker being authorized to say it. Its validity depends not only on what is said, but also on who says it.”

Tags : Age Appropriateness Ethics Validity Wisdom Youth
Source : Ethics

19. “But still Adam holds his ground. The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the fruit of the tree, and I ate. He confesses his sin, but as he confesses, he takes to flight again. 'You have given me the woman, not I. I am not guilty, you are guilty.' The double light of creation and sin is exploited. 'The woman is surely your creature, it is your own work that has caused me to fall. Why have you brought forth an imperfect creation, and is it my fault?' So instead of surrendering Adam falls back on one art learned from the serpent, that of correcting the idea of God, of appealing from God the Creator to a better, a different God. That is, he flees again. The woman takes to flight with him and blames the serpent; that is, she really blames the Creator of the serpent. Adam has not surrendered, he has not confessed. He has appealed to his conscience, to his knowledge of good and evil, and out of this knowledge he has accused his Creator. He has not recognized the grace of the Creator which proves itself true by the fact that he calls Adam, by the fact that he does not let him flee. Adam sees this grace only as hate, as wrath, and this wrath kindles his own hate, his rebellion, his will to escape from God. Adam remains in the Fall. The Fall accelerates and becomes infinite.”

Tags : Adam Eden Eve The Fall
Source : Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies

20. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.' These men without possessions or power, these strangers on Earth, these sinners, these followers of Jesus, have in their life with him renounced their own dignity, for they are merciful. As if their own needs and their own distress were not enough, they take upon themselves the distress and humiliation of others. They have an irresistible love for the down-trodden, the sick, the wretched, the wronged, the outcast and all who are tortured with anxiety. They go out and seek all who are enmeshed in the toils of sin and guilt. No distress is too great, no sin too appalling for their pity. If any man falls into disgrace, the merciful will sacrifice their own honour to shield him, and take his shame upon themselves.”

Tags : Dignity God Grace Guilt Jesus Merciful Mercy Outcast Sin
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

21. “Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.”

Tags : Confrontation
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

22. “Those who wish even to focus on the problem of a Christian ethic are faced with an outrageous demand-from the outset they must give up, as inappropriate to this topic, the very two questions that led them to deal with the ethical problem: 'How can I be good?' and 'How can I do something good?' Instead they must ask the wholly other, completely different question: 'What is the will of God?”

Tags : Action Duty Ethics Responsibility
Source : Ethics

23. “Principles are only tools in the hands of God; they will soon be thrown away when they are no longer useful.”

Tags : Christian Ethics Religion
Source : Ethics

24. “Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited until one of them turned to him.”

Tags : Christianity Evangelism
Source : Letters and Papers from Prison

25. “Only the man who follows the command of Jesus single-mindedly, and unresistingly lets his yoke rest upon him, 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. But for those who willingly submit, the yoke is easy, and the burden is light.”

Tags : Burden Sin Yoke
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

26. “The real difference in the believer who follows Christ and has mortified his will and died after the old man in Christ, is that he is more clearly aware than other men of the rebelliousness and perennial pride of the flesh, he is conscious of his sloth and self-indulgence and knows that his arrogance must be eradicated. Hence there is a need for daily self-discipline.”

Tags : Pride Regeneration Sanctification Self Discipline Self Indulgence Sin Sloth The Flesh
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

27. “We have Gideon because we don't want always to be speaking of our faith in abstract, otherworldly, irrreal, or general terms, to which people may be glad to listen but don't really take note of; because it is good once in a while actually to see faith in action, not just hear what it should be like, but see how it just happens in the midst of someone's life, in the story of a human being. Only here does faith become, for everyone, not just a children's game, but rather something highly dangerous, even terrifying. Here a person is being treated without considerations or conditions or allowances; he has to bow to what is being asked, or he will be broken. This is why the image of a person of faith is so often that of someone who is not beautiful in human terms, not a harmonious picture, but rather that of someone who has been torn to shreds. The picture of someone who has learned to have faith has the peculiar quality of always pointing away from the person's own self, toward the One in whose power, in whose captivity and bondage he or she is. So we have Gideon, because his story is a story of God glorified, of the human being humbled.”

Tags : Christianity Germany Gideon Hitler Judges Theologian World War Ii
Source : The Collected Sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

28. “Music... will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.”

Tags : Joy Music Power Of Music

29. “No one should be surprised at the difficulty of faith, if there is some part of his life where he is consciously resisting or disobeying the commandment of Jesus. Is there some part of your life which you are refusing to surrender at his behest, some sinful passion, maybe, or some animosity, some hope, perhaps your ambition or your reason? ... How can you hope to enter into communion with him when at some point in your life you are running away from him?”

Tags : Belief Christianity Communion Doubt Faith Forgiveness Obedience Surrender
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

30. “It is a wicked sophistry to justify the worldliness of the Church by the cross of Christ.”

Tags : Christianity Discipleship Worldliness
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

31. “[Jesus] stands between us and God, and for that very reason he stands between us and all other men and things. He is the Mediator, not only between God and man, but between man and man, between man and reality. Since the whole world was created through him and unto him (John 1:3; 1st Cor. 8:6; Heb. 1:2), he is the sole Mediator in the world...The call of Jesus teaches us that our relation to the world has been built on an illusion. All the time we thought we had enjoyed a direct relation with men and things. This is what had hindered us from faith and obedience. Now we learn that in the most intimate relationships of life, in our kinship with father and mother, bothers and sisters, in married love, and in our duty to the community, direct relationships are impossible. Since the coming of Christ, his followers have no more immediate realities of their own, not in their family relationships nor in the ties with their nation nor in the relationships formed in the process of living. Between father and son, husband and wife, the individual and the nation, stands Christ the Mediator, whether they are able to recognize him or not. We cannot establish direct contact outside ourselves except through him, through his word, and through our following of him. To think otherwise is to deceive ourselves.But since we are bound to abhor any deception which hides the truth from our sight, we must of necessity repudiate any direct relationship with the things of this world--and that for the sake of Christ. Wherever a group, be it large or small, prevents us from standing alone before Christ, wherever such a group raises a claim of immediacy it must be hated for the sake of Christ. For every immediacy, whether we realize it or not, means hatred of Christ, and this is especially true where such relationships claim the sanctions of Christian principles.,,There is no way from one person to another. However loving and sympathetic we try to be, however sound our psychology, however frank and open our behavior, we cannot penetrate the incognito of the other man, for there are no direct relationships, not even between soul and soul. Christ stands between us, and we can only get into touch with our neighbors through him. That is why intercession is the most promising way to reach our neighbors, and corporate prayer, offered in the name of Christ, the purest form of fellowship.”

Tags : Christ Family Hate Spouse
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

32. “The temptation of Christ was harder, unspeakably harder, than the temptation of Adam; for Adam carried nothing in himself which could have given the tempter a claim and power over him. But Christ bore in himself the whole burden of the flesh, under the curse, under condemnation; and yet his temptation was henceforth to bring help and salvation to all flesh.”

Tags : Adam Christ Temptation The Flesh
Source : Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies

33. “The worse the evil, the readier must the Christian be to suffer it; he must let the evil person fall into Jesus' hands.”

Tags : Christianity Evil Suffer
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

34. “Jesus says to anyone who uses their faith or lack of faith to excuse their acts of disobedience to his call: First obey, do the external works, let go of what binds you, give up what is separating you from God's will! Do not say, I do not have the faith for that. You will not have it so long as you remain disobedient, so long as you will not take that first step. Do not say, I have faith, so I do not have to take the first step. You do not have faith, because and so long as you will not take that first step. Instead, you have hardened yourself in disbelief under the appearance of humble faith.”

Tags : Christianity Disciple Discipleship Faith Jesus

35. “We shall be judged according to our works – this is why we are exhorted to do good works. The Bible assuredly knows nothing of those qualms about good works, by which we only try to excuse ourselves and justify our evil works. The Bible never draws the antithesis between faith and good works so sharply as to maintain that good works undermine faith. No, it is evil works rather than good works which hinder and destroy faith. Grace and active obedience are complementary. There is no faith without good works, and no good works apart from faith.”

Tags : Christianity Faith Good Works Justification
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

36. “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. 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, living and incarnate.”

Tags :

37. “Bless them that persecute you.' If our enemy cannot put up with us any longer and takes to cursing us, our immediate reaction must be to lift up our hands and bless him. Our enemies are the blessed of the Lord. Their curse can do us no harm. May their poverty be enriched with all the riches of God, with the blessing of Him whom they seek to oppose in vain. We are ready to endure their curses so long as they redound to their blessing.”

Tags : Blessing Curse Forgive Forgiveness God Love Love Your Enemy Persecute Persecution Turn The Other Cheek
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

38. “My past life is abundantly full of God’s mercy, and, above all sin, stands the forgiving love of the Crucified.”

Tags : Forgiveness Grace Mercy

39. “Many people seek fellowship because they are afraid to be alone...let him who cannot be alone beware of community. He will do harm to himself and to the community. Alone you stood before God when he called you; alone you had to answer that call; alone you had to struggle and pray; and alone you will die and give an account to God. You cannot escape yourself, for God has singled you out.”

Tags : Alone Being Alone Christianity Community Faith God Jesus Loneliness Loneliness Quotes Lonely

40. “Barth was the first theologian to begin the criticism of religion...but he set in its place the positivist doctrine of revelation which says in effect, 'Take it or leave it': Virgin Birth, Trinity or anything else, everything which is an equally significant and necessary part of the whole, which latter has to be swallowed as a whole or not at all. That is not in accordance with the Bible. There are degrees of perception and degrees of significance, i.e. a secret discipline must be re-established whereby the mysteries of the Christian faith are preserved from profanation.”

Tags : Barth Christianity Mystery
Source : Letters and Papers from Prison

41. “The 'polymath' had already died out by the close of the eighteenth century, and in the following century intensive education replaced extensive, so that by the end of it the specialist had evolved. The consequence is that today everyone is a mere technician, even the artist...”

Tags : Instrumentalism Pedagogy
Source : Letters and Papers from Prison

42. “[Christ] is the Mediator, not only between God and man, but between man and man, between man and reality.”

Tags : Christ Mediator
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

43. “[God says] Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend - it must transcend all comprehension. Plunge into the deep waters beyond your own comprehension, and I will help you to comprehend even as I do. Bewilderment is the true comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge. My comprehension transcends yours.”

Tags : Bewilderment Comprehension Disciple Discipleship Faith God Hope Knowledge
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

44. “We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.”

Tags : Faith Thankfulness
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

45. “Events cast their shadows ahead; before a harsh winter, wild animals grow thicker fur, and the beaver puts on a thicker layer of fat. What kind of times and what sort of tasks can lie ahead for a generation that must think so harshly, even at such a young age, in order to survive?”

Tags : Humanity Social Commentary
Source : Fiction from Tegel Prison

46. “Judgement is the forbidden objectivization of the other person which destroys single-minded love. I am not forbidden to have my own thoughts about the other person, to realize his shortcomings, but only to the extent that it offers to me an occasion for forgiveness and unconditional love, as Jesus proves to me.”

Tags : Christianity Discipleship Sermon On The Mount

47. “In other times it may have been the business of Christianity to champion the equality of all men; its business today will be to defend passionately human dignity and reserve.”

Tags : Dignity Equality Reserve
Source : Letters and Papers from Prison

48. “The Christian must treat his enemy as a brother, and requite his hostility with love. His behavior must be determined not by the way others treat him, but by the treatment he himself receives from Jesus; it has only one source, and that is the will of Jesus.”

Tags : Christian Enemy Hostility Jesus Love
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

49. “No one can say yes to God's ways who has said no to his promises and commandments. Acceptance of the will of God comes in the daily submission under his Word.”

Tags : Faithfulness To Godl Obedience To God
Source : My Soul Finds Rest: Reflections on the Psalms by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

50. “Not in the flight of ideas, but only in action is freedom. Make up your mind and come out into the tempest of the living.”

Tags : Action Over Thought Freedom Inspirational Living Life

51. “The proper relation of the Church to the world cannot be deduced from natural law or rational law or from universal human rights, but only from the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Tags : Religion Christianity
Source : Ethics

52. “It is only the cynic who claims “to speak the truth” at all times and in all places to all men in the same way, but who, in fact, displays nothing but a lifeless image of the truth. . . . He dons the halo of the fanatical devotee of truth who can make no allowance for human weaknesses; but, in fact, he is destroying the living truth between men. He wounds shame, desecrates mystery, breaks confidence, betrays the community in which he lives, and laughs arrogantly at the devastation he has wrought and at the human weakness which “cannot bear the truth.”

Tags : Cynic Truth Truth Telling

53. “A father acts on behalf of his children by working, providing, intervening, struggling, and suffering for them. In so doing, he really stands in their place. He is not an isolated individual, but incorporates the selves of several people in his own self. Every attempt to live as if he were alone is a denial of the fact that he is actually responsible. He cannot escape the responsibility, which is his because he is a father. This reality refutes the fictitious notion that the isolated individual is the agent of all ethical behavior. It is not the isolated individual but the responsible person who is the proper agent to be considered in ethical reflection.”

Tags : Duty Ethics Fathers Responsibility
Source : Ethics

54. “The way to misuse our possessions is to use them as an insurance against the morrow. Anxiety is always directed to the morrow, whereas goods are in the strictest sense meant to be used only for to-day.”

Tags : Anxiety Dependence On God Faith Insurance Material Goods Possessions Today Tomorrow Trust Worry
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

55. “What is worse than doing evil, is being evil” (Ethics, p.67). To lie is wrong, but what is worse than the lie is the liar, for the liar contaminates everything he says, because everything he says is meant to further a cause that is false. The liar as liar has endorsed a world of falsehood and deception, and to focus only on the truth or falsity of his particular statements is to miss the danger of being caught up in his twisted world. This is why, as Bonhoeffer says, that “(i)t is worse for a liar to tell the truth than for a lover of truth to lie” (Ethics, p.67).”

Tags : Evil Lie Truth Telling
Source : Ethics

56. “Gideon conquers, the church conquers, we conquer, because faith conquers. But the victory belongs not to Gideon, the church, or ourselves, but to God. And God's victory means our defeat, our humiliation; it means God's derision and wrath at all human pretensions of might, at humans puffing themselves up and thinking they are somebodies themselves. It means the world and its shouting is silenced, that all our ideas and plans are frustrated; it means the cross. The cross over the world -- that means that human beings, even the most noble, go down to dust whether it suits them or not, and with them all the gods and idols and lords of this world. The cross of Jesus Christ --that means God's bitter mockery of all human grandeur and God's bitter suffering in all human misery, God's lordship over all the world.”

Tags : Christianity Holocaust Theology World War Ii

57. “It is only when one knows the unutterability of the name of God that one can utter the name of Jesus Christ; it is only when one loves life and the earth so much that without them everything seems to be over that one may believe in the resurrection and a new world; it is only when one submits to God's law that one may speak of grace; and it is only when God's wrath and vengeance are hanging as grim realities over the heads of one's enemies that something of what it means to love and forgive them can touch our hearts.”

Tags : Forgiveness God God S Wrath Jesus Life Love Resurrection Vengeance

58. “Nothing can be known either of God or man until God has become man in Jesus Christ.”

Tags : Christology Epistemology
Source : Christ the Center

59. “The mysterious, invisible authority of the divine child over human hearts is more solidly grounded then the visible and resplendent power of earthly rulers. Ultimately all authority on earth must serve only the authority of Jesus Christ over humankind.”

Tags : Jesus Christ
Source : God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

60. “Christian love draws no distinction between one enemy and another, except that the more bitter our enemy's hatred, the greater his need of love. Be his enmity political or religious, he has nothing to expect from a follower of Jesus but unqualified love. In such love there is not inner discord between the private person and official capacity. In both we are disciples of Christ, or we are not Christians at all.”

Tags : Christian Enemy Faith Jesus Jesus Christ Love Politics Religion
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

61. “Christ became our Brother in order to help us. Through him our brother has become Christ for us in the power and authority of the commission Christ has given him. Our brother stands before us the sign of the truth and the grace of God. He has been given to us to help us. He hears the confession of our sins in Christ's stead and he forgives our sins in Christ's name. He keeps the secret of our confession as God keeps it. When I go to my brother to confess, I am going to God.”

Tags : Confession God Jesus Christ Spiritual Friendship
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

62. “If there is no element of asceticism in our lives, if we give free rein to the desires of the flesh (taking care of course to keep within the limits of what seems permissible to the world), we shall find it hard to train for the service of Christ. When the flesh is satisfied it is hard to pray with cheerfulness or to devote oneself to a life of service which calls for much self-renunciation.”

Tags : Asceticism Christ Christianity Discipleship Discipline Fasting Flesh Self Renunciation Thanksgiving Training
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

63. “A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.”

Tags : Christ Christian Community Intercession Prayer The Church
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

64. “In confession occurs the breakthrough of the Cross. The root of all sin is pride, superbia. I want to be my own law, I have a right to my self, my hatred and my desires, my life and my death. The mind and flesh of man are set on fire by pride; for it is precisely in his wickedness that man wants to be as God. Confession in the presence of a brother is the profoundest kind of humiliation. It hurts, it cuts a man down, it is a dreadful blow to pride...In the deep mental and physical pain of humiliation before a brother - which means, before God - we experience the Cross of Jesus as our rescue and salvation. The old man dies, but it is God who has conquered him. Now we share in the resurrection of Christ and eternal life.”

Tags : Christ Confession Pride Sin The Cross
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

65. “What determines our brotherhood is what that man is by reason of Christ. Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us. This is true not merely at the beginning, as though in the course of time something else were to be added to our community; it remains so for all the future and to all eternity. I have community with others and I shall continue to have it only through Jesus Christ. The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his work become the one and only thing that is vital between us. We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly, for eternity.”

Tags : Christ Community The Church
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

66. “As Christ bore and received us as sinners so we in his fellowship may bear and receive sinners into the fellowship of Christ through the forgiving of sins.”

Tags : Christ Fellowship Forgiveness
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

67. “If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. ... How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?”

Tags : Comparison Judgment Sin Sinners Like Me
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

68. “Perhaps you still think you ought to think out beforehand and know what you ought to do. To that there is only one answer. You can only know and think about it by actually doing it. You can only learn what obedience is by obeying. It is no use asking questions; for it is only through obedience that you come to learn the truth.”

Tags : Doing Obeying Thinking
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

69. “Nothing that we despise in other men is inherently absent from ourselves. We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or don't do, and more in light of what they suffer.”

Tags : Compassion Hypocrisy

70. “It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!”

Tags : Confession Fellowship Honesty Humility Hypocrisy Sin Sinners Like Me Truth
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

71. “Who am I? They often tell me I would step from my cell's confinement calmly, cheerfully, firmly, like a squire from his country-house.Who am I? They often tell me I would talk to my warden freely and friendly and clearly, as though it were mine to command.Who am I? They also tell me I would bear the days of misfortune equably, smilingly, proudly, like one accustomed to win.Am I then really all that which other men tell of, or am I only what I know of myself, restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage, struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat, yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds, thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness, trembling with anger at despotisms and petty humiliation, tossing in expectation of great events, powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance, weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making, faint and ready to say farewell to it all.Who am I? This or the other? Am I one person today, and tomorrow another? Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others, and before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling? Or is something within me still like a beaten army, fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!”

Tags : Depression God Life Loneliness Longing Meaning Sadness Strength Weakness Woebegone
Source : Prison Poems

72. “If we would answer the question of the existence of the Evil then we would not be sinners, we could make something else responsible.”

Tags : Bible Biblical Bonhoeffer Christian Creation Creation And Fall Devil Dietrich Dietrich Bonhoeffer Evil Existence Fall God Responsible Sin Sinner Sinners Temptation

73. “Reproof is unavoidable. God’s Word demands it when a brother falls into open sin. The practice of discipline in the congregation begins in the smallest circles. Where defection from God’s Word in doctrine or life imperils the family fellowship and with it the whole congregation, 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. Then it is not we who are judging; God alone judges, and God’s judgment is helpful and healing. Ultimately, we have no charge but to serve our brother, never to set ourselves above him, and we serve him even when we must speak the judging and dividing Word of God to him, even when, in obedience to God, we must break off fellowship with him. We must know that it is not our human love which makes us loyal to the other person, but God’s love which breaks its way through to him only through judgment. Just because God’s Word judges, it serves the person. He who accepts the ministry of God’s judgment is helped.”

Tags : Church Church Discipline Fellowship God Judgment Rebuke Sin
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

74. “We should never argue with the devil about our sins, but we should speak about our sins only with Jesus.”

Tags : Jesus Sin The Devil
Source : Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies

75. “The question of why evil exists is not a theological question, for it assumes that it is possible to go behind the existence forced upon us as sinners. If we could answer it then we would not be sinners. We could make something else responsible...The theological question does not arise about the origin of evil but about the real overcoming of evil on the Cross; it ask for the forgiveness of guilt, for the reconciliation of the fallen world ”

Tags : Christianity Creation Temptation
Source : Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies

76. “Being free means "being free for the other," because the other has bound me to him. Only in relationship with the other am I free”

Tags : Christianity Creation Temptation
Source : Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies

77. “Man no longer lives in the beginning--he has lost the beginning. Now he finds he is in the middle, knowing neither the end nor the beginning, and yet knowing that he is in the middle, coming from the beginning and going towards the end. He sees that his life is determined by these two facets, of which he knows only that he does not know them”

Tags : Christianity Creation Temptation
Source : Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies

78. “It is God's earth out of which man is taken. From it he has his body. His body belongs to his essential being. Man's body is not his prison, his shell his exterior, but man himself. Man does not "have" a body; he does not "have" a soul; rather he "is" body and soul. Man in the beginning is really his body. He is one. He is his body, as Christ is completely his body, as the Church is the body of Christ”

Tags : Christianity Creation Temptation
Source : Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies

79. “Jesus does not impose intolerable restrictions on his disciples, he does not forbid them to look at anything, but bids them look on him. If they do that he knows that their gaze will always be pure, even when they look upon a woman.”

Tags : Jesus Lust Sin Temptation
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

80. “The Church is the Church only when it exists for others...not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.”

Tags : Church Service
Source : Letters and Papers from Prison

81. “Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespected hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them.”

Tags : Discipleship Patience Waiting
Source : God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

82. “Not everyone can wait: neither the sated nor the satisfied nor those without respect can wait. The only ones who can wait are people who carry restlessness around with them.”

Tags : Faith Waiting Yearning
Source : God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

83. “The renewal of the Church will come from a new type of monasticism which only has in common with the old an uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time people banded together to do this.”

Tags : Church Community Dietrich Bonhoeffer Monasticism Sermon On The Mount

84. “They wander on earth and live in heaven, and although they are weak, they protect the world; they taste of peace in the midst of turmoil; they are poor, and yet they have all they want. They stand in suffering and remain in joy, they appear dead to all outward sense and lead a life of faith within.”

Tags : Christians Disciples The Church
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

85. “And if we ask how are we to know where our hearts are, the answer is just as simple - everything which hinders us from loving God above all things and acts as a barrier between ourselves and our obedience to Jesus is our treasure, and the place where our heart is.”

Tags : Devotion God Hearts Idolatry Jesus Treasures In Heaven
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

86. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.' Not only do the followers of Jesus renounce their rights, they renounce their own righteousness too. They get no praise for their achievements or sacrifices. They cannot have righteousness except by hungering and thirsting for it (this applies equally to their own righteousness and to the righteousness of God on Earth), always they look forward to the future righteousness of God, but they cannot establish it for themselves. Those who follow Jesus grow hungry and thirsty on the way.”

Tags : Blessed Forgiveness God Jesus Righteousness
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

87. “God did not make this person as I would have made him. He did not give him to me as a brother for me to dominate and control, but in order that I might find above him the Creator. Now the other person, in the freedom with which he was created, becomes the occasion of joy, whereas before he was only a nuisance and an affliction. God does not will that I should fashion the other person according to the image that seems good to me, that is, in my own image; rather in his very freedom from me God made this person in His image. I can never know beforehand how God's image should appear in others. That image always manifests a completely new and unique form that comes solely from God's free and sovereign creation. To me the sight may seem strange, even ungodly. But God creates every man in the likeness of His Son, the Crucified. After all, even that image certainly looked strange and ungodly to me before I grasped it.”

Tags : Brotherhood Christianity Jesus Spiritual Friendships The Cross
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

88. “Anything I cannot thank God for for the sake of Christ, I may not thank God for at all; to do so would be sin. ... We cannot rightly acknowledge the gifts of God unless we acknowledge the Mediator for whose sake alone they are given to us.”

Tags : Blessing Thankfulness Thanksgiving
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

89. “There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person. This is no fulfillment of our obligation, and it is certain that here too our attitude toward our brother only reflects our relationship to God. It is little wonder that we are no longer capable of the greatest service of listening that God has committed to us, that of hearing our brother's confession, if we refuse to give ear to our brother on lesser subjects. Secular education today is aware that often a person can be helped merely by having someone who will listen to him seriously, and upon this insight it has constructed its own soul therapy, which has attracted great numbers of people, including Christians. But Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.”

Tags : Christian Community Discipleship Jesus Listening Spiritual Friendship The Church
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

90. “The Incarnation is the ultimate reason why the service of God cannot be divorced from the service of man.”

Tags : Incarnation Service Of Man
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

91. “True prayer is done in secret, but this does not rule out the fellowship of prayer altogether, however clearly we may be aware of its dangers. In the last resort it is immaterial whether we pray in the open street or in the secrecy of our chambers, whether briefly or lenghtily, in the Litany of the Church, or with the sigh of one who knows not what he should pray for. True prayer does not depend either on the individual or the whole body of the faithful, but solely upon the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows our needs.”

Tags : Church Faith Faithful Faithfulness God Heavenly Father Jesus Litany Prayer
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

92. “If my sinfulness appears to me in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all.”

Tags : Humility Sin
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

93. “One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books. One must be prepared really to enquire of it. Only thus will it reveal itself. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it. That is because in the Bible God speaks to us. And one cannot simply think about God in one’s own strength, one has to inquire of him. Only if we seek him, will he answer us.”

Tags : Bible Humility

94. “While it is good that we seek to know the Holy One, it is probably not so good to presume that we ever complete the task.”

Tags : Humility Knowing God
Source : God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

95. “Suffering, then, is the badge of true discipleship. The disciple is not above his master. Following Christ means passio passiva, suffering because we have to suffer.”

Tags : Following Christ Suffering
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

96. “Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?...Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”

Tags : Cheap Grace Costly Grace Grace
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

97. “Cheap grace is the mortal enemy of the church”

Tags : Discipleship Grace
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

98. “Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest and sacrificial. God hates this wishful dreaming because it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. Those who dream of this idolized community demand that it be fulfilled by God, by others and by themselves. They enter the community of Christians with their demands set up by their own law, and judge one another and God accordingly. It is not we who build. Christ builds the church. Whoever is mindful to build the church is surely well on the way to destroying it, for he will build a temple to idols without wishing or knowing it. We must confess he builds. We must proclaim, he builds. We must pray to him, and he will build. We do not know his plan. We cannot see whether he is building or pulling down. It may be that the times which by human standards are the times of collapse are for him the great times of construction. It may be that the times which from a human point are great times for the church are times when it's pulled down. It is a great comfort which Jesus gives to his church. You confess, preach, bear witness to me, and I alone will build where it pleases me. Do not meddle in what is not your providence. Do what is given to you, and do it well, and you will have done enough.... Live together in the forgiveness of your sins. Forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts.”

Tags : Church Community Strategy Vision

99. “Fruit is always the miraculous, the created; it is never the result of willing, but always a growth. The fruit of the Spirit is a gift of God, and only He can produce it. They who bear it know as little about it as the tree knows of its fruit. They know only the power of Him on whom their life depends”

Tags : Fruits Of The Spirit God Holy Spirit Jesus Miraculous
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

100. “Nothing is so at odds with prayer as vanity.”

Tags : Prayer Vanity

101. “Is the invisible presence of the Christian fellowship a reality and a help to the individual? Is the Word of God close to him as a comfort and a strength? Or does he misuse his aloneness contrary to the fellowship, the Word, and the prayer? The individual must realize that his hours of aloneness react upon the community. In his solitude he can sunder and besmirch the fellowship, or he can strengthen and hallow it. Every act of self-control of the Christian is also a service to the fellowship. One who returns to the Christian family fellowship after fighting the battle of the day brings with him the blessing of his aloneness, but he himself receives anew the blessing of the fellowship. Blessed is he who is alone in the strength of the fellowship and blessed is he who keeps the fellowship in the strength of aloneness. But the strength of aloneness and the strength of the fellowship is solely the strength of the Word of God, which is addressed to the individual in the fellowship.”

Tags : Aloneness Christian Community Fellowship Strength Word Of God

102. “The call goes forth, and is at once followed by the response of obedience. The response of the disciples is an act of obedience, not a confession of faith in Jesus.”

Tags : Call Obedience
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

103. “The child asks of the Father whom he knows. Thus, the essence of Christian prayer is not general adoration, but definite, concrete petition. The right way to approach God is to stretch out our hands and ask of One who we know has the heart of a Father.”

Tags : Christian Faith Faithfulness God God The Father Jesus Prayer
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

104. “But the Christian also knows that he not only cannot and dare not be anxious, but that there is no need for him to be so. Neither anxiety now work can secure his daily bread, for bread is the gift of the Father.”

Tags : Anxiety Anxious Anxiousness Christian Faithfulness God Heavenly Father
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

105. “If Christ has been given us, if we are called to his discipleship we are given all things, literally _all_ things. He will see to it that they are added unto us. If we follow Jesus and look only to His righteousness, we are in his hands and under the protection of Him and His Father. And if we are in communion with the Father, nought can harm us. God will help us in the hour of need, and He knows our needs.”

Tags : Faith Faithfulness God Heavenly Father Jesus Needs Protection Righteousness
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

106. “God has prepared for Himself one great song of praise throughout eternity, and those who enter the community of God join in this song. It is the song that the “morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy” at the creation of the world. (Job 38:7). It is the victory song of the children of Israel after passing through the Red Sea, the Magnificat of Mary after the annunciation, the song of Paul and Silas in the night of prison, the song of the singers on the sea of glass after their rescue, the “song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb” (Rev. 15:3) It is the song of the heavenly fellowship.”

Tags : Faith Inspiration Song
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

107. “Strict exercise of self-control is an essential feature of the Christian's life.”

Tags : Self Control
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

108. “The temple of God is the holy people in Jesus Christ. The Body of Christ is the living temple of God and of the new humanity.”

Tags : Body Of Christ God Holy Spirit Jesus Christ Temple
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

109. “Why is it that it is often easier for us to confess our sins to God than to a brother? God is holy and sinless, He is a just judge of evil and the enemy of all disobedience. But a brother is sinful as we are. He knows from his own experience the dark night of secret sin. Why should we not find it easier to go to a brother than to the holy God? But if we do, we must ask ourselves whether we have not often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God, whether we have not rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution...Who can give us the certainty that, in the confession and the forgiveness of our sins, we are not dealing with ourselves but with the living God? God gives us this certainty through our brother. Our brother breaks the circle of self-deception. A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person.”

Tags : Confession Forgiveness Jesus Prayer Sin Spiritual Friendship
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

110. “The earthly form of Christ is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed; in other words, they must be conformed to his death (Phil 3.10, Rom 6.4) The Christian life is a life of crucifixion (Gal 2.19) In baptism the form of Christ's death is impressed upon his own. They are dead to the flesh and to sin, they are dead to the world, and the world is dead to them (Gal 6.14). Anybody living in the strength of Christ's baptism lives in the strength of Christ's death.”

Tags : Baptism Cross Crucified Crucifixion Death Faith God Jesus Sin
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

111. “Desires to which we cling closely can easily prevent us from being what we ought to be and can be; and on the other hand, desires repeatedly mastered for the sake of present duty make us richer.Lack of desire is poverty.”

Tags : Desire Discipline

112. “Therefore let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers' (Rom 13.1). The Christian must not be drawn to the bearers of high office; his calling is to stay below. The higher power are over him, and he must remain under them. The world exercises dominion, the Christian serves, and thus he shares the earthly lot of his Lord, who became a servant. 'For there is no power but of God.' (Mark 10.42-45) These words are addressed to the Christians, not to the powers.”

Tags : Christian God Jesus Office Servant
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

113. “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”

Tags : Action Inspirational Responsibility Thought

114. “Political action means taking on responsibility. This cannot happen without power. Power is to serve responsibility.”

Tags : Politics Power Responsibility
Source : Ethics

115. “The task is not to turn the world upside down but in a given place to do what, from the perspecive of reality, is necessary objectively and to really carry it out.”

Tags : Action Responsibility
Source : Ethics

116. “In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.”

Tags : Gratitude
Source : Letters and Papers from Prison

117. “In the Christian community thankfulness is just what it is anywhere else in the Christian life. Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think we dare not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be looking forward eagerly for the highest good. Then we deplore the fact that we lack the deep certainty, the strong faith, and the rich experience that God has given to others, and we consider this lament to be pious. We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things? If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.”

Tags : Community Fellowship God Gratitude Thankfulness
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

118. “The Christian, however, must bear the burden of a brother. He must suffer and endure the brother. It is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated. The burden of men was so heavy for God Himself that He had to endure the Cross. God verily bore the burden of men in the body of Jesus Christ. But He bore them as a mother carries her child, as a shepherd enfolds the lost lamb that has been found. God took men upon Himself and they weighted Him to the ground, but God remained with them and they with God. In bearing with men God maintained fellowship with them. It was the law of Christ that was fulfilled in the Cross. And Christians must share in this law.”

Tags : Christian Community Jesus Spiritual Friendship The Church The Cross
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

119. “Christian community is like the Christian's sanctification. It is a gift of God which we cannot claim. Only God knows the real state of our fellowship, of our sanctification. What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God. Just as the Christian should not be constantly feeling his spiritual pulse, so, too, the Christian community has not been given to us by God for us to be constantly taking its temperature. The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grow from day to day as God pleases.”

Tags : Church
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

120. “Where a people prays, there is the hurch; and where the church is; there is never loneliness.”

Tags : Church Loneliness Prayer

121. “Freedom for the Church comes from the necessity of the Word of God. Otherwise, it becomes arbitrariness and ends in a great many new ties.”

Tags : Church Freedom

122. “The author likens crisis, and particularly war, to stop motion photography in its capacity to make changes plain that are ordinarily too gradual to be seen.”

Tags : Crisis Growth Maturity

123. “It is essential for the image of the Leader that the group does not see the face of the one who goes before, but sees him only from behind as the figure stepping out ahead. His humanity is veiled in his Leader’s form.”

Tags : Idolatry Image

124. “In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…”

Tags : Christianity Marriage
Source : Letters and Papers from Prison

125. “It is not that God's help and presence must still be proved in our life; rather God's presence and help have been demonstrated for us in the life of Jesus Christ. It is in fact more important for us to know what God did to Israel, in God's Son Jesus Christ, than to discover what God intends for us today. The fact that Jesus Christ died is more important than the fact that I will die. And the fact that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead is the sole ground of my hope that I, too, will be raised on the day of judgment”

Tags : Christianity
Source : Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible

126. “We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds; we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretence; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use? What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, and straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remorseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness?”

Tags : Christianity
Source : Letters and Papers from Prison

127. “Christianity preaches the infinite worth of that which is seemingly worthless and the infinite worthlessness of that which is seemingly so valued.”

Tags : Christianity

128. “Discipleship is not an offer that man makes to Christ.”

Tags : Christian
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

129. “God loves human beings. God loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world, this is for God the ground of unfathomable love.”

Tags : Christian
Source : A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer

130. “While we exert ourselves to grow beyond our humanity, to leave the human behind us, God becomes human; and we must recognize that God wills that we be human, real human beings. While we distinguish between pious and godless, good and evil, noble and base, God loves real people without distinction. ”

Tags : Christian
Source : A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer

131. “[Paul] has no intention to instruct the Christian community about the task and responsibility of government. His entire concern is with the responsibility of the Christian community towards the State.”

Tags : Government The State

132. “God travels wonderful ways with human beings, but he does not comply with the views and opinions of people. God does not go the way that people want to prescribe for him; rather, his way is beyond all comprehension, free and self-determined beyond all proof. Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels, where our piety anxiously keeps us away: that is precisely where God loves to be. There he confounds the reason of the reasonable; there he aggravates our nature, our piety—that is where he wants to be, and no one can keep him from it. Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.”

Tags : Advent Broken Dietrich Bonhoeffer Incarnation Lowliness Wonder
Source : God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

133. “In the New Testament our enemies are those who harbour hostility against us, not those against whom we cherish hostility, for Jesus refuses to reckon with such a possibility. The Christian must treat his enemy as a brother, and requite his hostility with love. His behaviour must be determined not by the way others treat him, but by the treatment he himself receives from Jesus; it has only one source, and that is the will of Jesus.”

Tags : Christianity Enemies Love
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

134. “A love that left people alone in their guilt would not have real people as its object. So, in vicarious responsibility for people, and in His love for real human beings, Jesus becomes the one burdened by guilt.”

Tags : Atonement Guilt
Source : God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

135. “Any honours that come our way are only stolen from him to whom alone they really belong, the Lord who sent us.”

Tags : Applause Christianity Discipleship Honor Humility Respect
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

136. “Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to each of us.”

Tags : Community Fellowship Life

137. “The basis of spiritual community is truth, the basis of emotional community is desire.The exclusion of the weak and insignificant, the seemingly useless people, from everyday Christian life in community may actually mean the exclusion of Christ; for in the poor sister or brother, Christ is knocking at the door.”

Tags : Christian Christian Life Community
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

138. “Many persons seek community because they are afraid of loneliness...those who take refuge in community while fleeing from themselves are misuing it to indulge in empty talk and distraction, no matter how spiritual this idle talk and distraction may appear...it is precisely such misuse of community that creates deadly isolation of human beings.”

Tags : Community Loneliness
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

139. “The sermon has been reduced to parenthetical church remarks about newspaper events,”

Tags : Exegesis Exposition Preaching

140. “In the gospels the very first step a man must take is an act which radically affects his whole existence.”

Tags : Gospels Obedience
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

141. “As brother stands by brother in distress, binding up his wounds and soothing his pain, so let us show our love towards our enemy. There is no deeper distress to be found in the world, no pain more bitter than our enemy's. Nowhere is service more necessary or more blessed than when we serve our enemies.”

Tags : Enemy Love
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

142. “Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our church. We are fighting today for costly grace.”

Tags : Theology

143. “The wars of Israel were the only 'holy wars' in history... there can be no more wars of faith. The only way to overcome our enemy is by loving him.”

Tags : Holy War Just War Loving Enemies
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

144. “A pastor should never complain about his congregation, certainly never to other people, but also not to God. A congregation has not been entrusted to him in order that he should become its accuser before God and men.”

Tags : Pastor
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

145. “Seek God, not happiness - this is the fundamental rule of all meditation. If you seek God alone, you will gain happiness: that is its promise.”

Tags : Happiness Seek God

146. “I always have the feeling we are merely fearfully trying to save room for God; I would rather speak of God at the center than at the limits, in strength rather than weakness, and thus in human life and goodness rather than in death and guilt.”

Tags : Discipleship Worship

147. “The limitation of the ethical phenomenon to its place and time does not imply its rejection but, on the contrary, its validation. One does not use canons to shoot sparrows.”

Tags : Appropriateness Ethics Moderation Overkill
Source : Ethics

148. “Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.”

Tags : Belief Obedience
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

149. “God can make a new beginning with people whenever God pleases, but not people with God. Therefore, people cannot make a new beginning at all; they can only pray for one. Where people are on their own and live by their own devices, there is only the old, the past.”

Tags : Forgiveness Renewal
Source : God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

150. “The truth of the matter is that the whole world has already been turned upside down by the work of Jesus Christ”

Tags : Jesus Upside Down
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

151. “After death something new begins, over which all powers of the world of death have no more might.”

Tags : Death Discipleship Resurrection

152. “Human love is directed to the other person for his own sake, spiritual love loves him for Christ's sake. Therefore, human love seeks direct contact with the other person; it loves him not as a free person but as one whom it binds to itself. It wants to gain, to capture by every means; it uses force. It desires to be irresistible, to rule.”

Tags : Christian Love Love Power
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

153. “The flesh resists this daily humiliation, first by a frontal attack, and later by hiding itself under the words of the spirit (i.e. in the name of 'evangelical liberty'). We claim liberty from all legal compulsion, from self-martyrdom and mortification, and play this off against the proper evangelical use of discipline and asceticism; we thus excuse our self-indulgence and irregularity in prayer, in meditation and in our bodily life. But the contrast between our behavior and the word of Jesus is all too painfully evident. We forget that discipleship means estrangement from the world, and we forget the real joy and freedom which are the outcome of a devout rule of life. As soon as a Christian recognizes that he has failed in his service, that his readiness has become feeble, and that he has sinned against another's life and become guilty of another's guilt, that all his joy in God has vanished and that his capacity for prayer has quite gone, it is high time for him to launch an assault upon the flesh, and prepare for better service by fasting and prayer (Luke 2:37; 4:2: Mark 9:29; 1 Cor. 7:5).”

Tags : Christianity Fasting God Prayer Rule Of Life Self Discipline Sin Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Exercises The Flesh
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

154. “So many people come to church with a genuine desire to hear what we have to say, yet they are always going back home with the uncomfortable feeling that we are making it too difficult for them to come to Jesus.”

Tags : Discipleship Preaching
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

155. “The figure of the crucified invalidates all thought which takes success for its standard.”

Tags : Discipleship Success
Source : Ethics

156. “The desire we so often hear expressed today for “episcopal figures,” “priestly men,” “authoritative personalities” springs frequently enough from a spiritually sick need for the admiration of men, for the establishment of visible human authority, because the genuine authority of service appears to be so unimpressive.”

Tags : Communion Discipleship Leadership
Source : Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

157. “Justification is the new creation of the new man, and sanctification his preservation until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Tags : Christianity Jesus Christ Justification Sanctification
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

158. “To deny oneself is to be aware only of Christ and no more of self, to see only him who goes before and no more the road which is too hard for us.”

Tags : Self Denial
Source : The Cost of Discipleship

159. “...And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.”

Tags : Advent Christmas Dietrich Bonhoeffer Evil Love
Source : God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas