What can the call to discipleship, the adherence to the word of Jesus, mean today to the businessman, the soldier, the laborer, or the aristocrat? What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us today? Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers these timeless questions by providing a seminal reading of the dichotomy between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.” “Cheap grace,” Bonhoeffer wrote, “is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without discipleship....Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the girl which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know....It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”
The Cost of Discipleship is a compelling statement of the demands of sacrifice and ethical consistency from a man whose life and thought were exemplary articulations of a new type of leadership inspired by the Gospel, and imbued with the spirit of Christian humanism and a creative sense of civic duty.
The Christian does not live in a vacuum, says the author, but in a world of government, politics, labor, and marriage. Hence, Christian ethics cannot exist in a vacuum; what the Christian needs, claims Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is concrete instruction in a concrete situation. Although the author died before completing his work, this book is recognized as a major contribution to Christian ethics.
The root and ground of Christian ethics, the author says, is the reality of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. This reality is not manifest in the Church as distinct from the secular world; such a juxtaposition of two separate spheres, Bonhoeffer insists, is a denial of God’s having reconciled the whole world to himself in Christ. On the contrary, God’s commandment is to be found and known in the Church, the family, labor, and government. His commandment permits man to live as man before God, in a world God made, with responsibility for the institutions of that world.
While Bonhoeffer wrote with his own seminary community in mind, he intended Life Together to have a more universal impact, and spoke of a mission and responsibility of the church as a whole.
Using the acclaimed DBWE translation, adapted to a more accessible format, this new edition features supplemental material from Victoria J. Barnett and an insightful introduction by Geffrey B. Kelly to clarify the theological meaning and social importance of Bonhoeffer’s work.
"There are only two places where the powerful and great in this world lose their courage, tremble in the depths of their souls, and become truly afraid. These are the manger and the cross of Jesus Christ."
"No priest, no theologian stood at the cradle of Bethlehem. And yet, all Christian theology finds its beginnings in the miracle of miracles, that God became human."
These stirring words are among forty devotions that guide and inspire readers as they move thematically through the weeks of Advent and Christmas, from waiting and mystery to redemption, incarnation, and joy. Supplemented by an informative introduction, short excerpts from Bonhoeffer's letters, and passages from his Christmas sermons, these daily devotions are timeless and moving reminders of the true gift of Christmas.
“The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, who look forward to something greater to come. For these, it is enough to wait in humble fear until the Holy One himself comes down to us, God in the child in the manger. God comes. The Lord Jesus comes. Christmas comes. Christians rejoice!” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer Executed by the Nazis for his complicity in a plot to assassinate Hitler, Dietrich Bonhoeffer remains with us today through his writings—far-reaching ripples of deep thought, passionate words, and unflinching character. Including biographical insights, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christmas Sermons spans Bonhoeffer’s seventeen years as a preacher. This collection of vintage sermons and writings searches out the power and mystery of the Christmas season: its joyous riches and its implications for our lives. Also available Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Prison Poems Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Meditations on Psalms
“The only way to understand the Psalms is on your knees, the whole congregation praying the words of the Psalms with all its strength.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer At the time of his execution by the Nazis in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was not quite forty years old. Yet already, his influence as a theologian was felt not only in Germany, but throughout the world. His interactions with the Psalms reveal a passionate heart and brilliant mind grappling with the Bible’s eternal truths and their application to human nature and temporal realities. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Meditations on Psalms is vintage Bonhoeffer: eloquent, incisive, encouraging, challenging, inviting us to find in the Psalms both a path toward repose in God and a call to Christlike living and practical action as followers of the Lord Jesus. Also available Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Prison Poems Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christmas Sermons