Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dietrich Bonhoeffer The Cost of Dicipleship Sections: Revenge, The Enemy - the "Extraordinary", The Hidden Righteousness, The Hiddenness of Prayer

Instigator: Matt
Pages: 140 - 172
Sections: Revenge, The Enemy - the "Extraordinary", The Hidden Righteousness, The Hiddenness of Prayer, The Hiddenness of the Devout Life.
Instigation Deadline: EOD - 3/23/09
Response Deadline: EOD - 3/25/09


matt said...

Uhhh, it appears John is far more on the ball than I am. I looked over the weekend and decided that since we moved everything back a week I still had another week. But John went back and changed the dates.

Well, I'll get on it, really.

John said...

No worries Matt. Take your time we can slide another week if we need to.

Thomas said...

Sorry I haven't chimed in recently. I was doing some rewrites for my agent Stephen to send the book out again. Good news is a Hollywood agency wants to represent it. Bad news is we still don't have a book deal. It's very rough on the nerves. One day you are giddy and next day you are depressed. Oh well. I will make comments on the last section that Eric started and work my way back to here.

I will say, though, that I was intrigued by DB's use of "peculair" in reference to Christians in Ch. 13.

John said...

I thought this paragraph from Thomas' comment on the previous post was very intriguing and thought it bears further exploration.

"In regards to the discussion and DB, I guess my point is that we as human beings think we can figure things out when in reality we can’t. We are very limited. Our reach always exceeds our grasp. In the end, we are flesh and blood. We are bound by that. Who can say they know the mind of God? Not me. I muddle through as best I can. What does it mean to be a Christian? What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? What does Christ really ask of us? If it is to love those that despise me, those that are despised, as much as I love and cherish my family, then I will fail at every turn. But if it’s to reach for that love, and sometimes touch it, then I can probably muddle through.

First the question "who can know the mind of God" sounded familiar and indeed the Apostle Paul used the phrase or something similar to it in I Corinthians. Okay

From I Corinthians chapter 2.
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

This comes out of a larger argument by Paul where he is trying to tell the Corinthians they should be focused on following God/Jesus rather than following one leader/teacher (Paul v Apollos). I think it is always dicey to use a scripture for something other than it was originally intended but it seems that he is saying that there is some spiritual intervention to "know the mind of God." I think this is a point that Paul makes in other places.

Anyway, I think Thomas makes some good points about our limitations and that one of the keys is that we strive toward meeting these expectations. One of the other big points in the bible is that we can't achieve and thus we need Christ.

Any way, if you want to reflect on Thomas' earlier comment here that would be fine.

John said...

Okay, now for this periods selection. Matt has been busy and so have I but I thought I would kick this discussion out with some random thoughts. Even if it is behind schedule.

"This saying of Christ removes the Church from the sphere of politics and law."
Today you can find churches and church affiliated groups actively politically involved on both sides of the abortion, guy marriage, immigration, etc. issues. DB seems to argue that this is really not the place for the church to try to solve problems through the political process. The DB model seems to fall in line with this illustration. The world is our prison and Jesus came to break us out of the prison. Trying to fix the world up is sort of like asking telling the guy that's trying to break us out of prison to hang on a bit so we can take some time to paint the walls and clean up the prison a little before we break out.
So, what are the thoughts on political involvement for the Christian? Is the answer different for us than it would be for a German as the Nazi's were rising to power which was the situation when DB wrote?
Another question might be; is it appropriate for the Christian to hold a job as a policeman where his job is to use force to keep "evil" at bay for the sake of the community?

The Enemy - The "Extraordinary"
DB seems to be predicting the troubles that Nazi Germany would bring to a person to truly tried to live the Christian life.

The Hiddenness of Devout Life.
What do you think about fasting? I think we should eat healthily.

Dad said...

I thought that Thomas had escellent comments on his Apr 4 posting. He is right on - on his observation that the key is love --first Christ, then family and others Matt. 22: 36-40

Chapter 12 - Revenge - I tend to lean to the Reformers interpretation outlined on page 143 The Bible says that if you do not take care of your family, you are worse than an infidel. I Tim.5:8 I think this includes their safty.

Chapter 13 -- pg. 151 lays out some good thoughts. We are to love and pray for our enimies , not necessarily give in to them. Some of our current legislation and current court rulings are evil. We must resist for the sake of our children and grand children.

Chapter 14 -- We need to evaluate our motivation for what we do or do not do. Trying to build ourselves up should not be our motivation.
Chapter 15 -- I read this chapter on prayer several times. pray as a child to his father. God's will should be the primary focus of prayer -- we should not try to impress others or ourselves with our prayers.