Monday, May 4, 2009

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Discipleship The Harvest, The Apostles, The Work, The Suffering of the Messangers, The Decision, The Fruit

Instigator: John
Pages: 201 - 221
Instigation Deadline: EOD - 5/4/09
Response Deadline: EOD - 5/6/09


John said...

It looks like I'm up to bat. I read this section but I must confess that I did not make good notes as I forgot that I was the instigator. So, my instigation might be a little on the light side. So, feel to expand and expound.

The Harvest:
"...they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a Sheppard."
"...send forth laborers into the harvest."
I don't have much to say about DB here. More about the scripture. Why is it that the distressed and scattered need a Sheppard? Why can't the raise up their own Sheppard? and next, what are they to be harvested for? I suspect I know what the answers are to this but I thought I would through this out.

The Work:
My thoughts here are going to more impression based that detailed based. I think DB strengthens his case around the need of the faithful to completely commit to Christ. It's a hard decision. Your either in or out. Your not being sold something. You can follow Christ if you want or you can choose not to but you are either all in or all out. When the disciples go into the community they are not pushy. If no one take them, fine they move on. No big deal. The people in the town have to embrace them or not. They don't get a lot of time to consider things. They decide to either accept the disciples or not. You are either in or out.
DB does seem to be on to something with his all or nothing theme.

The Fruit:
Hmmm. You are blessed if you embrace and support the servant of Jesus just as if you embraced Jesus himself. What if you embrace and support those are not Jesus' servant? Are you equally blessed? Thoughts?

Dad said...

No comments on Chapters 21 & 22

I agree with John that DB continues the theme of all or nothing with following Jesus.
I came away with several thoughts from Chapter 23. We are to go where we are sent and do what
God calls us to do. Not necessarialy what we want to do. It is Gods work! Work for God will not be of any value unless it is authorized by Him. pg. 211 "To refuse to believe in the Gospel is the worst possible sin".

Chapter 24 --from page 215 " It will always be true that the wisest course for the disciple is always to abide solely by the Word of God in all simplicity".

Chapter 25 A comment worth remembering "Those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men".

Thomas said...

On page 210 of my edition, DB says this: "Will you bow down and humbly receive him, or do you want him to destroy you in his wrath?"

Okay, the implication seems pretty clear here: submit to Jesus or feel his wrath. Seems clear. But it has never been particularly clear for me. Here is what has always bothered me (and maybe someone out there can clear it up for me). Jesus's big message is love your enemy, love those who persecute you, turn the other cheek, etc. However, when the rubber hits the road, it becomes more of a reward/punishment message, as in "do what I tell you or else."

It appears to me that these two messages are conflicting. Why is the message from Jesus to humans all about love, but his ultimate message to us is about submission or destruction? Why must we turn the other cheek, but God gets to be wrathful? Is this a double standard?

Or does there need to be a double standard? Are humans so sinful that they need threats in order to obey a message of love? If so, that doesn't say much for humans. Is Jesus message in some ways like when a parent says "be nice to your brother, or you'll get a spanking?" Is Jesus the good cop, and God the bad cop?

I don't know. DB certainly doesn't address it. But I think it's important to think about it. What's the real motivation for being a follower of Jesus?

John said...

Hi Thomas. I see what you are saying about the paradox. Love your brother or else. Clearly humans are too sinful, or what every you want to call it, to follow the love your brother injunction. As a whole I think the track record is pretty clear.