Monday, May 25, 2009

Dietrich Bonhoeffer The Cost of Discipleship Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts.

I think we may be suffering from the dreaded malady of Bonhoeffer Fatige, similar to Fibre Myalgia or Plantar Fasciitis. So, lets wrap things up with this post.


John said...

DB addresses the question that I think we have brought up which is how do we know what we are called to today? I'm not sure that I understand how he addresses it (other than he cuts us know quarter) but it is to his credit that he does not leave this question unaddressed. Also, I think it is interesting that he talks more about Paul's writings and notes that while Jesus was telling folks to quit their jobs and follow Him. Paul was saying follow Him while remaining in your current vocation with a few notable exceptions.
It sounds like he is saying that because of the church and the sacraments it is easier to make the decision to follow Jesus than when Jesus was here on earth. (Since I think the sacraments are largely symbolic I'm not sure about sacraments part of this story.)
In chapter 29 he gets into some funky theology on the body of Christ. I thought this was interesting because it sounded a little forced and reminiscent of C. S. Lewis on a bad day. I think this is interesting because I just read something by Christopher Hitchens and he was pretty down Lewis but thought more highly of DB.
Actually, I think this is a good question. Does DB better represent the teachings of the Bible or does CS Lewis?
I think the point DB makes that the church is not an institution but rather a body is important.
DB wraps up with what I think is a/the seminal thought of Christianity. Man will not over come his problems by adopting a new philosophy. Man needs someone to fix them. They need another man to come and fix the problem. It is more than just a philosophy that at issue. Fundamental change is needed.

Dad said...

I finally finished the book. It was slow going toward the end.
Some thoughts on several of the chapters.
Chapter 27 - DB poses many questions. Bottom line - Each one must make a decision to believe and follow or reject. The decision today is the same as the disciples had to make.

Chapter 28 - Baptism confirms and reinforces a decision.

Chapter 29 - All who have accepted Him are united in Him as "The Church": First the "Universal church" which includes all believers and then the "local church" which is more manageable and allows us to work and fellowship in a more workable environment. It is impossible to be an effective "lone ranger" Christian.

Chapter 30 - Church - some random thoughts
There is no right church structure - leadership needs to be adaptable to the various local needs

Local church automomy.

Chapter 31 states the plan and process for salvation and for Christian living.

Believers are equal in the sight of God whether we agree with them or not.