Frederika G. Oosterhoff This article is about the book of Dietrich Bonhoeffer : The cost of discipleship. Bonhoeffer also stresses the importance of the Old Testament and the importance of this earthly life. Source: Clarion , The second continued through the s. During this period he published his two most popular writings, The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together.
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I had no recollection, over my recent days of reading, of having read any of the text previously. If I had read it even back then, I think it would have made more of an impression on me; but I also think I would have been too immature in my Christian experience at that time to fully appreciate and engage with it. Bonhoeffer has to be ranked as one of the top theological thinkers, in the classical Christian tradition, of the 20th century, and probably of any century.
While his concern is practical, however, it has to be said that unlike C. This is very much, not only serious theology, but academic theology informed by his background in graduate theological study and in higher education teaching. Reading it was heavy sledding intellectually for me and I have a seminary degree because of the complexity of the thought.
Another challenge derives from the fact that it was originally written in German; Bonhoeffer had studied in the U. If rendering his thoughts into English was hard for him, one can guess that it sometimes poses difficulty for translators, too. I read this in the Macmillan reprint of the 2nd ed. Fuller with "some revision" by Irmgard Booth, which was the first edition to translate the whole work.
I was raised as a Lutheran, so could relate to this. My eventual disgust with this attitude as a teen, if fact, was a major reason for my leaving the Lutheran church. In the second and third parts, Bonhoeffer works through the Sermon on the Mount and the sending out of the twelve disciples as messengers of the Kingdom of God in the Gospel of Matthew, dealing with the Biblical text in expository fashion and often with significant interpretive insights as a source of principles or blueprint for what characteristics Christian discipleship needs to embody in the modern context --or, indeed, in any cultural context.
Some of his pacifist admirers today refuse to acknowledge this, but the evidence is overwhelming. I also disagree with his Lutheran sacramental theology, which embraces infant baptism as an actual producer of saving albeit invisible! This edition has a very short Foreword by Anglican Bishop G.
But I would highly recommend it for all college-educated Christians who can handle the reading level.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Portal
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