Friday, May 20, 2011

Life Together I

I am currently reading the new biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxes and very much enjoying it. And reading this excellent offering has sent me back to one of my all-time favorites books by Bonhoeffer: Life Together (a discussion of Christian fellowship). I have read and reread Life Together several times. But having a new/deeper understanding of the historical and theological context in which it was written is making this reread particularly sweet and edifying. Here’s a little slice from the chapter entitled Community (pages 17-18):

“It is not simply to be taken for granted that the Christian has the privilege of living among other Christians. Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of the cloistered life but in the thick of the foes. There is his commission, his work.”

And then commenting and querying with a quote from Martin Luther he writes:

“'The Kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever had been spared?'”

Stay tuned for more…

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