I’m re-reading Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, subtitled “The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community.” At 122 pages, it is not a long book, but it is a gem.
I know that Bonhoeffer was a bit liberal theologically, but the Christ-centeredness of his writings puts to shame much of what goes on in Evangelicalism today.
Here are some quotes from the first two chapters of the book:
Chapter 1 — Community
Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ. No Christian community is more or less than this.
He [the Christian] knows that God’s Word in Jesus Christ pronounces him guilty, even when he does not feel his guilt, and God’s Word in Jesus Christ pronounces him not guilty and righteous, even when he does not feel that he is righteous at all.
If somebody asks him, Where is your salvation, your righteousness? he can never point to himself. He points to the Word of God in Jesus Christ, which assures him salvation and righteousness.
…the goal of all Christian community: they meet one another as bringers of the message of salvation.
Christian brotherhood is not an ideal, but a divine reality.
Chapter 2 — The Day with Others
Christian prayer takes its stand on the solid ground of the revealed Word.
It is not in our life that God’s help and presence must still be proved, but rather God’s presence and help have been demonstrated for us in the life of Jesus Christ. It is in fact more important for us to know what God did to Israel, to His Son Jesus Christ, than to seek what God intends for us today.
Our salvation is “external to ourselves.” I find no salvation in my life history, but only in the history of Jesus Christ.
It is not our heart that determines our course, but God’s Word.
Prayer should not be hindered by work, but neither should work be hindered by prayer.
Grace and Peace