Monday, April 9, 2012

Death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

On this day in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was put to death by the Nazis.  Like Anne Frank and many other nameless victims, he came heartbreakingly close to surviving the war. 

Bonhoeffer was one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century.  A Lutheran pastor, he lived what he preached, actively resisting the Nazis and living in intentional community.  He was arrested for his role in an attempt on Hitler's life.

Here are some Bonhoeffer quotes for your Easter Monday:

Let's begin with one of his most famous works of theology, The Cost Of Discipleship.  Here's one of the most famous quotes from that book:

“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

Here's another good one from that classic text:   “Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

Here are some other great quotes:

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”  

“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.”  Letters and Papers from Prison

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