Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Chapter Summary

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Book Review Bonhoeffer, Deitrich, Geffrey B. Kelly, John D. Godsey, Reinhard Krauss, and Barbara Green. Dietrich Bonhoeffer works. Vol. 4. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003. 367 pp. $18.90 Discipleship was originally published in Germany in 1937 against a backdrop of increasing Nazi anti-Semitic rhetoric and exploits. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote the book in response to the German Unified Church’s compliance with the regime’s unbiblical demands and human rights violations. Bonhoeffer was born in Breslau, Germany, in 1906 into an aristocratic family of eight children. He earned a master’s degree at the University of Tübingen and afterwards completed his Doctor of Theology degree from Berlin University in 1927. Subsequently, he acquired the difficult Habilitation and was awarded a Conferment at Berlin University in 1925. In Bonhoeffer headed an underground Confessing Church seminary in…show more content…
In the first sentence of chapter one he states, “Cheap grace is the mortal enemy of our church. Our struggle today is for costly grace”(43). Following this, Bonhoeffer walks the reader through a radical assessment of what it means to truly be a disciple of Christ, beginning with unqualified obedience: “The call goes out, and without any further ado the obedient deed of the one called follows” (57). He believes that as the disciple’s focus shifts from himself and his needs and to a steadfast commitment to following Christ he will experience true joy. The oft quoted, “Only the believers obey, and only the obedient believe” is a sobering reminder to any believer to evaluate his own life as a disciple (63). Bonhoeffer’s uncompromising and sometimes shocking demands of the Christian is as fresh and as beneficial to the twenty-first century reader as it could have been to Bonhoeffer’s

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