Friday, August 19, 2016

The Martyred Christian

The martyred Christian by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Joan Winmill Brown.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis on April 9, 1945 at the age of thirty-nine. He was a theologian, pastor, lecturer, writer, a member of the resistance in Germany. In April of 1943, he was arrested as part of a plot to kill Hitler. In prison, he continued to write and ministered to those around him.

Collected in this book are 160 of Bonhoeffer’s writings—many from inside prison, some from before. The articles are brief, easy to read, about many topics. This book would be enjoyed by people who love to read and study intellectual and philosophical work. I can see this fitting well in a small group book study.

Many topics important to Christians. I will mention a few.

Creation. God’s love. Jesus as God, Jesus as Lord, Jesus as Life.

A part that touched me—this author reminded me that God holds the hours of our life. He talked about the past, how we might long for it. He said that the past is still ours, still belongs to us, but it is just a small part of the hours God has for us.

Costly grace as opposed to cheap grace, for Jesus of course, but also for us.

Scriptures throughout the volume.

Instead of thinking of a Christian life, we might say that Christ is alive in us. Jesus is still alive in the world today. The church together forms his body, but also he is alive individually in each Christian. What an eye opening way to look at my life!

The church—a community; fellowship; caring for each other’s needs.

Baptism. Prayer. The work of God.

“Allow God to interrupt our lives.”

Even as Christians, committed to doing the work of God, let’s be careful to notice when God surprises into our life someone we don’t expect who needs our help. For example, the priest in Luke chapter 10, who didn’t see the half-dead victim beside the road. Was he possibly busy reading his Bible?

Marriage. The joy and security of home. Abortion. The danger of fools. Suicide.

What is the will of God?

Don’t let judgment stop love and grace.

Birthday letter to his mother. Honesty about his loneliness and confusion in prison. Anxiety, temptation, joy and sorrow, the armor of God.

From prison, he wrote that it is right for Christians to be optimistic every day we are alive.

This book is extremely challenging. But, since working through it, I want to read more of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writing.

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