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July 20, 2010

Comments

I have run into Bonhoeffer's example over and over again these past several years, and I will really need to get this book.

Calling myslef an American Christian has lost some steam in my eyes. I am far from ashamed, but also encouraged to deepen that term in my own heart.

Bonhoeffer seemed to be a follower of Christ in name, deed, heart, and mind.

I don't believe we do justice to the many martyrs of the Christian Church when we try to include someone who was executed for trying to murder a government official (placed by the appointment of God), no matter how wicked the ruler. This is not New Testament Christianity.

It only opens the door for more of the same from unstable fanatics in our ranks. We should speak out against this and not give it our blessings.

What are we to think of Bonhoeffer when his writings deny the deity of Christ or that the "historicity" of the Resurrection was in "the realm of ambiguity," and that it was one of the "mythological" elements of Christianity?

Bonhoeffer did not reject the historical-critical method. Instead, he, like Barth, wanted to "move beyond" historical criticism. He probably, for example, didn't believe in the Virgin Birth. Although he was no liberal; he believed in the deity of Christ and the Resurrection -- contrary to von Harnack et al.

Melinda, you mention that "he found vibrant fellowship in Harlem, and this introduced him to a combination of piety, theological depth, and enthusiasm he’d never seen in the church before." I hope Metaxas explained that it was an African American church (Abyssinian Baptist Church), and that this experience allowed him to understand the view from the margins of society (or, as he said, "from below"). He later said that this experience allowed him to readily identify with the Jews when the first anti-Semitic laws were passed in 1933. (By the way, Bonhoeffer didn't coin 'cheap grace'. He actually picked up the phrase from Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., the pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church.) Also, it was through the influence of some friends he made in New York -- most notably Jean Lasserre -- that "everything changed." He actually said that it was there that he became a Christian -- that is, fully committed to following the way of Christ: the Sermon on the Mount, "pacifism," and more broadly discipleship.

Thanks for the review!

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