Skip to comments.Bonhoeffer's Birthday -- The Relevance of Costly Grace
Posted on 02/06/2013 10:36:51 AM PST by hiho hiho
Today is Dietrich Bonhoeffers birthday. Since my book on him was published three years ago, fascination with the young German pastor continues to grow. The interest is so great Ive recently been asked to do a ten-city Bonhoeffer tour.
I have to ask myself: Why are so many people intrigued by Bonhoeffer? The answer, I believe, is that the message of Bonhoeffer's life is hugely relevant todayespecially when it comes to the growing threats against religious freedom.
Thoughtful people see the handwriting on the wall: First there's the HHS mandate, which demands that religious organizations buy insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs.
Then there's the case of Pastor Louie Giglio, who was forced to step down from giving the benediction at President Obama's inauguration. Why? Because many years ago, he preached a sermon saying homosexual practice was wrong.
If you work in corporate America and hold to the traditional Judeo-Christian view of marriage, you'd better keep your mouth shut. Or you might be fired or have your business boycotted.
And now, the Boy Scouts may finally be yielding to the enormous pressure put on them to allow openly gay men to participate in Scoutingincluding as Scout leaders.
In effect, the state and the culture at large are seeking to compel us to put aside our religious beliefs. If we don't do something now, it will be too late.
And this is why Bonhoeffer is so relevant today. Please listen to these words from my old boss and dear friend Chuck Colson:
Under persecution, Bonhoeffer discovered that, even though God's grace is freely given, it also extracts a high cost. It was costly grace that led Bonhoeffer to continue teaching and preaching the Word of God even though the Nazis tried to suppress his work. Costly grace led Bonhoeffer to stand against a turncoat church that mixed Nazi doctrine with Christian truth....Costly grace led Bonhoeffer to attempt to smuggle Jews out of Germany, even though it led to his arrest...Along with other faithful believers, Bonhoeffer signed the Barmen Declaration, which boldly declared their independence from both the state and a co-opted church.
As I said, today is Bonhoeffer's 107th birthday. And were he alive today and living in America, costly grace for him would likely mean preaching what the Word of God teaches about human sexuality--even when activists and their allies in government try to suppress his work and attack his church. Costly grace would mean standing against churches that mix radical new doctrines about marriage with Christian truth. Costly grace would mean standing up to a government attempting to force him to buy health insurance that violates his beliefseven if it led to his arrest.
And costly grace would, I believe, lead him to sign the Manhattan Declaration in defense of human life, marriage, and religious liberty, just as he signed the Barmen Declaration, which I quote at length in my book.
Now I must say that Chuck Colson had the Barmen Declaration in mind when he co-authored the Manhattan Declaration. Chuck saw many parallels between what the church faced in Nazi Germany in the thirties and what faithful Christians are facing today in America.
So let me ask youare you willing to count the cost and sign the Manhattan Declaration? If you visit BreakPoint.org and click on this commentary, you'll find links to both the Manhattan Declaration and to my Bonhoeffer tour where Ill have the opportunity to unpack a lot of these ideas.
Today68 years after his deathwill we, like Bonhoeffer, call on the Church to wake up and be the people of God, no matter the cost?
More here -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer
Our pastor recently read Eric’s book on Bonhoeffer. I was so intrigued I borrowed and am reading it right now. Absolutely relevant.
I’m getting this book from Amazon.
I just finished reading this book a couple of weeks ago. I had tears in my eyes reading the chapter about his engagement and just knowing that he would never get to marry the woman he loved.
Fantastic book...and really makes you think about your Christian beliefs.
True, is it concern about Christian freedom. But every day, the possibility that Christians are going to die under horrible circumstances during the presidency of Barack Obama increases.
Buck up. We have arms to fight with. The Germans under Hitler didn’t. It’s time the law-abiding, God-fearing and gun-owning Americans start reminding Obama and his ilk who the real boss is here in America and it sure as Hell isn’t them!
He found liberal theology, popular in Germany before the Nazis, to be revolting. He said that one should not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevancy is inherent.
There is a film about him which I saw on Netflix, the title of which I can’t remember. But I believe his name is part of the title. He was indirectly involved with those who carried out the unsuccessful August, 1944 attempt on Hitler’s life. The gal who plays his fiance is a real classic Germanic beauty. Va-va-va-voom! Bonhoffer was not a conservative as we think of conservatives these days. He had not sold out on Christian biblical beliefs but he appeared to have some ecumenical as opposed to separatist beliefs.
The film was made for public television and thus played up some doubtful liberal bonafides for the sake of its liberal audience.