Life Together, perhaps his most accessible work, was written out of his experience of living in community with pastors and those training for gospel ministry in 1930s Germany, and is rightly viewed as a Christian classic. Contrary to all my own opinions and convictions, Jesus Christ will tell me what love toward the brethren really is … The other person…needs to be loved for what he is, as one for whom Christ became man, died and rose again, for whom Christ bought forgiveness of sins and eternal life … I must meet him only as the person that he already is in Christ’s eyes. Thirty-four years after the publication of her dystopian classic, The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood returns to continue the story of Offred. In an illegal seminary, Bonhoeffer would later describe life together with these young men as the fullest time of his life. One of the reasons I will revisit this book is the Christ-centred perspective Dietrich Bonhoeffer brings to the practical aspects of the Christian life together and alone. Though short (105 pages), it is profoundly challenging and demanding—not because Bonhoeffer’s writing is obscure or difficult, but because every one of its pages contains penetrating biblical insights concerning what it means to live together as God’s rescued and dearly loved children. You'd think I would have learned its lessons in the first three readings, but I again found myself deeply challenged about my own behavior in Christian community. It is probable that more people have read books about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, than have read the books he actually wrote. “Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. But for the most part, it was just solid theology about how Christians should be living with and supporting each other. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. God hates visionary dreaming; it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. Every Christian serious about being a part of a local church will find his instruction tremendously beneficial for personal and church life. …the community of Christians springs solely from the Biblical and Reformation message of the justification of man through grace alone; this alone is the basis of the longing of Christians for one another…we come to God and to one another solely through Christ. A remarkable journey through life in the community, its necessity, and its supreme need for the individual. The following day he was executed by hanging in the Gestapo prison of Flossenburg. If the church truly looked like this, the world would have no choice but to look and see what this was all about. Does the person have a life narrative I admire? Universal Music Distribution / 2020 / Compact disc, Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That's Beautiful Again, Collection: Stories, songs, and reflections for the Advent season. At the end all his disciples deserted him. We’d love your help. (p23). A must read for every christian! Being a part of that story calls us to live, respond and interact in certain ways, and Bonhoeffer repeatedly points out that the Scriptures are very clear about what those ways are. 27). It is significant that to be part of the community, one must confess to our fellow member and must suffer painful humiliation that destroys the prideful, sinful person and brings new life just as Jesus suffered the public shaming of crucifixion for mankind. (p107). Seeking other resources that speak into Authentic Community, I naturally landed back at Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, The Classic Exploration of Christian Community. If so, perhaps I'll take their advice. It will renew your sense of appreciation for the local church and rekindle your zeal and labor for deeper relationships within your church family. He insists that we need to slow down; take smaller portions of Scripture and let them sink in as God applies them to our lives through the work of His Spirit. Facing the rise of Nazi control over churches in Germany in the mid-1930s, Dietrich Bonhoeffer took charge of a small seminary to train young pastors. Not surprisingly for a book written about the people of God, it is best enjoyed and most beneficial when read in the company of other believers! Bonhoeffer constantly reminds his readers of their true identity as God’s people bound to Him and to one another in Christ alone; by grace alone. Sermons, bible studies, theological conversations and encouragements do not need to be memorable to be effective, they need to build up our subjective assurance of Christ by reminding us of the historical and objectively true Jesus Christ. This book is amazingly insightful. ( Log Out /  There is so much to try to grasp in this compact but deeply thought provoking book, that it demands at least a second reading. With Christ as the centre of the Christian life and community, Bonhoeffer continues to lay out the order for worship in the local church, at work, and at home. Word Books, 1983. Intend to begin reading it as soon as I finish my current read. For this and many other reasons it has become required reading for the ministry staff-team I am part of with the Christian Union at Melbourne University. If love is lacking, Christ assuredly is not the centre of that community. In a distracted and anxious age, with many voices and devices clamouring for our attention, Bonhoeffer reminds us of the words that Jesus lived by: that we live not by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Luke 4:4 cf. Earlier this year I read Eric Metaxas’ biography on Bonhoeffer, and he made the point that Bonhoeffer didn’t waste words. I don't give out five star ratings very often, but this one deserves it. At the same time, there is also an abundance of dogmatic prescriptions of how to go about every aspect of devotional life, at a level that is obviously excessive. At times it was a little over my head and I wished he'd had some more specific instructions regarding some issues and situations, and at other times I was like, whoa, way too specific! Bonhoeffer’s Life Together is substantial evidence that this servant of God saw himself as belonging to the church. Historical Reviews Life Together was established in Memphis, Tennessee in 1992 by executive director Bishop David Allen Hall, pastor of Temple Church Of God In Christ. Anne Graham Lotz is the founder and president of AnGeL Ministries and the author numerous books and Bible studies, including The Daniel Prayer and Jesus In Me. Refresh and try again. Meant for those already a part of the Christian faith. The basis of all spiritual reality is the clear, manifest Word of God in Jesus Christ. It is easily forgotten that the community of Christians is a gift of grace from the kingdom of God, a gift that can be taken from us any day – that the time still separating us from the most profound loneliness may be brief indeed. He chose every word carefully to say exactly what he meant, without prattling on. Certainly, any reader could see it as merely a how-to book, but doing so misses Bonhoeffer’s rich insights into the human condition within the Christian community. Through the reading of Scripture and the teaching of the Bible, we hear God’s voice flowing through the voice of another. So many wonderful gems in this book. From this experience, Bonhoeffer wrote Life Together. Before Bonhoeffer describes “the Ministry of Proclaiming,” and “the Ministry of Authority,” he speaks about “the Ministry of Holding One’s Tongue,” “the Ministry of Meekness,” “the Ministry of Listening,” “the Ministry of Helpfulness,” and “the Ministry of Bearing.” As he reminds his readers: God does not will that I should fashion the other person according to the image that seems good to me, that is, in my own image; rather in his very freedom from me God made this person in His image…To me the sight may seem strange, even ungodly.

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