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Saturday, October 30, 2004

Bonhoeffer, D. (1937) The Cost of Discipleship 

Cheap Grace "It is imperative for the Christian to distinguish his life from the life of the world. He must let grace be grace indeed otherwise he will destroy the world's faith in the free gift of grace" (pap 36)

"...Followers are a visible community; their discipleship visible in action which lifts them out of the world... And of course the following is as visible to the world as a light in the darkness or a mountain rising from a plain. Flight into the invisible is a denial of the call, A community of Jesus which seeks to hide itself has ceased to follow him" (pap 106)

"All that the follower has to do is to make sure that his obedience, following and love are entirely spontaneous and unpremeditated... Otherwise you are simply displaying your own virtue, the virtue of discipleship can only be accomplished so long as you are entirely unconscious of what you are doing..." (pp143)

"The Christian has neither right nor power to force salvation on people. Every attempt to impose the gospel by force, to run after people and to proselytise them, to use our own resources to arrange the salvation of other people is both futile and dangerous....our easy trafficking with the word of cheap grace simply bores the world to disgust so that in the end it turns against those who try to force on it what it does not want." (165)

"To try and force the word on the world by hook or by crook is to make the living word of God into a mere idea, and the world would be perfectly justified in refusing to listen to an idea for which it has no use" (166) " Restless energy which refuses to recognise any limit to their activity, the zeal which refuses to take note of resistance springs from a confusion of the gospel with a victorious ideology. An ideology requires fanatics, who neither know nor notice opposition...the word recognises opposition when it meets it and is prepared to suffer it and is free from that morbid restlessness which is so characteristic of fanaticism" (166)


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