Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Selected Quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) is known for his leadership role in the Confessing Church, efforts on behalf of peace and justice, opposition to anti-Semitism, and writings on theology and ethics that have been influential far beyond his German Lutheran context. He was hanged by the Nazis on April 6, 1945 in the Flossenburg concentration camp.

- The followings are the quotes from Letters and Papers from Prison
When we come to a clearer and more sober estimate of our own limitations and responsibilities, that makes it possible more genuinely to love our neighbor.

We have learned a bit too late in the day that action springs not from thought but from a readiness for responsibility.

There remains an experience of incomparable value . . . to see the great events of world history from below; from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled ---- in short, from the perspective of those who suffer . . . to look with new eyes on matters great and small.

In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give; life can be rich only with such realization.

- The followings are the quotes from The Cost of Discipleship
Our enemies are those who harbor hostility against us, not those against whom we cherish hostility… As a Christian I am called to treat my enemy as a brother and to meet hostility with love. My behavior is thus determined not by the way others treat me, but by the treatment I receive from Jesus.

The first call which every Christian experiences is the call to abandon the attachments of this world.

Earthly possessions dazzle our eyes and delude us into thinking that they can provide security and freedom from anxiety. Yet all the time they are the very source of anxiety.

The followers of Christ have been called to peace. . . And they must not only have peace but also make it. And to that end they renounce all violence and tumult. In the cause of Christ nothing is to be gained by such methods. . .  His disciples keep the peace by choosing to endure suffering themselves rather than inflict it on others. They maintain fellowship where others would break it off. They renounce hatred and wrong. In so doing they over-come evil with good, and establish the peace of God in the midst of a world of war and hate.

Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others, we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as ourselves.

- The followings are the quotes from Life Together
It is not necessary that we should discover new ideas in our meditation. It is sufficient, and far more important, if the Word, as we read and understand it, penetrates and dwells within us.

The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists of listening to them. Just as love of God begins with listening to his word, so the beginning of love for our brothers and sisters is learning to listen to them.

I can no longer condemn or hate a brother [or sister] for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me is transformed through intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died.

So long as we eat our bread together, we shall have sufficient even for the least. Not until one person desires to keep his own bread for himself does hunger ensue.

- The followings are the quotes from No Rusty Swords
From God we hear the word: “If you want my goodness to stay with you then serve your neighbor, for that is where God comes to you.”

Which of us has really admitted that God’s goodness can also lead us into conflict?  

The believer is neither a pessimist nor an optimist. To be either is illusory. The believer sees reality not in a certain light but as it is, and believes only in God and God’s power towards all and over all that is seen.  

- The followings are the quotes from Ethics
In a world where success is the measure and justification of all things, the figure of him who was sentenced and crucified remains a stranger.

There is not a place to which the Christian can withdraw from the world, whether it be outwardly or in the sphere of the inner life. Any attempt to escape from the world must sooner or later be paid for with a sinful surrender to the world.

To be silent does not mean to be inactive; rather it means to breathe in the will of God, to listen attentively and be ready to obey. Meditating on the Word

You have granted me many blessings; let me also accept what is hard from your hand. Prayers from Prison

For the working class world, Christ seems to be settled with the church and middle class society. Christology

The future and the hope for the middle class church lies in the renewal of its lifeblood, which is only possible if the church succeeds in winning the working class. Sanctum Communion

Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness and pride of power and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear rather than too much. Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power. Christians should give more offense; shock the world far more, than they are doing now. Christian should take a stronger stand in favor of the weak rather than considering first the possible right of the strong. Sermon on II Cor. 12:9

There is no way to peace along the way to safety. For peace must be dared. It is the great venture. Address at Fanon