One of my favorite books is Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community;" I labored through it because of its richness, depth and beauty, and it changed the way I viewed (and even live out) community. I've never been brave enough to tackle "The Cost of Discipleship ." One, it's much longer, and two, I think my brain my explode. Defintely my loss.
Below are ten of my favorite Bonhoeffer quotes, drawn from Life Together, The Cost of Discipleship and Letters and Papers from Prison.
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“A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol."
“God's truth judges created things out of love, and Satan's truth judges them out of envy and hatred.”
"In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others."
"Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited until one of them turned to him."
"There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler."
"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 we are."
"Time is the most valuable thing that we have, because it is the most irrevocable."
"There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve — even in pain — the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain."
"Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. 'The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared' (Luther)."
"Discipleship is not an offer that man makes to Christ."