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Dietrich Bonhoeffer quotes (showing 1-30 of 370)

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession...Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“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.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
“Music... will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited until one of them turned to him.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
“When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“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.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“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.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“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).”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community
“A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: 'Ye were bought at a price', and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
“I discovered later, and I'm still discovering right up to this moment, that is it only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life's duties, problems, successes and failures. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world. That, I think, is faith.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community
“Discipleship is not an offer that man makes to Christ.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
“Where God tears great gaps we should not try to fill them with human words.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“I'm still discovering, right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. I mean living unreservedly in life's duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing, we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus. The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is. Worldly wisdom knows what distress and weakness and failure are, but it does not know the godlessness of man. And so it also does not know that man is destroyed only by his sin and can be healed only by forgiveness. Only the Christian knows this. In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man; in the presence of a Christian brother I can dare to be a sinner. The psychiatrist must first search my heart and yet he never plumbs its ultimate depth. The Christian brother knows when I come to him: here is a sinner like myself, a godless man who wants to confess and yearns for God’s forgiveness. The psychiatrist views me as if there were no God. The brother views me as I am before the judging and merciful God in the Cross of Jesus Christ.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community
“Not hero worship, but intimacy with Christ.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
“time is the most valuable thing that we have, because it is the most irrevocable.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

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