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Christ the Center (Ministers Paperback Library)

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  339 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The New York Times Book Review states, “It would be impossible to overrate Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s importance as a disciple, a great Christian and moral leader.” Christ the Center cogently presents the basis of Bonhoeffer’s thinking about Jesus Christ and offers the key to his entire theology. A classic work of Christological thought, both edifying and uplifting, Christ the ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by HarperOne (first published January 1st 1960)
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Dec 22, 2012 Josh rated it it was amazing
The text of this book was originally delivered as a series of lectures in Berlin in the summer of '33. It can be found now in Volume 12 of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works Series. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the development of the maturing thought of Bonhoeffer and anyone with a healthy interest in a christology that goes beyond liberal theology to reclaim the real historical, actual Jesus of the biblical text as the Christ of faith. Bonhoeffer accomplishes this feat not in a moder ...more
Jan 22, 2015 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
This series of lectures given by Dietrich Bonhoeffer early in his career is a mixed bag.  His original lecture notes did not survive.  The book reproduces the lectures through notes taken by Bonhoeffer's students.  The theological content is quite good.  It could hardly be otherwise.  But the presentation is poor and lacking in clarity.  It's obvious that one is reading someone else's notebook.
The gist of Bonhoeffer's lectures is that Jesus, the Christ, is the center of all things: creation, h
Joe Dantona
Mar 20, 2011 Joe Dantona rated it really liked it
In this collection of notes on Bonhoeffer's christology lectures in Berlin, the reader is taken to "the center and border of his existence" in an encounter with Jesus Christ. The book's purpose is as a summary and introduction to christology (especially Lutheran christology, and its history and interactions with "liberal Christianity"), as well as a summary, defense and exposition of the Chalcedonian definition of the Hypostatic Union. In its exploration of christology, Chalcedon and the various ...more
Aug 12, 2013 Sam rated it it was amazing
This series of lectures in 1933 (the year Hitler became Chancellor of Germany) consisted of three parts, but the third is thought to have never been delivered. Between parts 1 and 2, I prefer 1 but 2 develops some of its themes of Christ being the unconscious "center" and "boundary" of the world and history. Part 2 delves into Christological heresies, in both their ancient and modern forms, but it's Bonhoeffer's treatment of the Chalcedonian Definition that I found most perceptive.

Bonhoeffer ove
Dec 25, 2009 Kelly rated it liked it
This volume is a compilation of student notes from Bonhoeffer's lectures on christology while teaching at the University of Berlin. While dense and, at times, a mildly laborious read, this collection of notes provides a solid foundation to understanding the great theologian's later writings. Exceptional organization paired with Bonhoeffer's ability to work through metaphysical issues allows the reader to freshly examine faith and one's relationship to Christ.

Overall, thoroughly academic and not
Feb 24, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
This book was an amazing survey of Christology, all the more so because it was not written as a book but was reconstructed from student notes after a series of lectures. I really appreciated the parts of section 2 that addressed various heresies as they relate to Christology. I'm not sure I understood everything in the book, but it was a fascinating read nonetheless. One of the key points I take away from this book is that it is more to the point to ask "Who is Jesus Christ?" than to ask "How ca ...more
Norman Styers
Apr 23, 2016 Norman Styers rated it liked it
This is not a book written by Bonhoeffer, but a reconstruction by one of his students of a course in Christology he gave. The book could benefit from being about twice as long as it is. The text spits out paradoxes faster than G.K. Chesterton, but fails to elucidate them, which makes it hard to grasp just what he is driving at. Still, the book is worthwhile and has some interesting insights.
Drew Darby
Dec 07, 2010 Drew Darby rated it it was amazing
Very good. I felt that just by engaging in thinking about christology in such a precise way that I got a lot out of the book. My only complaint is that the editing wasn't too great---some weird alternations between American and British spellings, punctuation oddities, etc...
Aug 29, 2011 Lydia rated it really liked it
This book seeks to answer the questions "Who is Christ" and it is still very relevant in addressing this question people of faith today. Skim through the first part of Part 2 unless you want a review of ancient Christian heresies, but otherwise a good (and short!) read.
Dwight Davis
Apr 11, 2011 Dwight Davis rated it it was amazing
This is probably the easiest of Bonhoeffer's early theology to read. And it's absolutely brilliant. Bonhoeffer's formulations about the person and work of Christ are incredibly challenging and great. If ever I get to teach a class on Christology, this will be one of the text books.
Kendra Beth
May 28, 2012 Kendra Beth rated it liked it
very much like Mere Christianity, but with a lot more doctrinal rhetoric.
Tim Rippstein
Dec 28, 2010 Tim Rippstein rated it liked it
It's Bonhoeffer... a challenging read. This christocentric focus on asking the right questions when exploring Christ, "Who", not "How" is wonderful. Part one explains this approach. Part two focuses on early trajectories of Christology and their subsequent heresies. Bonheoeffer sees these trajectories today as theologians attempt to relieve the tension present when they seek the answer to "How" in understanding the two natures of Christ. He calls us back to the mystery of "Who".
Jul 28, 2014 Alyona rated it really liked it
Well...a tough read, though I wish I could have been among the students of Berlin university in summer 1933 to hear Bonhoeffer deliver the lectures.

What I really liked is that Bonhoeffer, in spite of being a Lutheran, stays unbiased while speaking about different views on crucial points of christology.

The main message of Christ the Centre is that "WHO IS GOD?" is the only appropriate question, not "How can man Jesus be Christ the Saviour?" or "How is the incarnation possible?", etc.
Nicholas Tangen
Nov 18, 2014 Nicholas Tangen rated it really liked it
Longer than it seems, but good stuff.
Philip Brown
Raised more questions than it answered but was enjoyable.
Jul 23, 2011 Stephen rated it it was amazing
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian. He was also a participant in the German Resistance movement against Nazism, a founding member of the Confessing Church. His involvement in plans by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler resulted in his arrest in April 1943 and his subsequent execution by hanging in April 1945, sho ...more
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“Nothing can be known either of God or man until God has become man in Jesus Christ.” 8 likes
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