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Life Together Prayerbook of the Bible (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works #5)

4.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,987 Ratings  ·  629 Reviews
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Volume 5A classic of Christian spirituality. In this theological interpretation of the Psalms, Bonhoeffer describes the moods of an individual's relationship with God and also the turns of love and heartbreak, of joy and sorrow that are themselves the Christian community's path to God.Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, a sixteen volume series, offers a f ...more
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Published December 28th 2004 by Augsburg Fortress, Publishers (first published 1939)
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Jan 11, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1/11/09 I just reread this book for another class. I think it's my fourth reading now. All I want to add is that this book gets better each time. I'm amazed by Bonhoeffer's insight and the understanding of God that informs the whole work. It's small but packed with import. You'd think I would have learned its lessons in the first three readings, but I again found myself deeply challenged about my own behavior in Christian community. This one is worth coming back to again and again.
4/1/07 I
In Life Together Bonhoeffer gives us penetrating definitions of human and spiritual love, just as he outlined the distinction between cheap and costly grace in The Cost of Discipleship. Listening to him give specific after specific, you get the decided impression he has lived the experience of which writes. Well could I get lost in his requirements, for often have I strayed down the paths of human love not realizing what a poor substitute it was for the real thing—not speaking for anyone but mys ...more
Dec 08, 2007 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. There is value in disillusionment with fellow Christians so to avoid seeing fellowship as an "extraordinary social experience."
2. "God has willed that we should seek and find His living Word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of a man."
3. "The Psalter is the vicarious prayer of Christ for His church...the new Humanity of Christ, the Body continues to pray His prayer...that is why the prayer of the Psalms the fellowship."
4. "Only in the infiniteness of [Scripture's] inner r
Mar 31, 2016 Ginger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: church-life
SO convicting! If the church truly looked like this, the world would have no choice but to look and see what this was all about.

My pastor said a few weeks ago in Sunday service that we come together not as a judge on "The Voice," deciding whether to turn around because we like the music or the person beside us or the sermon. For some reason that has stuck so closely with me for weeks now and has freed me tremendously. I think somewhere along the way I exchanged discernment (a good and necessary
Eric Chappell
Mar 25, 2014 Eric Chappell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reading
Read 2013-2014
Technically, my third time reading this book. First time solo; second with wife; third with community group.

Friends, I cannot overstate how good this book is. My marginal notes exponentially increase with every read. If you haven't read this classic on Christian community, please read it this year. I can think of few other books that will be a help in marriage, humble you in relationships, increase your love for the church and your appreciation of the grace of community like Bonho
K. D. Winchester
Book Four of the Cornelius Series | Bonhoeffer desires Christians to quit making petty excuses for our half-hearted Christianity, particularly when we interact with others. He says, “Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because Christians are talking when they should be listening.”
In this dense little book, Bonhoeffer balances support for both formal and personal worship, which I appreciated. Though he wrote this book for a different people
Rebekah Courter
What an amazing little book. I believe every Christian should read this at least once if not every year. It is definitely a must read.

"A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother 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 in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died,
Peter B.
I have now read this book three times, and I continue to benefit from the practical wisdom contained in it. I don't give out five star ratings very often, but this one deserves it. Bonhoeffer's directions for life in Christian community, including family life, are biblical and convicting. I don't necessarily endorse Bonhoeffer's theology as a whole or his other writings (I understand that he was Neo-Orthodox, so do be aware of that influence), but I do recommend this book. I will likely re-read ...more
Katie Bliss
Feb 18, 2014 Katie Bliss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
Really, really good stuff here. At times it was a little over my head and I wished he'd had some more specific instructions regarding some issues and situations, and at other times I was like, whoa, way too specific! But for the most part, it was just solid theology about how Christians should be living with and supporting each other.
Nov 25, 2014 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last chapter is worth a reread every month as a devotional, especially before partaking in the
Lord's Supper. He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy Pr.28;13
Dec 29, 2015 Kevan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whenever I read how-to books, I "skip to end" the consider the actual bio of the person. Does the person have a life narrative I admire? Would I actually want to be like them? If so, perhaps I'll take their advice.

So here's Bonhoeffer. Nazi-resister, Gandhi liaison, secret super spy pastor. An amazing spirit, executed in a concentration camp, after laying a foundation for modern hearts to follow Christ. What a dude. I want to be like him, but maybe not in the exact manner he lays out here.

Andy Hickman
Oct 29, 2015 Andy Hickman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 'Life Together' (London: SCM Press, 1962)
- - -
A bold and penetrating book challenging Christians to the life of community, which is to say, a life of Cross-centred living.
- - -
2.The Day with Others.
3.The Day Alone.
5.Confession and Communion.
- - -
Memorable quotes include:

Ch.1 - Community.
"It is easily forgotten that the fellowship of Christian brethren is a gift of grace, a gift of the Kingdom of God that any day may be taken from us..."

Seth Comfort
Jan 10, 2011 Seth Comfort rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my book club, we finished reading Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It is a fantastic book that I will probably return to and read again (hopefully each year). It is a short read, my version has 147 pages, but it is filled with wisdom and biblical truth's. The book is about living life together in Christian community. The chapters breakdown the different aspects of life together.
The book starts with an introduction that gives a background on Bonhoeffer and his life. He was born in 1906 an
Oct 03, 2014 Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most encouraging, eye-opening books I have read during my christian walk. It was such an encouragement and very convicting, especially the Ministry chapter. A must read for every christian!
Drew Saccenti
Jan 11, 2016 Drew Saccenti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started off a bit slow for me. However as you pick up on his writing style, and pay close attention to what he is saying, you will find gold. I love the fact that what he is writing has stood the test of time. An added bonus to this book is the fact that he was writing it in the mist of extreme trial. It should be encouraging to all walks of faith. It should encourage the the stable christian that is in community, and challenge those that don't feel like they are in a place to plug int ...more
[having realized now that I wrote in this review the words "an advisory of suggestions" I feel I should mention that I'm in a post-intense-writing-class-teaching-day state, which means, though I may feel rather hyped at the moment, my brain is not necessarily at its clearest. I shudder to think what I will notice and think a blatantly obvious mistake when I reread this later]

I have mislaid my hard copy - which I read in 2006 or 2007 - in a box of books somewhere on the other side of the world, s
Dec 31, 2014 Hope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought I could sail through this 100 page book in a couple of days, but I was overestimating my powers of assimilation and underestimating Bonhoeffer’s profundity. Like some books by Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, I understood only half of Life Together.The little I “got”, however, was well worth the effort.

Bonhoeffer wrote the book in 1938 after having lived in an underground seminary with twenty-five pastors. It addressed the issues of Christian brothers living in close proximity.

The book open
Mad Russian the Traveller
(July 27, 2011AD)
This short book has only an introduction and five chapters, but oh how profound are the thoughts contained therein. I have only just finished through the first chapter (Community) and found numerous passages to quote. Many of the reviews on this book quote copiously from the text, but I will still add to the din. I will be reading this again periodically as I try to internalize these ideas.

This passage reminds me to pray for my brothers around the world, it is also a comfort to
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josh Hopping
Apr 04, 2013 Josh Hopping rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Born in 1906, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian who opposed the rise of Hitler and his Nazi government when the majority of church leaders voted to support the new regime. At age 27 Bonhoeffer fled Germany and became the pastor of two German speaking churches in London, England. Two years later in 1935 he returned to Nazi controlled Germany to help established an underground, illegal seminary for pastors. Bonhoeffer also got caught up in the shifting political winds of the c ...more
Oct 31, 2011 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Life Together" might be Bonhoeffer's most practical book; theology with its work clothes on. He was addressing Christian community. It surprised me that he addressed some sections specifically to Christian families, although it shouldn't have. After all, that is a form of community most Christians will be involved in for at least a portion of their lives.
He is quite specific in suggesting how families should live, not only saying that they should sing but what they should sing (first Reformati
Life Together, published in German in 1938, then translated into English in 1956, is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s prescriptive for disciplined fruitful Christian life as it is lived in community, whether as the typical family unit or in a more communal setting.

Bonhoeffer had been living and working in London as pastor of two congregations as he had chosen to leave Germany due to what, translator, John W. Doberstein explains was his conviction that German-Christian relations had been compromised in thei
When I started this book I wondered what was so great about it. Most people I encountered loved it, and many of my colleges at seminary made it required reading for their church leadership. So, when I picked it up, I had high hopes.

In the first chapter I found some good insights but some equally frustrating remarks. One sentence I'm highlighting and rejoicing in and the next I'm ready to strike through. Upon discussing this first chapter with a friend, he assured me that many phrases that struck
Chrissy Johnson
Oct 12, 2015 Chrissy Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
5 stars for the first and fourth sections "Community" and "Ministry" for the beauty of the writer's use of biblical truth in outlining why we live in community and how to do it in a way that shines God's truth on our lives together. 1 star for middle sections "The day with others" and "The day alone" in which Bonhoeffer declared in no uncertain terms exactly how the structure of prayer and fellowship with one's community should go down to the final detail. Example: "the free prayer at the close ...more
Christopher Chelpka
Life Together is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It's a model of theological writing. In this book, Dietrich Bonhoeffer describes what Christian community is and isn’t. He also counsels Christians in how they are to live together in that community. Somehow this book is both easy to read and as dense with spiritual insight as many books that are much, much longer. The number of subjects covered is amazing and yet it hardly feels like an overview.
I find it amazing that God has blessed the world with Christian thinkers like Bonhoeffer. It's wild that someone was wise enough to recognize the need for this topic and then took time to articulate a thoughful examination of the subject. For instance, when a new church is gathered, I would think it rare that the church would prioritize and recognize and specifically advocate a stance on such subjects as:
*the importance of humility within the community,
*the importance of listening,
*the impact
Carl Jenkins
Jan 25, 2015 Carl Jenkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man, this is an amazing book. This is one of those books that you should read at least once a year.

Bonhoeffer explores what the community of Christ looks like as it functions together. There isn't really an easy way to sum up this book other than to say you must read it. It will greatly affect the way you see and live within your congregation.
Natalie Print
Jun 10, 2016 Natalie Print rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bonhoeffer suggests that the joy and blessing of being part of a Christian community is often overlooked, as are the responsibilities being a faithful brother or sister in Christ involves. A helpful little
book which encourages Christians to take their place in Christian community and
provides Biblical, realistic and practical insights on how we can go about doing that.
Feb 04, 2016 Laurén rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we *are* sinners!" (Pg 110) So how do we, as sinners saved by grace, live and grow in community with each other?

Life Together is a collection of Christian indicatives and imperatives sorted by Dietrich Bonhoeffer for the purpose of outlining what the structure of Christian community can/should look like. While th
Katie Schuermann
This book has been instrumental in shaping the way I listen to and relate to others. There are a couple of things toward the end of the book that made me uncomfortable, but a little wonkiness is palatable when you have a good pastor at your side to help set things theologically aright.
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 10/13 split between editions 4 19 Mar 11, 2015 11:38AM  
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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
More about Dietrich Bonhoeffer...

Other Books in the Series

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Sanctorum Communio
  • Act and Being (Works, Vol 2)
  • Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies
  • The Cost of Discipleship
  • Ethics (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol. 6)
  • Fiction from Tegel Prison (Works, Vol 7)
  • Letters and Papers from Prison
  • Young Bonhoeffer Dbw Vol 9
  • Barcelona, Berlin, New York: 1928-31 (Works, Vol 10)
  • Ecumenical Academic Pastoral Work: 1931-32 (Works, Vol 11)

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“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).” 256 likes
“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” 150 likes
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