Bonhoeffer Quotes

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Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
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Bonhoeffer Quotes (showing 1-30 of 80)
“Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God's will.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic. Do not defend God's word, but testify to it. Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“...when someone asked Bonhoeffer whether he shouldn't join the German Christians in order to work against them from within, he answered that he couldn't. 'If you board the wrong train,' he said, 'it is no use running along the corridor in the opposite direction.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Many years later, after Niemöller had been imprisoned for eight years in concentration camps as the personal prisoner of Adolf Hitler, he penned these infamous words:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionist, and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Jew.
And then they came for me -
and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and fear of it. Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can be still and hold fast to God’s Word. Death is not bitter, if we have not become bitter ourselves. Death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in him. Death is mild, death is sweet and gentle; it beckons to us with heavenly power, if only we realize that it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace.

How do we know that dying is so dreadful? Who knows whether, in our human fear and anguish we are only shivering and shuddering at the most glorious, heavenly, blessed event in the world? Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“With the tools of democracy, democracy was murdered and lawlessness made "legal." Raw power ruled, and its only real goal was to destroy all other powers besides itself.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“It is remarkable how I am never quite clear about the motives for any of my decisions. Is that a sign of confusion or inner dishonesty or is it a sign that we are guided without our knowing or is it both ...The reasons one gives for an action to others and to one's self are certainly inadequate. One can give a reason for everything. In the last resort one acts from a level which remains hidden from us. So one can only ask God to judge us and to forgive us.... At the end of the day I can only ask God to give a merciful judgement on today and all its decisions. It is now in his hand.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“He did not hope that God heard his prayers; he knew it.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“There was only one reality, and Christ was Lord over all of it, or none.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
tags: christ
“It was not apathy or passiveness. For him, prayer was a display of the strongest possible activity.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“It's so easy to become a grumbler, someone who condemns and carps at everything on principle and sees an ulterior motive behind it.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Bonhoeffer examined and dismissed a number of approaches to dealing with evil. "Reasonable people," he said, think that "with a little reason, they can pull back together a structure that has come apart at the joints." Then there are the ethical "fanatics" who "believe that they can face the power of evil with the purity of their will and their principles." Men of"conscience" become overwhelmed because the "countless respectable and seductive disguises and masks in which evil approaches them make their conscience anxious and unsure until they finally content themselves with an assuaged conscience instead of a good conscience." They must "deceive their own conscience in order not to despair." Finally there are some who retreat to a "private virtuousness. Such people neither steal, nor murder,nor commit adultery, but do good according to their abilities. but... they must close their eyes and ears to the injustice around them. Only at the cost of self-deception can they keep their private blamelessness clean from the stains of responsible action in the world. In all that they do, what they fail to do will not let them rest.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Where a people prays, there is the church; and where the church is; there is never loneliness.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Future generations would be convinced that nothing good could ever have existed in a country that produced such evil. They would think only of these evils. It would be as if these unleashed dark forces had grotesquely marched like devils on dead horses, backward through the gash in the present, and had destroyed the German past too.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“The Americans speak so much about freedom in their sermons. Freedom as a possession is a doubtful thing for a church; freedom must be won under the compulsion of a necessity. Freedom for the church comes from the necessity of the Word of God. Otherwise it becomes arbitrariness and ends in a great many new ties.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“This was one of the casualties of war, that trust itself seemed to die a thousand deaths.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Bonhoeffer thought of death as the last station on the road to freedom.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“He had theologically redefined the Christian life as something active, not reactive. It had nothing to do with avoiding sin or with merely talking or teaching or believing theological notions or principles or rules or tenets. It had everything to do with living one’s whole life in obedience to God’s call through action. It did not merely require a mind, but a body too. It was God’s call to be fully human, to live as human beings obedient to the one who had made us, which was the fulfillment of our destiny. It was not a cramped, compromised, circumspect life, but a life lived in a kind of wild, joyful, full-throated freedom—that was what it was to obey God.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“The rich world of his ancestors set the standards for Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s own life. It gave him a certainty of judgment and manner that cannot be acquired in a single generation.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Bonhoeffer himself knew that in all of it, he was being utterly obedient to God. For him, that was the cantus firmus that made the dizzying complexities of it all perfectly coherent.”
Eric Metaxas and Timothy J. Keller, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Describing Bonhoeffer's demeanor on returning to danger in Germany rather than safety in America, with "with a strong and joyful firmness such as only arises out of realized freedom. ”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Bonhoeffer's experiences with African American community underscored an idea that was developing in his mind: the only real piety and power that he had seen in the American church seemed to be in the churches where there were a present reality and a past history of suffering.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Things do exist that are worth standing up for without compromise. To me it seems that peace and social justice are such things, as is Christ himself.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“It is a question of the freedom of God, which finds its strongest evidence precisely in that God freely chose to be bound to historical human beings and to be placed at the disposal of human beings. God is free not from human beings but for them. Christ is the word of God’s freedom.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Christianity contains within itself a germ hostile to the Church (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Even if millions have seen Bonhoeffer’s death as tragic and as a prematurely ended life, we can be certain that he did not see it that way at all. In a sermon he preached while a pastor in London, he said: No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about the realm of the resurrected, and not been homesick from that hour, waiting and looking forward joyfully to being released from bodily existence. Whether we are young or old makes no difference. What are twenty or thirty or fifty years in the sight of God? And which of us knows how near he or she may already be to the goal? That life only really begins when it ends here on earth, that all that is here is only the prologue before the curtain goes up—that is for young and old alike to think about. Why are we so afraid when we think about death? . . . Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and fear of it. Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can be still and hold fast to God’s Word. Death is not bitter, if we have not become bitter ourselves. Death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in him. Death is mild, death is sweet and gentle; it beckons to us with heavenly power, if only we realize that it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace. How do we know that dying is so dreadful? Who knows whether, in our human fear and anguish we are only shivering and shuddering at the most glorious, heavenly, blessed event in the world? Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“The 'success' of the sermon is utterly dependent on the God who breaks through and 'grasps' us, or we cannot be 'grasped.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“So what stands in place of the Christian message? An ethical and social idealism borne by a faith in progress that - who knows how - claims the right to call itself "Christian." And in the place of the church as the congregation of believers in Christ there stands the church as a social corporation." ~Bonhoeffer”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“Bonhoeffer’s rule never to speak about a brother in his absence. Bonhoeffer knew that living according to what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount was not “natural” for anyone.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
“But in a few years, as part of their effort to push Jews out of German public life, the Nazis would attempt to puah them out of the German church too. That these "non-Aryans" had publicly converted to the Christian faith meant nothing, since the lens through which the Nazis saw the world was purely racial. One's genetic makeup and ancestral bloodline were all that mattered; one's most deeply held beliefs counted for nothing.”
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

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