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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Monday, September 08, 2003

Bits of Bonhoeffer

(Note to those who are concerned about inclusive language: this was written in the 1940's, before anyone had such a notion, and I am not about to be editing one of the most significant theological writers of the 20th century. Translation is left to the reader.)

"The knowledge of Jesus Christ, metamorphosis, love, or whatever other name we may give it, is somehting living, and not something which is given, fixed and possessed once and for all. For this reason there arises every day anew the question how here, today and in my present situation I am to remain and to be preserved in this new life with God, with jesus Christ."

"The greatest of all the dangers which threatened the Church with inner disintegration and disruption lay in the neutrality of large numbers of Christians."

These two sayings necessarily belong together as the two claims of Jesus Christ, the claim to exclusiveness and the claim to totality. But in isolation the claim to exclusiveness leads to fanatacism and slavery; and in isolation the claim to totality leads to the secularization and self-abandonment of the Church. The more exclusively we we acknowledge and confess Christ as our Lord, the more fully the wide range of His dominion will be disclosed to us."

"Christ belongs to both the wicked and the good; He belongs to them both only as sinners, that is to say, as men who in their wickedness and in their goodness have fallen away from the origin."

Food for thought, no? Golly, this guy is good.


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