Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bonhoeffer and Ideologies

Have you read,'The Cost Of Discipeship'? Wow! So, what are your thoughts?

Yes, I have read it. The Cost of Discipleship is great, for a book. But Bonhoffer went against the very principles he stated in that book when he worked to get Hitler assassinated. He chose to live against those principles. So it just goes to show that head knowledge only goes so far.
I have really appreciated the first part of his book, Ethics, and many people have praised his book "Life Together," although I didn't think it was as good as the other two.

Why is it great for a book? I am interested in what you really think. Are we as christians supossed to faithfull to our idolagies, no matter what? Gordon

We are not supposed to be faithful to ideologies. We are supposed to be faithful to Jesus. Bonhoeffer wrote this book, the cost of discipleship, as his best, most accurate expression of what it means to follow Jesus. He wrote it specifically against the church that ended up following Hitler and his regime.

Bonhoeffer knew that we were meant to follow Jesus, not the state, not ideologies, but the Lord. This is why he wrote the book. To inform us of what Jesus demanded-- not the church, not the state, but Jesus alone.

So when Bonhoeffer stood against the principles he wrote in this book, he was standing against his own best understanding of what Jesus demanded. He knew that Jesus wanted us to love our enemies, and that Jesus wanted us to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others. Bonhoeffer decided that he would compromise what Jesus demanded that he do for the sake of his country. Since he could not find a way to love his enemy and love his country, he determined to hate his enemy, Hitler. He did this with good intentions, but the good intentions took him away from Jesus.

In this, then, he ended up in an insideous way, agreeing with Hitler. Bonhoeffer and Hitler had different ideas who their enemy was, but they both agreed that the way to deal with enemies is to destroy them ourselves. They both disagreed with Jesus in this area. And yet, in a way, Bonhoeffer was the worst of the two. Hitler did what he did in ignorance of Jesus, not having commited himself to him. Bonhoeffer counted the cost, made the determination to follow Jesus, and then, when the crisis hit, he determined to love his country more than Jesus.

"He who takes up the plow and turns back is not worthy to follow Me."

"Remember Lot's wife."

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