Christian Carnival 189: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Edition

I am so pleased to present the 189th Christian Carnival, which I have labeled The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Edition. I wrote about Bonhoeffer back in April, on the anniversary of his death. I couldn’t resist returning to this compelling character, most well known for his martyrdom at the hands of Hitler. When I ran into a Christian friend of mine at the library about six months ago, lamenting to her that our little library had no Bonhoeffer books, and she replied, “who is Bonhoeffer?” – well, I would like to introduce you to him, if you also have not been acquainted with this German pastor, theologian, Christan, and man for his times.

The posts for this Christian Carnival will be organized around various Dietrich Bonhoeffer quotes and other passages from the book that sits in my lap as I type, the 1000+ page biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eberhard Bethge. This is a monumental book, and should be in every Christian’s library. No, I don’t agree with every bit of theology that Bonhoeffer espoused, but do not miss this complex and fascinating man.

The misunderstood relationship between Law and Gospel, that is, a forgiveness of sin that does not affect the earthly, civil life of people. People are still told they are sinners, but are not called out from their sinful structures. How are we, who go on sinning in the expectation of grace, to go on taking seriously the forgiveness of sins and prayer to God? We make grace cheap and with the justification of the sinner through the cross, forget the cry of the Lord that never justifies sin. p.209, Bonhoeffer speech to Berlin Christian Student Movement

Michael presents Resisting Temptation posted at Chasing the Wind. Temptation comes from outside; sin comes from within. How do we deal with temptation? Did Jesus give us an example? A study of Matthew 4.

One characteristic of Bonhoeffer’s concept of religion expressed in the letters from prison, namely, that religion is passing away, has already been mentioned. It should be considered once more, although Bonhoeffer never clarified the relation of Barth’s systematic concept of religion to this historical one. Can faith ever escape becoming a religion, whether western, eastern, or African? But precisely in order to make faith possible, Bonhoeffer explains “religion” in its “Western form” as something we can do without and as a relic of past ages. His judgment here is so certain because he regards the age of Jesus as something different from the age of religion. p. 877, Eberhard Bethge

Dana presents Religion vs. Spirituality posted at Principled Discovery. Dana reflects on the meaning of religion as “go through again, read again.”

One can’t preach the Gospel tangibly enough. A truly evangelical sermon must be like offering a child a fine red apple or offering a thirsty man a cool glass of water and then saying: Do you want it? p. 234, Bonhoeffer preaching in Berlin

Richard H. Anderson presents I will gather the lame, the outcasts and the afflicted posted at dokeo kago grapho soi kratistos Theophilos.

Steve Bishop at an accidental blog looks at a Christian view of work (despite not having Labor day in the UK!)

Let us learn to do what is just without words for a while….He who knows himself close to death is decisive, but he is also silent. Without words, yes, not understood and alone if need be, but he does what is necessary and just, he makes his sacrifice… p. 830, Bonhoeffer from his jail cell in Tegel

Luke Houghton presents Does it pay to do the right thing? posted at Luke Houghton. Luke says, “I am a Christian and I do what’s right all the time… does it help? NO. So what can I do about it? Read on to learn more.”

Jan presents Serving Leaders posted at The View From Her. Are the leaders serving, or are we serving the leaders?

Paula [Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s mother] gave the children their first schooling. In her youth, with a spirit of independence that was shocking at the time, she had fought for and obtained permission to take the qualifying examination for women teachers. She gave lessons at home to the older and younger children together, along with the children of some of her husband’s professor friends, and at the year’s end she was always able to register her pupils successfully for the state examination, where they did very well. Thanks to the excellent start she gave them, they were able to skip entire grades and eventually take the school graduation examinations at a remarkable early age, as Dietrich did. p. 17, notes by Bethge on Childhood and Youth

Renae presents Fulfilling the Purpose of Education, Reason 4 of Why I Home School posted at Life Nurturing Education. Renae is certainly in good company with Paula Bonhoeffer!

This is the end – for me the beginning of life.” p. 927, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s last recorded words

Chris Brooks presents Homeward Bound: 5 questions to help your devotions posted at Homeward Bound. Questions to help you get to the juicy goodness when your devotions take you to more difficult passages.

It is not difficult at present to talk of freedom, and to do so in such a way that a German’s passions are roused and so completely agitated that he forgets everything else. In present-day Germany there may be many like the ancient Israelites in captivity who, deeply absorbed in themselves, were able to dream of nothing but liberty, and saw great visions of it and grasped for it, until they awakened and the vision faded….p. 237, Bonhoeffer sermon in July 1932, one week before 38 percent of the German electorate voted for Hitler’s party.

Ian Spencer presents Dispensationalism and the Interpretation of Scripture Part 3: Modern Israel and Biblical Prophecy posted at Philosophical Orthodoxy. Does Modern Israel fulfill Biblical prophecy?

Bruce Alderman presents why i will not be raptured, part ii posted at it seems to me….

And there is a word that among Protestants has the sound of something infinitely commonplace, more or less indifferent and superfluous, that does not make their hearts beat faster; which they associate with a sense of boredom, or, at any rate, which does not lend wings to our religious feelings – and yet our fate is sealed if we cannot acquire a new or perhaps a very old meaning for it. Woe to us if that word does not soon become important to us again, if it does not become a matter of concern in our lives. Yes, “church” is the word whose sense we have forgotten, and whose glory and greatness we want to examine somewhat today. pp. 63-64, Bonhoeffer sermon in Barcelona

Diane R presents My Church Visiting Odyssey posted at Crossroads: Where Faith and Inquiry Meet. “I visited four churches this summer, mostly alone. What transpired wasn’t the greatest.”

Doug presents Has Sin changed Humans Biologically? posted at Bounded Irrationality. Doug considers if sin has changed our bodies and our genes over the generations since the Fall.

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! p. 442, Bonhoeffer sermon at Finkenwalde

Annette presents Head coverings, our position in the body posted at Fish and Cans. A three part pondering on 1 Corinthians 11 and what that might mean in the church today.

One should not spend a longer time in Africa without preparation, the shock is too great and increases from day to day, so that one is glad to return to Europe. p. 59, Bonhoeffer’s diary recounting a trip to Africa

Nick Cross presents Crossinator: Money Won’t Solve Africa’s Problem posted at Crossinator. Comments on a recent article about development aid from the West.

Wanda Grindstaff presents Prosperity and Abundance is Your Birthright posted at Creating Abundant Lifestyles.

Rodney Olsen presents Show me the money posted at The Journey. Does God want you to be rich? Is the kind of prosperity that Jesus promises in the Bible all about financial wealth?

FMF presents God’s Blessing on 90 Percent of Your Income is Better than 100 Percent without the Blessing posted at Free Money Finance.

It is impossible to become a new person as a solitary individual….The new person is not the individual believer who has been justified and sanctified, but the church, the Body of Christ, Christ himself. p. 455, Bonhoeffer from The Cost of Discipleship

Brent Turner presents Value of Christian Camping posted at Everyday Liturgy.

Tupelo Kenyon presents Goal Setting or Let Go and Let God posted at Tupelo Kenyon.

He did a great deal to keep some of the weaker brethren from depression and anxiety. He spent a good deal of time with Wasily Wasiliew Kokorin, Molotov’s nephew, who was a delightful young man although an atheist. I think your brother divided his time with him between instilling the foundations of Christianity and learning Russian. p. 924, letter from fellow prisoner at Flossenberg, 1945

Jeremy Pierce presents Dawkins and Atheistic Overconfidence posted at Parableman. A response of sorts to Richard Dawkins’ review of Christopher Hitchens’ new book defending atheism.

Tom Gilson presents Evolution is Easy: It Just Takes An Infinite Number of You posted at Thinking Christian. There’s an easy solution to the improbabilities of evolution, some say–just have enough worlds and it’s bound to happen. Here’s a response to one such theory.

The church must be able to say the Word of God, the word of authority, here and now, in the most concrete way possible, from knowledge of the situation, or it will say something else, something different and human, the word of impotence. Thus the church must announce no eternally valid principles, but only commandments that are true today. For what is “always” true is not true “today.” To us God is “always” God “today.” p. 255, Bonhoeffer speech at Ciernohorske Kupele

Henry Neufeld presents Learning a Little Greek posted at Participatory Bible Study Blog. On the dangers of interlinears and other learning crutches.

Michael McGinnis presents The Greeting Card Theory of Biblical Authorship posted at Tantalizing if True. The Bible as Hallmark would have written it, and as many Americans read it.

I shall soon be handing in my postdoctoral thesis…and soon I shall be going to Barcelona for a fortnight’s visit to my congregation, of which I am very fond, and I feel in general that academic work will not hold me for long. On the other hand, I think it very important to have as thorough an academic grounding as possible. p. 128, Bonhoeffer comments on his purpose in life

Steve Krager presents How to thrive at a Christian college posted at faithdoubt. Eight practical tips to help you thrive in college.

SWBTS Bloggers presents The OT, Christ and Textual Hermeneutics posted at Straight out of the SWBTS Blogosphere.

Bonhoeffer was all humility and sweetness; he always seemed to diffuse an atmosphere of happiness, of joy in every smallest event in life, and of deep gratitude for the mere fact that he was alive. There was something dog-like in the look of fidelity in his eyes and his gladness if you showed that you liked him. He was one of the very few men I have ever met to whom his God was real and ever close to him….In fact my feeling was far stronger than these words imply. He was, without exception, the finest and most lovable man I have ever met. p. 920, Writings of fellow prisoner in Buchenwald, Payne Best

My Editor’s Pick is from Mrs. Darling, with Friendship, posted at Dishpan Dribble. Enjoy some practical tips on cultivating friendships.

I hear you know that we have suffered greatly and lost two sons and two sons-in-law through the Gestapo. As you can imagine, this has taken its toll on us old folk. For years, we endured the tension, the anxiety about those arrested and those who were not yet arrested but in danger. But since we all agreed about the necessity of action, and my sons were also fully aware of what they could expect if the plot miscarried, and had resolved if necessary to lay down their lives, we are sad, but also proud of ther straight and narrow attitude. We have fine memories of both sons from prison…that move both of us and their friends greatly. p. 933, Letter of Dietrich’s father, Karl Bonhoeffer

Jody Neufeld presents Frozen in Time posted at Jody Along the Path. There is a healthy way to deal with grief.

William Meisheid presents Do This in Remembrance of Me posted at Beyond The Rim…. A few thoughts on remembrance as it applies to Eucharist and our 9-11 memorials.

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20 Responses to Christian Carnival 189: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Edition

  1. Pingback: BlogWatch

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you for hosting this week. You put in an amazing amount of work!

  3. Pingback: Kiwi and an Emu. » Christian Carnival CLXXXIX (189)

  4. Rodney Olsen says:

    Brilliant job. Thanks for all your work in putting the carnival together.

  5. Steve Krager says:

    Wow, that must have taken a while. Good work, what an awesome post!

  6. Thom says:

    Not to be nitpicky, but it was not I who wrote the Values of Camping but another one of our contributors, Brent. Just giving credit where credit is due!

    Thanks for putting this kind of effort into the Carnival!

  7. Pingback: Participatory Bible Study Blog » Blog Archive » Christian Carnival #189

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  9. I have to echo what others have said. You’ve put a lot of work into the Carnival and it’s appreciated.

  10. Jen says:

    Thank you so much for the kind comments, everyone. I really enjoyed putting this carnival together, and working the posts around such an intriguing character as Dietrich Bonhoeffer really made it a thought-provoking experience for me!

    Thom, oops, I’m sorry about the mixup, I’ll fix the authorship.

    If I missed something else, let me know.


  11. Pingback: Chasing the Wind » Christian Carnival 189

  12. Kinderlehrer says:

    Thanks for dropping by and asking about the Carnival for “International Education in Freedom Day” in Germany on the 15th.

    I can see you have been busy here and I look forward to coming back and having a look around.

    I will start to publish for a 12.01am release on the 15th and continue through our day until the 15th finishes around the world!

    So whenever your day ends on the 15th is fine :)

    You can use this email for this carnival.

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  16. Robert Jackson says:

    I was trying to confirm a quote that was supposedly Boenhoeffer’s –
    “He who is alone with sin, is alone indeed”

  17. Jen says:

    Robert, I haven’t been able to confirm this, but I’m still looking! I’ll get back with you.

  18. Pingback: Christian Carnival 189: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Edition | Adventures and Thoughts of Team Cross

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