Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Faith Blog................by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I am reading the biography BONHOEFFER, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy....by Eric Metaxas.  It's a very good biography about a German pastor who fought for the Jews and was killed for it.....It's a book I highly recommend.  I ran across the following words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer about reading the Bible and found it so profound I wanted to share it with you.  Those of you are not believing Christians will probably not read it, but those of you who are will get a lot from it, I know.  
Please give it a go, read it.........I think it's compelling and important:


First of all I will confess quite simply---I believe that the Bible alone is the answer to all our questions, and that we need only to ask repeatedly and a little humbly, in order to receive this answer.  One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books.   One must be prepared really to enquire of it.  Only thus will it reveal itself.  Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it.  That is because in the Bible God speaks to us.  And one cannot simply think about God in one's own strength, one has to enquire of him.  Only if we seek him, will he answer us.

Of course it is also possible to read the Bible like any other book, that is to say from the point of view of textual criticism, etc.; there is nothing to be said against that.  Only that that is not the method which will reveal to us the heart of the Bible, but only the surface, just as we do not grasp the words of someone we love by taking them to bits, but by simply receiving them, so that for days they go on lingering in our minds, simply because they are the words of a person we love; and just as these words reveal more and more of the person who said them as we go on, like Mary, "pondering them in our heart," so it will be with the words of the Bible.  Only if we will venture to enter into the words of the Bible, as though in them this god were speaking to us who loves us and does not will to leave us along with our questions, only so shall we learn to rejoice in the Bible...


If it is I who determines where God is to be found, then I shall always find a God who corresponds to me in some way, who is obliging, who is connected with my own nature.  But if God determines where he is to be found, then it will be a place which is not immediately pleasing to my nature and which is not at all congenial to me.  This place is the Cross of Christ.  And whoever would find him must go to the foot of the Cross, as the Sermon on the Mount commands.  This is not according to our nature at all, it is entirely contrary to it.  But this is the message of the Bible, not only in the New but also in the Old Testament...

And I would like to tell you now quite personally:  since I have learnt to read the Bible in this way---and this has not been for so very long---it becomes every day more wonderful to me.  I read it in the morning and the evening, often during the day as well, and every day I consider a text which I have chosen for the whole week, and try to sink deeply into it, so as really to hear what it is saying.  I know that without this I could not live properly any longer.

...............Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

"Where a people prays, there is the church, and where the church is, there is never loneliness"....Dietrich Bonhoeffer.


""If any of you lacks of wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."  James 1:5


Have a wonderful Sunday.........that old Bible's in your drawer or on a shelf, give it a try.

Z    (if you're at all a fan of Ann Coulter's, you might want to read my take on having attended a luncheon at which she spoke yesterday...just below this post...enjoy)

15 comments:

A Pissed Off Irishman said...

I am a friend of Ann Coulter's and of Michele's as well. In fact I'm a friend of anyone that runs against that creep in the white house right now.

WomanHonorThyself said...

read both posts Z...thanks so much for the reminder bout faith...it truly is all we have! Have a great Sunday my friend!

Z said...

A Pissed off.......
I wish Ann WOULD run! If you're a friend, you'd have been proud of her yestserday.

Woman...You're a Jewish friend who always comes by Sundays and always seems to read my faith blogs...I don't know that I've ever told you what a very class act I think you are and how much it means to me that you come by and respect the posts and wish me a great Sunday, too. I really appreciate you.xx

sue said...
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Z said...

Sue, great!
I would, however, say that I'd be surprised if Bonhoeffer, knowing his theology as well as I do, would not add that SOMETHING worked on that man's heart to turn him TO Christ...:)

My very favorite line in the Bible is "Today you will be with me in Paradise"....it says a LOT after what that man had been through...after having been a thief at heart; his heart was changed. By HIM? (REALLY? :-)

Neat to contemplate, huh?

Silverfiddle said...

Bonhoeffer was quite a man. His caution against casting God in our own image reminds me of Archbishop Fulton Sheen chiding people that God isn't just some senile grandfather happy to see you go enjoy yourself. He is the creator, he created you for a purpose, and he wants you to discover it.

christian soldier said...

Bonhoeffer-an hero to me-
Carol-CS

sue said...
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sue said...
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Elmers Brother said...

Kierkegaard stressed finding our individual relationship with God rather than the groupthink that can happen with organized religion. The latter sometimes cold and objective, the former a meaning for life and 'existence'.

Boenhoffer seems to be suggesting the same. Working out a deep knowledge of God, "It is I who determines where God is to ne found...."

The Bible speaks of working out our own salvation

sue said...
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Z said...

Elbro, my favorite evangelist/apologist (by a long shot) living today is Ravi Zacharias.
He speaks mostly to overflow college auditoriums usually filled with college-aged Christians and their friends they might have dragged with them !
Someone got up and asked Zacharias how he should answer his less believing or non-believing friends when they ask "Where was God on 9/11?"

Zacharias answered for a while, and then closed with "On 9/11, GOd was anywhere one wanted Him to be."

If you believe, He was there in EVERY DETAIL, helping, consoling, bringing people to faith or deeper faith in their prayers to help them, helping that cross remain standing, etc., or he wasn't.....It was an empty awful experience of absolutely no redeeming consequences.

he's excellent and I thought that was profound. Sadly, every time I've written this in an email to anyone or told it, it doesn't have QUITE the same feeling Zacharias' words had, so I wish I'd jotted them down word for word; I hope you get the drift.

Elmers Brother said...

Yes I do Z, he is a wonderful speaker. Sometimes I download his podcasts on to my phone and listen while I'm driving.

Elmers Brother said...

I would argue to some degree that an authentic Christian is separate from the corporate times we assemble with other Christians.

This was an excellent post Z.

Z said...

I think you'd like the book, Elbro.....it's jam packed with amazing Bonhoeffer quotes, etc....

It is fascinating to see how his heart was warmed to GRACE after having lived in Harlem. He came for a short stint at church there as a very young pastor and made good black theologian friends and saw the happy, warm spirit with which Blacks worship and the GRACE they cling to, and even for a LUtheran ("ONLY GRACE") got more into that...