Dietrich Bonhoeffer quotes

Dietrich Bonhoeffer photo
157   14

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Birthdate: 4. February 1906
Date of death: 9. April 1945
Other names: Дитрих Бонхеффер

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity's role in the secular world have become widely influential, and his book The Cost of Discipleship has been described as a modern classic.Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Hitler's euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years. Later, he was transferred to Flossenbürg concentration camp.

After being accused of being associated with the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, he was quickly tried, along with other accused plotters, including former members of the Abwehr , and then hanged on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime was collapsing. 21 days later Adolf Hitler committed suicide. Wikipedia

Works

The Cost of Discipleship
The Cost of Discipleship
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Help us translate English quotes

Discover interesting quotes and translate them.

Start translating

„By refusing to pay back the enemy with his own coin, and preferring to suffer without resistance, the Christian exhibits the sinfulness of contumely and insult.“

—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Source: Discipleship (1937), Revenge, p. 142.
Context: By willing endurance we cause suffering to pass. Evil becomes a spent force when we put up no resistance. By refusing to pay back the enemy with his own coin, and preferring to suffer without resistance, the Christian exhibits the sinfulness of contumely and insult. Violence stands condemned by its failure to evoke counter-violence.

„The antithesis between the Christian life and the life of bourgeois respectability is at an end. The Christian life comes to mean nothing more than living in the world and as the world“

—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

translated as The Cost of Discipleship (1959), p. 51.
Discipleship (1937), Costly Grace
Context: The antithesis between the Christian life and the life of bourgeois respectability is at an end. The Christian life comes to mean nothing more than living in the world and as the world, in being no different from the world, in fact, in being prohibited from being different from the world for the sake of grace. The upshot of it all is that my only duty as a Christian is to leave the world for an hour or so on a Sunday morning and go to church to be assured that my sins are all forgiven. I need no longer try to follow Christ, for cheap grace, the bitterest foe of discipleship, which true discipleship must loathe and detest, has freed me from that.

„An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins.“

—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Costly Grace, p 43.
Costly Grace
Context: Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian "conception" of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins. The church which holds the correct doctrine of grace has, it is supposed, ipso facto a part of that grace. In such a Church the world finds a cheap covering for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin. Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of the living Word of God, in fact, a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God.
Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything, they say, and so everything can remain as it was before.

„There remains an experience of incomparable value.“

—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Source: Letters and Papers from Prison (1967; 1997), The view from below, p. 17
Context: There remains an experience of incomparable value. We have for once learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcasts, the suspects, the maltreated — in short, from the perspective of those who suffer. Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. Christians are called to compassion and to action.

„Before Jesus leads His disciples into suffering, humiliation, disgrace, and disdain, He summons them and shows Himself to them as the Lord in God's glory.“

—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Source: Meditations on the Cross (1996), Back to the Cross, p. 3.
Context: Before Jesus leads His disciples into suffering, humiliation, disgrace, and disdain, He summons them and shows Himself to them as the Lord in God's glory. Before the disciples must descend with Jesus into the abyss of human guilt, malice, and hatred, Jesus leads them to a high mountain from which they are to receive help. Before Jesus' face is beaten and spat upon, before his cloak is torn and splattered with blood, the disciples are to see Him in his divine glory. His face shines like the face of God and light is the garment he wears.

„By his willingly renouncing self-defence, the Christian affirms his absolute adherence to Jesus, and his freedom from the tyranny of his own ego.“

—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Source: Discipleship (1937), Revenge, p. 142.
Context: By his willingly renouncing self-defence, the Christian affirms his absolute adherence to Jesus, and his freedom from the tyranny of his own ego. The exclusiveness of this adherence is the only power which can overcome evil.

„There is no abiding in and enjoying his visible glory here. Whoever recognizes the transfigured Jesus, whoever recognizes Jesus as God, must also immediately recognize Him as the crucified human being, and should hear him, obey him.“

—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Source: Meditations on the Cross (1996), Back to the Cross, p. 3
Context: We want Jesus as the visibly resurrected one, as the splendid, transfigured Jesus. We want his visible power and glory, and we no longer want to return to the cross, to believing against all appearances, to suffering in faith … it is good here... let us make dwellings. …
The disciples are not allowed to do this. God's glory comes quite near in the radiant cloud of God's presence, and the Father's voice says: "This is my beloved son; listen to him!" … There is no abiding in and enjoying his visible glory here. Whoever recognizes the transfigured Jesus, whoever recognizes Jesus as God, must also immediately recognize Him as the crucified human being, and should hear him, obey him. Luther's vision of Christ: "the crucified Lord!" … Now the disciples are overcome by fear. Now they comprehend what is going on. They were, after all, still in the world, unable to bear such glory. They sinned against God's glory.

„The spirit would cast aside all deceit,
open his heart to the spirit he trusts,
and unite with him freely as one.“

—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Letters and Papers from Prison (1967; 1997), The Friend
Context: Sickened by vermin
that feed, in the shade of the good,
on envy, greed, and suspicion,
by the snake-like hissing
of venomous tongues
that fear hate and revile
the mystery of free thought
and upright heart
The spirit would cast aside all deceit,
open his heart to the spirit he trusts,
and unite with him freely as one.

„Should the church be trying to erect a spiritual reign of terror over people by threatening earthly and eternal punishment on its own authority and commanding everything a person must believe and do to be saved?“

—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Preface", as translated by Barbara Green and Reihhard Krauss (2001). <!-- Edited by Geffrey B. Kelly and John D. Godsey -->
Discipleship (1937)
Context: Should the church be trying to erect a spiritual reign of terror over people by threatening earthly and eternal punishment on its own authority and commanding everything a person must believe and do to be saved? Should the church's word bring new tyranny and violent abuse to human souls? It may be that some people yearn for such servitude. But could the church ever serve such a longing?
When holy scripture speaks of following Jesus, it proclaims that people are free from all human rules, from everything which presumes, burdens, or causes worry and torment of conscience. In following Jesus, people are released from the hard yoke of their own laws to be under the gentle yoke of Jesus Christ. … Jesus' commandment never wishes to destroy life, but rather to preserve, strengthen, and heal life.

„When the spirit touches
man's heart and brow
with thoughts that are lofty, bold, serene,
so that with clear eyes he will face the world
as a free man may“

—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Letters and Papers from Prison (1967; 1997), The Friend
Context: When the spirit touches
man's heart and brow
with thoughts that are lofty, bold, serene,
so that with clear eyes he will face the world
as a free man may;
when the spirit gives birth to action
by which alone we stand or fall;
when from the sane and resolute action
rises the workd that gives a a man's life
content and meaning — then would that many,
lonely and actively working,
know of the spirit that grasps and befriends him...

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

Similar authors

Albert Schweitzer photo
Albert Schweitzer121
French-German physician, theologian, musician and philosoph…
Erich Maria Remarque photo
Erich Maria Remarque63
German novelist
Martin Buber photo
Martin Buber57
German Jewish Existentialist philosopher and theologian
Hans Urs Von Balthasar photo
Hans Urs Von Balthasar17
Swedish Catholic theologian
Edith Stein photo
Edith Stein34
Jewish-German nun, theologian and philosopher
Erich Fromm photo
Erich Fromm116
German social psychologist and psychoanalyst
Erwin Rommel photo
Erwin Rommel24
German field marshal of World War II
Reinhold Niebuhr photo
Reinhold Niebuhr64
American protestant theologian
Václav Havel photo
Václav Havel125
playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and 1st President of …
John C. Maxwell photo
John C. Maxwell141
American author, speaker and pastor
Today anniversaries
Adolf Hitler photo
Adolf Hitler252
Führer and Reich Chancellor of Germany, Leader of the Nazi … 1889 - 1945
Bram Stoker photo
Bram Stoker84
Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for… 1847 - 1912
Paul Celan photo
Paul Celan13
Romanian poet and translator 1920 - 1970
Edie Sedgwick photo
Edie Sedgwick53
Socialite, actress, model 1943 - 1971
Another 59 today anniversaries
Similar authors
Albert Schweitzer photo
Albert Schweitzer121
French-German physician, theologian, musician and philosoph…
Erich Maria Remarque photo
Erich Maria Remarque63
German novelist
Martin Buber photo
Martin Buber57
German Jewish Existentialist philosopher and theologian
Hans Urs Von Balthasar photo
Hans Urs Von Balthasar17
Swedish Catholic theologian
Edith Stein photo
Edith Stein34
Jewish-German nun, theologian and philosopher