Saturday, April 21, 2007


It's Saturday. All of us in the house thought that today is Friday. The five-day summer Bible camp has somehow disoriented us. It had been a busy week for us.

Meanwhile here is a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer about discipleship. I'm delighted to find a copy of book in a Resource Center in Chiang Mai about a month ago.
Discipleship means adherence to Christ, and , because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship. An abstract Christology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace or on the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous, and in fact they positively exclude any idea of discipleship whatever, and are essentially inimical to the whole conception of following Christ.

With an abstract idea it is possible to enter into a relation of formal knowledge, to become enthusiastic about it, and perhaps even to put it into practice; but it can never be followed in personal obedience. Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. It remains an abstract idea, a myth which has a place for the Fatherhood of God, but omits Christ as the living Son. And a Christianity of that kind is nothing more or less than the end of discipleship.

In such a religion there is trust in God, but no following of Christ. Because the Son of God became Man, because he is the Mediator, for that reason alone the only true relation we can have with him is to follow him. Discipleship is bound to Christ as the Mediator, and where it is properly understood, it necessarily implies faith in the Son of God as the Mediator. Only the Mediator, the God-Man, can call men to follow him.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship, pp. 63-64


Bro. Bartleby said...

Lately when I read and the words are rigid, or at least the author seems to value a certain rigidity in life, I'm reminded of a sermon of long ago, the pastor was a wise and elderly black man, and he compared the oak with the willow, of course for strength and 'rigidity' one has to admire the sturdy oak tree, but when the winds howl and the storm grows more daunting, the willow knows how to yield with the wind, while the oak only knows to hold firm. And when the storm passes, it is the oak that is broken.

Joey said...

Good to see you, bro! Thanks for the visit and the comment.