Saturday, February 04, 2006

Happy 100th Birthday to a Hero

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Feb. 4, 1906-April 9, 1945), German pastor and theologian, is remembered for both his written works as well has his involvement in Nazi resistance. His most celebrated book, The Cost of Discipleship, is still one of the most widely celebrated books on Christian growth ever printed. There is a film portraying his heroic life, and he's one of the ten 20th century martyrs depicted in the statues over the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey.
While involved in a conspiracy plot to assassinate Hitler, Bonhoeffer was imprisoned when a money trail (money used to smuggle Jews into Switzerland) was traced to him. When the Nazis later discovered his plot to kill the Führer, he was hanged at the concentration camp at Flossenbürg... three weeks before its liberation. His most famous quote from Discipleship is, "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die."
On the 100th birthday of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the least we can do is quitly consider: are we willing pay the ultimate cost of following Christ?
"Cheap Grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting
to-day for costly grace.
Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us
from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow upon ourselves.
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,
baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution
without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace
without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly
go and sell all that he has…"