Quotation of the Week

“During the last year or so, I have come to appreciate the “worldliness” of Christianity as never before. The Christian is not a homo religiosus but a man, pure and simple, just as Jesus became man… It is only by living completely in this world that one learns to believe. One must abandon every attempt to make something of oneself, whether it be a saint, a converted sinner, a churchman, a righteous man, or an unrighteous one, a sick man or a healthy one… This is what I mean by worldliness — taking life in one’s stride, with all its duties and problems, its successes and failures, its experiences and helplessness… How can success make us arrogant or failure lead us astray, when we participate in the sufferings of God by living in this world?”

An excerpt from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, via Ed Brenegar in the comment section of this post by Bill Kinnon


  1. Wore out two paperback versions of Life Together and The Cost of Discipleship during university and seminary.

    Seems to me he tried to make sense of discipleship in a situation when the best and smartest people rejected the traditional (and even progressive) Christian church. No surprise given the failure of those traditional and ‘progressive’ forms to witness honestly against the institutional violence and economic injustice that led to fascism and communism and a couple of world wars. And the unnecessary and early deaths of so many fathers and mothers and children.

    That he eventually felt the need to turn to violence in order to ‘make things right’ has always felt like a tragedy to me.

    But who can blame him when the real world church offers few if any realistic alternatives?

  2. I find him to be one of the most intriguing historical figures…I was fortunate to study with a Bonhoeffer expert in Chicago, and oh how we wrestled with the complexities of his walk with God. His “Letters and Papers” are a treasure.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *