Friday, April 17, 2020

Bonhoeffer: an idolized doctrine?

Friday, April 17, 2020
    Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”
    “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”
    —Luke 18:28-30 (NIV)
    We Lutherans... have paid the doctrine of pure grace divine honours unparalleled in Christendom; in fact, we have exalted the doctrine to the position of God Himself. Everywhere Luther’s formula has been repeated, but its truth perverted into self-deception. So long as our Church holds the correct doctrine of justification, there is no doubt whatever that she is a justified Church! So they said, thinking that we must vindicate our Lutheran heritage by making this grace available on the cheapest and easiest terms. To be “Lutheran” must mean that we leave the following of Christ to the Nomians, the Calvinists, and the Anabaptists—and all this for the sake of grace! We justified the world, and condemned as heretics those who tried to follow Christ. The result was that a nation became Christian and Lutheran, but at the cost of true discipleship... We poured forth unending streams of grace. But the call to follow Jesus was hardly ever heard.
    ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 53-54 (see the book)
    See also Luke 18:28-30; Matt. 10:32-39; Luke 14:26-27; John 1:17; Rom. 6:14; 1 Cor. 15:10; Eph. 2:8-10
Quiet time reflection:
    Speak, Lord, so Your people may hear Your call.
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