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Bonhoeffer Speaks Today: Following Jesus at all Costs Paperback – November 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Books (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805432612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805432619
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,787,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By on April 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
A book may inform. A book may delight. When a book achieves both goals there is great joy in the reading of it. Bonhoeffer Speaks Today: Following Jesus at All Costs is just such a book. Written by Dr. Mark DeVine, professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, this new release from Broadman & Holman shows the significance of the life and theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The publication coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of the German theologian.

Bonhoeffer wrote the popular works The Cost of Discipleship and Ethics. However, he is best known for his role in opposing Nazism and conspiring to help assassinate Adolf Hitler. In a day when the vast majority of the German church acquiesced to Hitler, Bonhoeffer led an opposition group known as "the Confessing Church". Near the end of the war, he was arrested and executed in a concentration camp.

The first chapter of DeVine's work is worth the price of the book because of the lively biographical account of Bonhoeffer. DeVine is a master story-teller, showing the difficult times in which Bonhoeffer lived out his short thirty-nine years.

DeVine does not attempt to cover all of Bonhoeffer's thought. Rather, he shows the relevance of Bonhoeffer to current evangelical Christianity by focusing on four areas of concern.

First, Bonhoeffer wrote a great deal about knowing and doing the will of God. Rather than waiting for a direct divine word from God, he argued for submissive obedience to written Scripture. Bonhoeffer said, "Do not get into the habit of interpreting Scripture in light of personal experience. Do not measure God's word. Let it measure my word, my life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roger N. Overton on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
What does it mean to follow Christ at all costs? For Dietrich Bonheoffer, it ultimately meant losing his life for being part of an attempt to assassinate Adolph Hitler. Six decades later, Bonhoeffer's writings are still influence individuals and whole churches. Professor and former pastor Mark Devine asks of these writings, what does Bonhoeffer might say to us today?

Dr. Devine begins Bonhoeffer Speaks Today with a thorough biography of the German theologian's life. The following four chapters cover various aspects of Bonhoeffer's theology. Chapter two address the will of God and how we know it. Dr. Devine uses the Bonhoeffer's work to criticize the contemporary elevation of personal experience to practically the same authority of Scripture.

In Chapter Three, Dr. Devine expounds on Bonhoeffer's doctrine of community. He concludes that we must return to Christ as the center of our communities, recognize its spiritual existence, and fulfill priesthood toward one another through confession and brotherhood. In the fourth chapter, issues of the Christian witness of relevance of the Gospel are addressed to the point of defending the Gospel against liberal compromise to the culture. Finally, Dr. Devine reflects on what Bonhoeffer can teach us about freedom, suffering, and the eternal hope.

Having no previous experience with Bonhoeffer's work, I found Bonhoeffer Speaks Today to be an enlightening read. Mark Devine sticks to issues that are relevant without watering anything down. Perhaps because Bonhoeffer's theology is so practical, the book is insightful without being academically demanding. At no point, however, was there any real disagreement with the German theologian. This leaves me wondering what might have been left out of the book. Regardless, I learned much from this book and I believe it will be useful to every person who picks it up.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Micah Fries on May 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Dietrich Bonhoeffer stands historically as one of the more misunderstood characters of the past century. In Bonhoeffer Speaks Today, Mark Devine, Professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Seminary in Kansas City, MO does an excellent job at helping to wade through the morass of misinformation that is in circulation regarding Bonhoeffer today.

I have often been fascinated by Bonhoeffer and his commitment to his particular understanding of faith in the the face of much opposition, both from his church, his family and his government. Devine does a fantastic job, in this book, of allowing us to glimpse the personal struggles of Bonhoeffer as he progressed through his life to the point where he would lay down his life for his commitment to God and country.

What struck me as particularly interesting about this volume was the message that it communicates to us today. We stand at a place, theologically, where we are battling with the tension that exists between biblical integrity and cultural relativity. We see this evidenced in many streams of the "Emerging Church Movement." As I was reading this book it occured to me that Bonhoeffer was an early precursor to this very same movement. Bonhoeffer's concern for community, transparency, relevance, etc. are all characteristics of much of our struggle in the church today.

This book is an excellent read! It is both enjoyable and very instructional. I would highly recommend it as a tool in understanding both historical precedent and practical application for our situation today. Devine is to be commended for familiarizing us with this wonderful character from our theological history. I think as you read this book, you will find Bonhoeffer standing beside you guiding you towards Christ and His word.
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