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Bonhoeffer Speaks Today: Following Jesus at all Costs Paperback – November 1, 2005
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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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great! The first part is an abridged biography for those not already familiar. But the teeth is really the topical analysis of today's issues - during DB "corpus"!Published 5 months ago by Ron
A great read on solid theology. Bonhoeffer is a role model for us all. Time to read his bio. Highly recommended.Published 11 months ago by Ken Lopez Maddox
While much of this is obviously quite academic in its style, I found this to be an incredibly thoughtful and challenging focus on Bonhoeffer as theologian and political activist. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Kellye Hooks
Devine has written a very accessible work that outlines the major tenants of Bonhoeffer's writing and thinking. Read morePublished 20 months ago by SLWoodworth
YOU SHOULD CONSIDER THIS BOOK IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PAST GENERATION, AND WHAT VALUES, DIFFICULTY,FAITH THEY'VE LIVED THROUGH. Read morePublished 23 months ago by leirum
While any presentation of Bonhoeffer and his philosophy is a valuable thing, the author spends too much time convincing the reader of how Bonhoeffer would have approved of his own... Read morePublished on October 11, 2013 by David
A passionate man who risked his life for his faith and his love for Germany. Bonhoeffer was a learned and well-known Theologian and stood firmly against the Nazi regime during... Read morePublished on June 1, 2013 by Janesview
Devine follows Bonhoeffer's path to martyrdom through a loose historical timeline running from his birth in 1906 in Silesia to his death by hanging at Flossenburg concentration... Read morePublished on October 17, 2007 by J from NY
I recently used this book for a class my wife and I taught on Bonhoeffer for our church. I found it quite helpful because it is more than a biography of him but an interpretation... Read morePublished on June 29, 2006 by Dr. John Laughlin