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The Cost of Discipleship Paperback – September 1, 1995
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The book's major theme centers on what it really means to be a disciple of Christ. This is summed up by Bonhoeffer's statement that Christ calls us to "come and die." Christ wants all of us - nothing is to be held back. One is either a disciple of Christ, or they are not. There is no middle ground. The true disciple is dying to his or her life as a whole, and their old life is being replaced with the life of Christ.
"Cost of Discipleship" is soaked in Scripture, and that is one of its main strengths. This is not surprising, since reading the Bible actually contributed to Bonhoeffer's personal conversion and commitment to Christ. Bonhoeffer constantly refers to Biblical passages to make his points, and he does not resort to storytelling or even personal anecdotes. One can sense his deep love for the Bible and for Christ throughout the book. Another strength is Bonhoeffer's conveyance of how imperative commitment to Christ really is. Bonhoeffer was an early foe of Adolph Hitler, and this book was published while he was being persecuted by the Nazis. Thererfore, he wrote as one who has stood for Christ in tough times, and he knew that Christ is one's only hope. Indeed, he eventually gave his life for his faith, and by all Christian and secular accounts glorified God to the very end.Read more ›
Bonhoeffer was a person of limitless courage and faith. Born 1906 in Breslau, Germany to a prosperous family Bonhoeffer studied theology and completed his doctoral thesis when he was 21. He rose to some measure of fame in the 1930s by virtue of his writings and radio sermons.
The rise of Adolph Hitler ran parallel to Bonhoeffer's own rise and it was opposition to the evils of Nazi-ism that compelled Bonhoeffer to put his words into actions, actions that cost him his life. As is set out in the introductory memoir in this edition, Bonhoeffer understood immediately that Hitler and his national socialist ideology represented a grave threat to Germans, to Christianity, and to western civilization. In a radio adress he gave in February, 1933 Bonhoeffer denounced Hitler and denounced his fellow Germans for accepting a corrupt and inhumane leader and system as its idol. Although Bonhoeffer spent a great deal of time living in England, safe from harm, he understood that he could not in good conscience "participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people." Bonhoeffer returned to Germany in 1939 to take up the struggle against Nazi-ism. He had to have known that his return would lead to his death but he knew he could not do otherwise. He was called and he obeyed that call without question.Read more ›
(1) The writing style of this book is badly outdated and hard to follow and understand. This book badly needs an editor to put Bonhoeffer's thoughts into more modern prose. This book, as it is, is a difficult and at times convoluted read. A new updated editon is badly needed.
(2)Secondly, and more importantly, this book is early Bonhoeffer,full of didactic thought, at times morally pompus. A better place to start a study of Bonhoeffer might be his last work, "Letters from Prison..." written at the end of his life. this work is the more seasoned, more mature Bonhoeffer, a man who has seen to some the degree the mistakes and folly of his earlier thinking.
Case in point: In this work, Bonhoeffer says to be a disciple a man must separate himself from the everyday living of life. In the later book, "Letters from Prison," he writes, it is "only by living completely in the world that one learns to have faith..." He says he stands by his earlier book because he wrote it, it is his work, but he makes it clear that if he had it to do over again, his thought would be different and he would express himself in a way much more understanding of the world in which we live.
For that reason, "Letters From Prison..." would be the best place to get the complete, aged and wise Bonhoeffer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was so enlightening and has great relevance for Christ Followers today. Of course, I believe you can't go wrong with Bonhoeffer.Published 15 days ago by KEHutchinson@lincolnchristian.edu
Title is appropriate when I grumble about the cost of something, I remember there is always someone else who payed more.Published 17 days ago by NoceRose
I'm rather disappointed that this book is not nearly as accessible as I'd hoped it would be. I was very excited about reading it, but there is so much of it that makes little to no... Read morePublished 17 days ago by AddictionAddict
For years I've heard that this is a "must read". Indeed . But I don't think this book should be considered as a routine read-through. Read morePublished 20 days ago by J. Markee
Excellent book. Great theology! Bonhoeffer was an amazing man! At times very deep -- I believe due to his German heritage. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
It appears that bonhoeffer believed faith is attached to the will. If not...it isn't really faith. Germany's Lutherans forgot that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The man was clearly a Lutheran in name only., You will not find harmony between him and the confessions, Luther, Walther, Pieper or any other authoritative voice in the Lutheran... Read morePublished 1 month ago by PrairieParson