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The Cost of Discipleship Paperback – September 1, 1995
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"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." With these words, in The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave powerful voice to the millions of Christians who believe personal sacrifice is an essential component of faith. Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor and theologian, was an exemplar of sacrificial faith: he opposed the Nazis from the first and was eventually imprisoned in Buchenwald and hung by the Gestapo in 1945. The Cost of Discipleship, first published in German in 1937, was Bonhoeffer's answer to the questions, "What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us to-day?" Bonhoeffer's answers are rooted in Lutheran grace and derived from Christian scripture (almost a third of the book consists of an extended meditation on the Sermon on the Mount). The book builds to a stunning conclusion: its closing chapter, "The Image of Christ," describes the believer's spiritual life as participation in Christ's incarnation, with a rare and epigrammatic confidence: "Through fellowship and communion with the incarnate Lord," Bonhoeffer writes, "we recover our true humanity, and at the same time we are delivered from that individualism which is the consequence of sin, and retrieve our solidarity with the whole human race." --Michael Joseph Gross
Original Language: German
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Grace and Discipleship. I heartily recommend it to all who believe so you can see how your standards and thoughts on discipleship & grace
Just as he made no compromises in his faith life, Bonhoeffer is relentless in arguing why true discipleship must come at a cost - Jesus saved our souls at a great price, through the shedding of His blood and scourging of His flesh during His Passion. As Christ gave up His life for our sake, so must we, as His followers, forsake our own lives. "The Cost of Discipleship" challenges any church that promises salvation to those who only say with their lips "Lord, Lord," since claiming belief in Christ is one thing, but obeying Him is an entirely different matter. Christians would do well to remember one of Bonhoeffer's most famous sayings: "Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes." Witnessing the spiritual corruption of the churches around him, Bonhoeffer saw the perils of accepting grace while neglecting discipleship, which led Christians to a life that was absent of sacrifice, and by extension, absent of love and obedience to the Lord Jesus.
Drawing largely from Scriptural texts and the writings of other renowned Christians, Bonhoeffer's call for complete obedience to Christ makes "The Cost of Discipleship" not merely an eye-opener, but also a challenge, to all believers. For a Christian who wishes to experience God at a deeper, more potent level, there are few writings that can stir the soul as effectively as "The Cost of Discipleship."
Coming from a Baptist background and having been liberated with Reformation theology I have found this book (particularily sections I and II) to be helpful in dealing with both doubts and self-sufficency. It is by faith alone that we are saved, but that faith is never alone. As Bonhoeffer said, "Only those who obey can believe, and only those who believe can obey."
In this book Bonhoeffer challenges the reader that unless an individual is willing to pay full price, they end up buying nothing at all.