THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP BONHOEFFER PDF
Bonhoeffer, "he bids him come and die." There are different kinds of dying, it is true; but the essence of discipleship is contained in those words. And this. Much of Bonhoeffer's work was collected and edited by his close friend Eberhard Bethge, most popular writings, The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together. Editorial Reviews. ppti.info Review. "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." With these words, in The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Indonesian|
|ePub File Size:||27.58 MB|
|PDF File Size:||20.79 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Regsitration Required]|
The Philosophy of Psychology What is the relationship between common-sense, or 'folk', psychology and contemporary s. The Cost of. Discipleship. A Study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Classic Book prepared by Peter Horne for Lawson Rd Church of Christ in Rochester. Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers these timeless The Cost of Discipleship is a compelling statement of the demands of .
Three times on Peter's way did grace arrest him, the one grace proclaimed in three different ways. This grace was certainly not self-bestowed. It was the grace of Christ himself, now prevailing upon the disciple to leave all and follow him, now working in him that confession which to the world must sound like the ultimate blasphemy, now inviting Peter to the supreme followship of martyrdom for the Lord he had denied, and thereby forgiving him all his sins.
In the life of Peter grace and discipleship are inseparable. He had received the grace which costs. As Christianity spread, and the Church became more secularized, this realization of the costliness of grace gradually faded. The world was Christianized, and grace became its common property.
It was to be had at low cost. Yet the Church of Rome did not altogether lose the earlier vision. It is highly significant that the Church was astute enough to find room for the monastic movement, and to prevent it from lapsing into schism.
Here on the outer fringe of the Church was a place where the older vision was kept alive. Here men still remembered that grace costs, that grace means following Christ. Here they left all they had for Christ's sake, and endeavoured daily to practise his rigorous commands.
Thus monasticism became a living protest against the secularization of Christianity and the cheapening of grace. But the Church was wise enough to tolerate this protest, and to prevent it from developing to its logical conclusion. It thus succeeded in relativizing it, even using it in order to justify the secularization of its own life. Monasticism was represented as an individual achievement which the mass of the laity could not be expected to emulate.
By thus limiting the application of the commandments of Jesus to a restricted group of specialists, the Church evolved the fatal conception of the double standard -- a maximum and a minimum standard of Christian obedience.
Whenever the Church was accused of being too secularized, it could always point to monasticism as an opportunity of living a higher life within the fold, and thus justify the other possibility of a lower standard of life for others.
The Cost of Discipleship
And so we get the paradoxical result that monasticism, whose mission was to preserve in the Church of Rome the primitive Christian realization of the costliness of grace, afforded conclusive justification for the secularization of the Church. By and large, the fatal error of monasticism lay not so much in its rigorism though even here there was a good deal of misunderstanding of the precise content of the will of Jesus as in the extent to which it departed from genuine Christianity by setting up itself as the individual achievement of a select few, and so claiming a special merit of its own.
When the Reformation came, the providence of God raised Martin Luther to restore the gospel of pure, costly grace. Luther passed through the cloister; he was a monk, and all this was part of the divine plan. Luther had left all to follow Christ on the path of absolute obedience. He had renounced the world in order to live the Christian life. He had learnt obedience to Christ and to his Church, because only he who is obedient can believe.
The call to the cloister demanded of Luther the complete surrender of his life.
But God shattered all his hopes. He showed him through the Scriptures that the following of Christ is not the achievement or merit of a select few, but the divine command to all Christians without distinction.
The Cost of Discipleship - eBook
Monasticism had transformed the humble work of discipleship into the meritorious activity of the saints, and the self-renunciation of discipleship into the flagrant spiritual self-assertion of the "religious. The monk's attempt to flee from the world turned out to be a subtle form of love for the world. The bottom having thus been knocked out of the religious life, Luther laid hold upon grace.
Just as the whole world of monasticism was crashing about him in ruins, he saw God in Christ stretching forth his hand to save. He grasped that hand in faith, believing that "after all, nothing we can do is of any avail, however good a life we live.
Once more he must leave his nets and follow. The first time was when he entered the monastery, when he had left everything behind except his pious self. This time even that was taken from him. He obeyed the call, not through any merit of his own, but simply through the grace of God. Luther did not hear the word: "Of course you have sinned, but now everything is forgiven, so you can stay as you are and enjoy the consolations of forgiveness.
Luther's return from the cloister to the world was the worst blow the world had suffered since the days of early Christianity. The renunciation he made when he became a monk was child's play compared with that which he had to make when he returned to the world. Now came the frontal assault. The only way to follow Jesus was by living in the world.
Hitherto the Christian life had been the achievement of a few choice spirits under the exceptionally favourable conditions of monasticism; now it is a duty laid on every Christian living in the world. The commandment of Jesus must be accorded perfect obedience in one's daily vocation of life.
The conflict between the life of the Christian and the life of the world was thus thrown into the sharpest possible relief. It was a hand-to-hand conflict between the Christian and the world. It is a fatal misunderstanding of Luther's action to suppose that his rediscovery of the gospel of pure grace offered a general dispensation from obedience to the command of Jesus, or that it was the great discovery of the Reformation that God's forgiving grace automatically conferred upon the world both righteousness and holiness.
On the contrary, for Luther the Christian's worldly calling is sanctified only in so far as that calling registers the final, radical protest against the world. Only in so far as the Christian's secular calling is exercised in the following of Jesus does it receive from the gospel new sanction and justification.
It was not the justification of sin, but the justification of the sinner that drove Luther from the cloister back into the world.
The grace he had received was costly grace. It was grace, for it was like water on parched ground, comfort in tribulation, freedom from the bondage of a self-chosen way, and forgiveness of all his sins. And it was costly, for, so far from dispensing him from good works, it meant that he must take the call to discipleship more seriously than ever before.
It was grace because it cost so much, and it cost so much because it was grace. That was the secret of the gospel of the Reformation -- the justification of the sinner. Yet the outcome of the Reformation was the victory, not of Luther's perception of grace in all its purity and costliness, but of the vigilant religious instinct of man for the place where grace is to be obtained at the cheapest price.
All that was needed was a subtle and almost imperceptible change of emphasis, and the damage was done. Luther had taught that man cannot stand before God, however religious his works and ways may be, because at bottom he is always seeking his own interests. In the depth of his misery, Luther had grasped by faith the free and unconditional forgiveness of all his sins. That experience taught him that this grace had cost him his very life, and must continue to cost him the same price day by day.
So far from dispensing him from discipleship, this grace only made him a more earnest disciple. When he spoke of grace, Luther always implied as a corollary that it cost him his own life, the life which was now for the first time subjected to the absolute obedience of Christ. Only so could he speak of grace. Luther had said that grace alone can save; his followers took up his doctrine and repeated it word for word.
But they left out its invariable corollary, the obligation of discipleship.
The Cost of Discipleship
There was no need for Luther always to mention that corollary explicitly for he always spoke as one who had been led by grace to the strictest following of Christ. Judged by the standard of Luther's doctrine, that of his followers was unassailable, and yet their orthodoxy spelt the end and destruction of the Reformation as the revelation on earth of the costly grace of God.
The justification of the sinner in the world degenerated into the justification of sin and the world. Costly grace was turned into cheap grace without discipleship. Luther had said that all we can do is of no avail, however good a life we live. He had said that nothing can avail us in the sight of God but "the grace and favour which confers the forgiveness of sin.
The recognition of grace was his final, radical breach with his besetting sin, but it was never the justification of that sin. By laying hold of God's forgiveness, he made the final, radical renunciation of a self-willed life, and this breach was such that it led inevitably to a serious following of Christ.
He always looked upon it as the answer to a sum, but an answer which had been arrived at by God, not by man. But then his followers changed the "answer" into the data for a calculation of their own. That was the root of the trouble. If grace is God's answer, the gift of Christian life, then we cannot for a moment dispense with following Christ.
But if grace is the data for my Christian life, it means that I set out to live the Christian life in the world with all my sins justified beforehand. I can go and sin as much as I like, and rely on this grace to forgive me, for after all the world is justified in principle by grace. I can therefore cling to my bourgeois secular existence, and remain as I was before, but with the added assurance that the grace of God will cover me. It is under the influence of this kind of "grace" that the world has been made "Christian," but at the cost of secularizing the Christian religion as never before.
The antithesis between the Christian life and the life of bourgeois respectability is at an end. The Christian life comes to mean nothing more than living in the world and as the world, in being no different from the world, in fact, in being prohibited from being different from the world for the sake of grace. The upshot of it all is that my only duty as a Christian is to leave the world for an hour or so on a Sunday morning and go to church to be assured that my sins are all forgiven.
I need no longer try to follow Christ, for cheap grace, the bitterest foe of discipleship, which true discipleship must loathe and detest, has freed me from that. Grace as the data for our calculations means grace at the cheapest price, but grace as the answer to the sum means costly grace.
It is terrifying to realize what use can be made of a genuine evangelical doctrine. In both cases we have the identical formula -- "justification by faith alone.
At the end of a life spent in the pursuit of knowledge Faust has to confess: "I now do see that we can nothing know. But as Kierkegaard observed, it is quite a different thing when a freshman comes up to the university and uses the same sentiment to justify his indolence. As the answer to a sum it is perfectly true, but as the initial data it is a piece of self-deception.
For acquired knowledge cannot be divorced from the existence in which it is acquired. The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ.
Such a man knows that the call to discipleship is a gift of grace, and that the call is inseparable from the grace.
But those who try to use this grace as a dispensation from following Christ are simply deceiving themselves. But, we may ask, did not Luther himself come perilously near to this perversion in the understanding of grace?
What about his Pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in Christo "Sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ more boldly still"? You are a sinner, anyway, and there is nothing you can do about it. Whether you are a monk or a man of the world, a religious man or a bad one, you can never escape the toils of the world or from sin. So put a bold face on it, and all the more because you can rely on the opus operatum of grace. Is this the proclamation of cheap grace, naked and unashamed, the carte blanche for sin, the end of all discipleship?
Is this a blasphemous encouragement to sin boldly and rely on grace? Is there a more diabolical abuse of grace than to sin and rely on the grace which God has given? Is not the Roman Catechism quite right in denouncing this as the sin against the Holy Ghost? If we are to understand this saying of Luther's, everything depends on applying the distinction between the data and the answer to the sum.
If we make Luther's formula a premiss for our doctrine of grace, we are conjuring up the spectre of cheap grace. But Luther's formula is meant to be taken, not as the premiss, but as the conclusion, the answer to the sum, the coping-stone, his very last word on the subject.
Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition
Taken as the premiss, pecca fortiter acquires the character of an ethical principle, a principle of grace to which the principle of pecca fortiter must correspond. That means the justification of sin, and it turns Luther's formula into its very opposite. For Luther "sin boldly" could only be his very last refuge, the consolation for one whose attempts to follow Christ had taught him that he can never become sinless, who in his fear of sin despairs of the grace of God.
As Luther saw it, "sin boldly" did not happen to be a fundamental acknowledgement of his disobedient life; it was the gospel of the grace of God before which we are always and in every circumstance sinners.
Yet that grace seeks us and justifies us, sinners though we are. Take courage and confess your sin, says Luther, do not try to run away from it, but believe more boldly still. You are a sinner, so be a sinner, and don't try to become what you are not. Yes, and become a sinner again and again every day, and be bold about it. Summary[ edit ] One of the most quoted parts of the book deals with the distinction which Bonhoeffer makes between "cheap" and "costly" grace.
According to Bonhoeffer, cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession.
Cheap grace is grace without discipleship , grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ. Cheap grace, Bonhoeffer says, is to hear the gospel preached as follows: "Of course you have sinned, but now everything is forgiven, so you can stay as you are and enjoy the consolations of forgiveness. In contrast to cheap grace, costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus, it comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite heart.
It is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: "My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
In this way, "the world was Christianised, and grace became its common property. But all the time, within the church, there had been a living protest against this process: the monastic movement. This served as a "place where the older vision was kept alive. Bonhoeffer remarks how this was rectified by Luther at the Reformation , when he brought Christianity "out of the cloister.Fernan Globen Talonding. Linked to the group of conspirators whose attempted assassination of Hitler failed, he was hanged in April Of the Hidden Character of the Christian Life.
Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. Michael Man. Summary[ edit ] One of the most quoted parts of the book deals with the distinction which Bonhoeffer makes between "cheap" and "costly" grace. Once more he must leave his nets and follow. In the depth of his misery, Luther had grasped by faith the free and unconditional forgiveness of all his sins. Cheap grace.. Important means of realizing that ideal were his New Testament course on the Sermon on the Mount and discipleship and the organization of the Finkenwalde seminary as a religious community.