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The Cost of Discipleship (1937)

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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8,55444971 (4.3)44
Christian Nonfiction. Religion & Spirituality. Nonfiction. This book is quite simply, one of the most profound and important books of the 20th century. Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived a testimony of his thoughtful and engaging writers. Focusing on the most treasured part of Christ's teaching - the Sermon on the Mount with its call to discipleship, and on the grace of God and the sacrifice which that demands. // Viewed against the background of Nazi Germany, Bonhoeffer's book is striking enough. At the same time, it shares with many great Christian classics a quality of timelessness, so that it has spoken, and continues to speak powerfully, to the varied concerns of the contemporary world.… (more)
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English (43)  Catalan (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
In his 1937 book, The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer painstakingly commends joyful suffering through the lens of Christ’s words in the Sermon on the Mount.1 Paramount is his distinction between “costly grace” and “cheap grace” (43-56). Being a good Lutheran, Bonhoeffer assumes his tradition’s dialectic between a theology of glory and a theology of the cross. The former relies on cheap grace—a grace that does not make demands and leaves the human person free to earn his salvation. But if we are to truly hear Christ’s words to his disciples, Bonhoeffer argues, we will see the reality of costly grace.

Full review here: https://thepublictheologyproject.substack.com/p/followers-of-christ ( )
  rdhasler | Nov 1, 2022 |
After the Bible, the next book to read in understanding discipleship.
  JourneyPC | Sep 26, 2022 |
Bonhoeffer, who takes his inspiration from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, makes what I would call the ultimate challenge for Christians. Nobody can live up to this, just like no one can ever achieve Christ's perfection, but Bohoeffer challenges us to get as close as we can get.

The book can be kind of a downer at times since we all can see how short we come of the goal. Bonhoeffer would have (did?) freely admit his own shortcomings, but that's not the point here. If we do evaluate ourselves then we are seeking out of our own ego, not Christ's, so the effort is pointless. By keeping your eye constantly on Christ you will achieve the most you can, as long as you do freely repent of those times when you did not keep your focus there.

Dense in theology and philosophy the book is not an easy read on an intellectual level. I wouldn't recommend for novice Christians but only for so-called "mature" Christians. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
Dense. I will need to read this again, slower. I picked up enough to know that this will be beneficial to anybody who puts in the effort and the time to read it properly. ( )
  Michael_J | Jun 2, 2022 |
Wow--this was so packed with profound ideas that I think I only absorbed and understood maybe 20% of the entire book. This is a book that needs read a chapter at a time with extensive note taking. To sum it up (and I will probably do it very badly), grace (God's unmerited favor) is not cheap. Bonhoffer believed the "church" had made grace just about lip service. I agree! Grace is difficult. How do you pay God back for what he has given or allowed you? I'm in awe of Bonhoffer, who was hanged by the Nazis in 1945. I will be rereading and studying this book more in detail at a later date. 322 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Sep 5, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (51 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dietrich Bonhoefferprimary authorall editionscalculated
Booth, IrmgardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggehorn, YlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuller, Reginald HoraceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Metaxas, EricForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michael, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Niebuhr, ReinholdForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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[Bonhoefer, Introduction:] "Revival of church life always brings in its train a richer understanding of the Scriptures. Behind all the slogans and catchwords of ecclesiastical controversy, necessary though they are, there arises a more determined quest for him who is the sole object of it all, for Jesus Christ himself."
[Foreword - Touchstone edition] In the summer of 1988, a friend handed me this book (minus this foreword, of course) and asked whether I had ever heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
[Memoir] Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born in Breslau on February 4th, 1906, the son of a university professor and leading authority on psychiatry and neurology.
Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting to-day for costly grace.
Quotations
"When Christ calls a man he bids him come and die."
“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. 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, living and incarnate. ("Costly Grace")
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Christian Nonfiction. Religion & Spirituality. Nonfiction. This book is quite simply, one of the most profound and important books of the 20th century. Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived a testimony of his thoughtful and engaging writers. Focusing on the most treasured part of Christ's teaching - the Sermon on the Mount with its call to discipleship, and on the grace of God and the sacrifice which that demands. // Viewed against the background of Nazi Germany, Bonhoeffer's book is striking enough. At the same time, it shares with many great Christian classics a quality of timelessness, so that it has spoken, and continues to speak powerfully, to the varied concerns of the contemporary world.

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What does obedience to the words of Jesus mean for each of us today? What did he actually say to us, call us to? Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Bonhoeffer answers timeless questions in a classic that illuminates the relationship between our daily lives and the teachings of Jesus".Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without...
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