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“When the Church Sat Back” —- Bonhoeffer, You, & Me

April 27, 2022

From colleague and friend Jeff Greenway – – –

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German pastor, theologian, martyr, spy was asked in 1943 how it was possible for the Church to sit back and let Hitler seize absolute power. His firm answer: “It was the teaching of cheap grace.”

“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

—- Jeff concluded, “We live in a time and culture that not only teaches cheap grace but praises it.”

I will admit to being old enough to remember when we used to carefully and repeatedly read Bonhoeffer’s books. We underlined most of the content (yes, this was before highlighters). We both talked and argued about what he’d written. We could quote him, even to the point of reciting passages. I wore out two copies of two of his books.

Is the problem that we didn’t put his words into action?

And that we still aren’t?

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