What is the cost of discipleship? What does it mean to follow Christ? In the classic The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer emphasizes that discipleship is a matter of personal, dynamic obedience to Christ, not to a program of rituals. However, he does draw a blueprint for the general lifestyle of a disciple, based on what Christ taught his original 12 disciples. Four key aspects of a disciple’s life that he discusses are humility, self-denial, suffering, and pacifism. Read more to learn about Bonhoeffer’s view of discipleship.
How is the virtue of humility part of the Christian life? What does it mean to keep your good deeds secret from yourself? Dietrich Bonhoeffer believes that humility is an indispensable part of being a disciple. That means that you do good for God’s sake, not yours. You realize that the credit for anything good belongs to God alone. Keep reading to learn about Bonhoeffer’s view on the virtue of humility.
Should Christians serve in government? What is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s view? According to Bonhoeffer, Christians should not hold a position with the government. He gives three reasons for this in his book The Cost of Discipleship. Some Christians (and perhaps even the Bible) do not support his position, and it seems that Bonhoeffer himself might have changed some of his views over time. Keep reading to learn more about Bonhoeffer’s perspective on Christians in government.
What is cheap grace? How does it put you at risk? According to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, cheap grace isn’t true grace (or salvation) at all. It’s dangerous because the illusion of cheap grace can lull you into a false sense of security, causing you to be sure of your salvation when it isn’t sure at all. Read more to learn about cheap grace.
What is the relationship between faith and obedience? Can you have one without the other? Dietrich Bonhoeffer argues that faith and obedience are completely bound together. Each one feeds the other, and they can’t be separated. However, this theological view isn’t shared by all Christian belief systems. Keep reading to learn more about the relationship between faith and obedience.
What is the thinking self? Do you agree with Descartes’ philosophical notion that “I think, therefore I am?” We have two minds or “selves” that affect our response to events: the thinking self and the observing self. The thinking self provides a running (judgmental) commentary on events, while the observing self neutrally observes this running commentary. In this article, we’ll define the thinking self and the observing self and explore the relationship between the two minds.
What does it mean to have a personal relationship with God? What is the role of obedience in this relationship? Dietrich Bonhoeffer explains that a personal relationship with God is how discipleship works—and that obedience is at the center. A true disciple seeks to obey Jesus. Keep reading to learn about obedience within a personal relationship with God.
Can a Christian lose their salvation? Is salvation guaranteed? Are there categories of sin? According to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, salvation can be forfeited. However, his views on sin and the loss of salvation differ in some ways from the perspectives of the Catholic church, John Calvin, and other Christians. Read more to learn about these various theological views.
Do you experience suffering as a result of following Christ? Should you expect to? According to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, suffering for Christ is central to the discipleship experience. He argues that, as disciples become more and more like Christ, they are treated more and more like Christ was treated on earth. So, Christians should expect to be persecuted. This is part of the cost of discipleship. Read more to learn about suffering for Christ.
What is fasting? How does it contribute to spiritual growth? Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book The Cost of Discipleship, urges Christians to practice fasting for spiritual growth. He argues that the suffering that comes from fasting builds self-discipline. Other religious traditions differ in some ways regarding their views toward fasting, but many still see it as a part of spiritual life. Read more to learn about fasting for spiritual growth.