I have enjoyed the writing of Dietrich Bonhoeffer for some time. I have read his Cost of Discipleship and Ethics. Now I have finally had a chance to read his Life Together. It is a book that I have wanted to read for a long time.
I was not disappointed. I would put Life Together up with C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity as a book every Christian should read. This book emerged out of Bonhoeffer’s time teaching in an underground seminary as a time when the Nazis had taken over the German church.
The book is all about what true Christian community is about. I have been a part of a church for most of life (except for a few years as an atheist). I would have thought that I had a pretty good idea of what Christian community is all about. But this book challenged me as to how shallow my understanding truly was.
Here are some of the quotes that stood out for me:
The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer.
When God was merciful, when He revealed Jesus Christ to us as our Brother, when He won our hearts by His love, this was the beginning of our instruction in divine love.
Holy Scripture does not consist of individual passages; it is a unit and is intended to be used as such.
A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another , or it collapses.
My thought on finishing this book is that I’m looking forward to rereading it. I think this may be a book that I need to read every year.