Theologian, Spy and Martyr – Bonhoeffer Died Today

Sixty-seven years ago, April 9, 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed in a Nazi concentration camp for his defense of the Jews during World War II and for his faith. Bonhoeffer was an incredible man of conviction and passion for Christ, shown in his biography Bonhoeffer, written by Eric Metaxas. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Grace changes you from the inside out. Neither law nor cheap grace can do that.”

“If one couldn’t communicate the most profound ideas about God and the Bible to children, something was amiss. There was more to life than academia.”

“It’s much easier for me to imagine a praying murderer, a praying prostitute, than a vain person praying. Nothing is so at odds with prayer as vanity.”

“He [Bonhoeffer] differentiated between Christianity as a religion like all the others—which attempt but fail to make an ethical way for man to climb to heaven of his own accord—and following Christ, who demands everything, including our very lives.”

“Christianity preaches the infinite worth of that which is seemingly worthless and the infinite worthlessness of that which is seemingly so valued.”

“A good leader serves others and leads others to maturity. He puts them above himself, as a good parent does a child, wishing to lead that child to someday be a good parent. Another word for this is discipleship.”

“Christ must be brought into every square inch of the world and the culture, but one’s faith must be shining and bright and pure and robust.”

“Theological work and real pastoral fellowship can only grow in a life which is governed by gathering round the Word morning and evening and by fixed times of prayer.”

“Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic . . . Do not defend God’s Word, but testify to it . . . Trust to the Word.”

“Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.”

“The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.”


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