Bonhoeffer Quotes

For my Friday’s Fave Five hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story this week I’m sharing 5 quotes from this biography on Bonhoeffer. I’m almost half way through it. It’s not a quick read book but one with so many things to consider along the way.

1. “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

2. “Bonhoeffer began to wonder whether he ought to pursue the life of a pastor rather than that of an academic. His father and brothers thought it would be a waste of his great intellect, but he often said 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.”

3. ” Only if we will venture to enter into the words of the Bible, as though in them this God were speaking to us who loves us and does not will to leave us alone with our questions, only so shall we learn to rejoice in the Bible…”

4. “The church has only one altar, the altar of the Almighty…before which all creatures must kneel. Whoever seeks something other than this must keep away, he cannot join us in the house of God…the church has only one pulpit, and from that pulpit, faith in God will be preached, and no other faith, and no other will than the will of God, however well-intentioned”

5. “A true leader must know the limitations of his authority.”

A bonus quote:

6. “If you board the wrong train, he said, it is no use running along the corridor in the opposite direction.”

These quotes of course are more powerful to read in context and considering the time period that Bonhoeffer lived in Germany. Bonhoeffer is eventually executed just weeks before the end of WWII.

Taken from the jacket of the book: “Bonhoeffer gives witness to one man’s extraordinary faith and to the tortured fate of the nation he sought to deliver from the curse of Naziism. It brings the reader face to face with a man determined to do the will of God radically, courageously, and joyfully – even to the point of death. Bonhoeffer is the story of a life framed by a passion for truth and a commitment to justice on behalf of those who face implacable evil.”

I highly recommend this book to all of you.

To a lighter subject…I’m looking forward to our weekend and spending time with Josh, Laura and Katie at the opening game of our Sounder’s soccer season and then next week Katie, Dear and I are traveling across the mountains for Katie to see her brother Dan’s new home. Good times together…

What’s happening in your part of the world? I’ll leave you with this photo I took today that promises me that Spring is on it’s way…

Susanne’s new button also says Spring is coming!

20 thoughts on “Bonhoeffer Quotes

  1. I got that book at the library after you first shared about it. I have always loved him but this is indeed a deep read. Beautiful flowers to leave us with. Spring….it may come sooner than we think but the 27 inches of snow right now has me feeling like it is far off. Joyful weekend to you!

  2. Pingback: Bonhoeffer Read-Along Part 1: Chapters 1-18 | Ripple Effects

  3. Such thought provoking quotes Ellen!! Bonhoeffer is studied by many theological students at the college where I work! What a great “book report”. It really does look like Spring is happening in your neck of the wood!! Ellen – I so enjoyed listening to your interview yesterday and how you told about feeding the homeless in your city! You gals are all so amazing and “uniquely tailored” as Lovella said! Have a wonderful weekend (hope the Sounders win).

  4. I have that same book about Bonhoeffer. I started it but got sidetracked. I do want to finish it for I greatly admire him and love how he thinks.

    It sounds like a fun family time coming up for you. Enjoy!

    And thanks for sharing a spring photo. I’m parched for color right now …

  5. Have heard many quotes from this theologian. That sounds like a must read and how inspirational to know his history and his commitment to God.
    Go Sounders Go!

  6. I thought the book might be interesting before, and now I know I want to read it. Love the quotes, especially 3 and 4. And I’m thinking my pastor son would love it, too.

    Enjoy your trip and seeing your kids. Have a great week ahead!

  7. I started the book about a year ago and then tucked it away as things got busy with the book. Maybe it is time to pull it out again. Thanks for that challenge.
    ah..I’ll have to go check on my bush to see if there are any blooms yet.

  8. I have wanted to read that book, but have hesitated because of it’s size. That is one huge read. But now you’ve motivated me again. Maybe I’ll just have to bite the bullet and purchase it so I can take my time with it and not have to worry about due dates.

  9. A man with such deep spiritual conviction during a very difficult time! I hope that we will be able to stand up under testing when it comes… but we must be willing to speak, right? Not to say something is wrong too. I thought of Adam in the garden.

  10. I read Bonhoeffer years ago, its heavy reading- I think it took me about 6 months to read his book a little at a time so I could digest little pieces.

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