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Bonhoeffer on the Bible

I stole this from sk8eeyore. Hope you don't mind. I love it! Now I want to read this book--and I want to know where this originally came from. I really need to read some Bonhoeffer! I think I will like him a lot...

First, I want to confess quite simply that I believe the Bible alone is the answer to all our questions, and that we only need to ask persistently and with some humility in order to receive the answer from it. One cannot simply read the Bible the way one reads other books. One must be prepared to really question it. Only then will it open itself up. Only when we await the final answer from the Bible will it be given to us. That is because in the Bible it is God who speaks to us. And we cannot simply reach our own conclusions about God; rather, we must ask him. He will only answer us if we are seeking after him. Naturally, one can also read the Bible like any other book--from the perspective of textual criticism, for instance. There is nothing to be said against that. But that will only reveal the surface of the Bible, not what is within it. When a dear friend speaks a word to us, do we subject it to analysis? No, we simply accept it, and then it resonates inside us for days. The word of someone we love opens itself up to us the more we "ponder it in our hearts," as Mary did. In the same way, we should carry the Word of the Bible when we dare to approach it as the means by which God really speaks to us, the God who loves us and will not leave us with our questions unanswered.

--Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as quoted in Ellen Davis' Wondrous Depth: Preaching the Old Testament


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 9th, 2007 02:11 am (UTC)
Yes, you should read some Bonhoeffer.
He is thoroughly amazing and one of my favorites.
Try Cost of Discipleship or Life Together.
But all of him is good - and his story will change you, when you hear it.
Dec. 9th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
I am taking only one course this summer, an independent study. I am planning to do some intensive personal interest reading and reflection. I need it badly. Bonhoeffer is high on my list. I expect to be doing a *LOT* of blogging. I'm also thinking of doing some minor traveling, especially if my health is good.
Dec. 9th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC)
The footnote in Davis' book says it's from Bonhoeffer's Meditating on the Word, David Gracie's translation, published in 2000 by Cowley.

I'm glad you were touched by it too!
Dec. 9th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
Personally I think it very narrow minded thinking that one book holds all the answers in the universe if that is what he is saying.
Dec. 9th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
One might argue, however, that by altering your patterns of how you perceive yourself and your role in the world, the Word directs you to the answer you need.

Yeah, I know. I'm not satisfied with that answer, either, but it's what jumped out at me this morning.

*waddling back to kitchen in search of green tea, maybe a little jasmine*
Dec. 12th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
Hi farm girl,

Bonhoeffer is not narrow minded. He means as a Christian, in terms of his faith, the answers are in the Bible, because the Bible tells the story of Jesus who revealed God to us.

In his prison letters, he comments often on his reading. He was reading books in a broad array of topics: physics, psychology, philosophy, history, literature, and art. He spoke about his love of nature, and the importance of living in the world and enjoying life.

He was against the so-called "German Christians" who could make up their own faith based on nationalism and their self-evident (to them) national and racial superiority. They appealed to German science and philosophy in developing their "natural theology." That was the danger Bonhoeffer saw when Christians turned to sources outside the Bible for an understanding of God.

You would enjoy reading his "Letters and Papers from Prison".
Dec. 12th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Bonhoeffer
It's great to know that he quotes other sources. The quote just sounded narrow minded to me. As I am not Christian I would not be interested in reading his opinions of finding answers in the bible. I am, however, interested to know why he was in prison.
Dec. 13th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
Re: Bonhoeffer
Here is a link to a summary of Bonhoeffer's life. It is actually quite fascinating. He was imprisoned for his opposition to the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. The Nazi regime, btw, billed itself as a Christian movement, and there was significant underground activity by Christians in opposition to it. Many were imprisoned and executed along with Jews.

Bonhoeffer link is here.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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