Quotes from

 Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Evangelical Reassessment

by Georg Huntemann


Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor and martyr of the Confessing Church, critiqued the institutional German ecclesiastical context in November of 1932. His words apply equally seven decades later to the present American crisis which combines an epidemic of bad theology with sycophantic allegiance to the State and the chieftains of Corporate America:

"No one who knows today’s church will want to complain that the church doesn’t do anything. No, the church does immeasurably much, and also with much sacrifice and seriousness; but we all do precisely too many second, third, and fourth works, and not the first works.

"And exactly because of this, the church is not doing what is crucial. We celebrate, we represent, we strive for influence, we start a Protestant movement, we do Protestant youth work, we perform charitable service and care, we make propaganda against godlessness -– but do we do the first works which are the basis of absolutely everything? "Do we love God and our brother with that first, passionate, burning love that risks everything -– except God?

"Do we really allow God to be God? Do we leave ourselves and our church to Him completely? If that were the case, things would have to look different, there would surely be a breakthrough."

[Bonhoeffer’s sermon preached on Reformation Day, November 6, 1932 as quoted in Georg Huntemann’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer: An Evangelical Reassessment (Baker), p. 285].

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