Monday, September 14, 2009

Learning to have faith--Bonhoeffer

This is what Bonhoeffer wrote the day after the attempt on Hitler's life had failed:

I discovered later, and I'm still discovering right up to this moment, that is it only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. One must completely abandon any attempt to make something of oneself, whether it be a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman (a so-called priestly type!), a righteous man or an unrighteous one, a sick man or a healthy one. By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life's duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world — watching with Christ in Gethsemane. That, I think, is faith; that is metanoia; and that is how one becomes a man and a Christian (cf. Jer. 45!). How can success make us arrogant, or failure lead us astray, when we share in God's sufferings through a life of this kind.

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  1. Good, deep thoughts - he who suffered for his faith so.

  2. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the WORD of God.." The trials and woes of this life should lead us to Christ, and that is through true conviction and repentance of SIN, not b/c of what is happening in the world around us. I thought this needed to be clarified b/c of "how one becomes a Christian.." concerned me.

  3. That was me - I forgot to change the name !!

  4. Jan, I think he was talking about the kind of faith in James--that of real faith, real manhood lived out.

  5. Excellent post with so much truth. Faith is so important for our daily walk in Christ. Thank you!