Life Together: The Classic Explorations of Faith in Community Hardcover – 1 May 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
This has been my "introductory" book to the wonderful writings of this saint, this mystic Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It made a radical change in my spiritual life, specifically it lit up my soul's hidden and unknown yearning for the fellowship of believers on Sunday, the communion of saints, the beautiful and divine liturgy (aka worship service) - something that my beloved Baptist parents criticized, since it was a book other than the Holy Writ that created in me this yearning. For too many years I dabbled in man's philosophies, being next to "the Way," ... at one point believing in Christian spirituality, but not in "organized religion." Brother Dietrich, this saint clarified for me, elucidated, explained and imprinted on my heart the importance of "Sanctorum Communio" - the fellowship of beliviers, the communion of saints. ("Sanctorum Communio: A Theological Study of the Sociology of the Church (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works)" is the title of his PhD dissertation which he finished at 21; see book by Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1998).
I recently purchased this book for a coworker (Christian brother, who goes to church once in a while) and wrote him "May you always see the church as the Sanctorum Communion, the communion of saints, the ekklesia of God, where we draw strength from one another's company as we worship the Holy Trinity."
This translation is not the most faithful the original language (German). "Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 5)" offers a better English translation, plus the added bonus of the editors notes with regards to the history and language terms used by Bonhoeffer - not to mention one of his other writings (on the Psalms).Read more ›
A beautiful book, my copy freely given me by a Lutheran pastor who shared my love for Bonhoeffer. I wanted to lead a Bible study, he said if he ever led one he would use this book!
I first heard of Bonhoeffer from someone at my church. I discovered Bonhoeffer for myself when I watched the documentary Hanged on a Twisted Cross, the life and times of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which I highly, highly recommend.
The parts of the book which spoke to me most were the sections in chapter 1 entitled through and in Jesus Christ and in chapter 3, the section on intercession. Here are some excerpts I love:
"A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner......Intercession means no more than to bring our brother into the presence of God, to see him under the cross of Jesus as a poor human being and sinner in need of grace....His need and his sin become so heavy and oppressive that we feel them as our own, and we can do nothing else but pray: Lord, do Thou, Thou alone, deal with him according to Thy severity and Thy goodness."
I do believe Bonhoeffer has " the mind of Christ" on that one.
Beautiful, beautiful book.
P.S. I challenge you to examine and compare the lives of Noah, Daniel, and Job to find out what was so pleasing to God about them. How do their lives reflect Christ's and what about everyone else's?!!! Please see Ezekiel 14:14-23. So I leave you with some homework, I just couldn't resist!
With only five chapters, this book about Christian community is short, but Bonhoeffer is incisive in his observations, being firm, yet gentle as he identifies potential pitfalls and offers prescriptions.
In chapter 1, he writes about the necessity of community and defines the term. He writes that ‘our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us’ (p. 25). He also helpfully addresses the issue of Christians having an ideal of what a Christian brotherhood should look like, saying its inevitable ugliness and messiness is a place for God’s grace to be displayed. After all, ‘Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realise; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate’ (p. 30).
Chapters 2 and 3 talks about communal and individual living. Chapter 2 is a series of prescriptions on the activities a Christian fellowship should do in order to grow as a community. Chapter 3 addresses the importance of individual time alone with God.
In chapter 4, he writes about ministries that are important for a local group of Christians. These are very helpful because Bonhoeffer places a great focus on personal humility and other-person-centredness. Chapter 5 ends the book with a call for the importance of confession of sin to one another.
Bonhoeffer writes with a loving tone. His voice is that of a pastor who cares greatly for God’s people. The book is no academic treatise; it is a ‘this-worldly’ exploration of what it means to be part of a Christian community. I really recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn how to live with other Christians together, better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A well written, well translated, challenging book. Not too long, but full of good stuff! Arrived in good condition.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a very short book, running to a little under 100 pages in the edition I read, made up of 5 chapters. Read morePublished 13 months ago by S. Meadows
Excellent book; a must read that intensely highlights the need and beauty of fellowship as a community.Published 18 months ago by Adetayo Adeoye
Geared to Christians who live in monastic communities rather than in 'real-world' social faith-based communities, such as church congregations. Read morePublished 22 months ago by David Bamford
A remarkably challenging and thought provoking book with ideas that can be used for endless group discussions about the Christian walk. Read morePublished on 21 Dec. 2013 by pj
Bonhoeffer is a fantastic read, no matter which book you read. But this book is special. I think he provides a very good vision of the church, in a realistic manner and... Read morePublished on 5 Oct. 2013 by JGomez
This is a great book by the renown Bonhoeffer! It's important to remember that the practices that Bonhoeffer discusses are very important to Christian discipleship, however, this... Read morePublished on 26 Sept. 2013 by Ross Maynard