Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Great book on Christian community!
on 10 June 2016
Doing Christian community well is difficult, for where people are involved, people will get hurt. In this book, Bonhoeffer explores the importance of Christian community, what one such community looks like, and the challenges it will face.
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.