We Have Gathered Like Eagles ‘Round the Carcass

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.  Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate…The onlyman who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ…We…have gathered like eagles round the carcass of cheap grace, and there we have drunk the poison which has killed the life of following Christ

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 90

God Has Granted American Christianity No Reformation

God has granted American Christianity no Reformation.  He has given it strong revivalist preachers, churchmen and theologians, but no Reformation of the church of Jesus Christ by the Word of God…Aerican theology and the American church as a whole have never been able to understand the meaning of “criticism” by the Word of God and all that signifies.  Right to the last they do not understand that God’s “criticism” touches even religion, the Christianity of the church and the sanctification of Christians, and that God has founded his church beyond religion and beyond ethics…In American theology, Christianity is still essentially religion and ethics…Because of this the person and work of Christ must, for theology, sink into the background and in the long run remain misunderstood, because it is not recognized as the sole ground of radical judgment and radical forgiveness.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

as quote by Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p.

Satan’s Version of ‘Your Best Life Now’

Satan’s desire is to turn me in on myself to the extent that I become enslaved and become a destructive force in community.  The thrust from Jesus Christ is the opposite – to enhance my freedom so that I can become a creative force of love.  It is the spirit of self-centeredness and selfishness versus the spirit of openness and self-sacrifice for the good of others.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

as quoted by Brennan Manning, The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus, HarperOne, copyright 2005, page 132

It Is Not Acts That Makes The Christian, It Is the Sufferings of Christ

It is not a religious act that makes the Christian, but participation in the sufferings of God in the secular life.  That is the metanoia [repentance]: not in the first place thinking about one’s own needs, problems, sins and fears, but allowing oneself to be caught up into the way of Jesus Christ…Pain is a holy angel…Through him men have become greater than through all the joys of the world…The pain of longing, which often can be felt physically, must be there, and we shall not and need not talk it away.  But it needs to be overcome every time, and thus there is an even holier angel than the one of pain, that is the one of joy in God.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

as quoted by Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 66-67