The Foolishness of Man

The Foolishness of Man from the August 22, 2016 eNews issue by Dr. Steve Elwart An empty-headed person will gain understanding when a wild donkey is born a human being! — Job 11:12 (ISV) An Old Saying There is a saying “God must have loved stupid people, He made so many of them.” Doesn’t sound very Christian, does it? It is interesting to note that a person no less than Dietrich Bonhoeffer had something to say about Continue Reading

40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Day 40

Day 40 ====== Near the end of his life, Bonhoeffer was reported to have said the following: What bothers me incessantly is the question…who Christ really is for us today? Biblical Wisdom =============== Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the son of Man is?” and they said, “some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the Continue Reading

40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Day 39

Day 39 ====== In prayer we go to our enemies, to stand at their side. We are with them, near them, for them before God. Jesus does not promise us that the enemy we love, we bless, to whom we do good, will not abuse and persecute us. They will do so. But even in doing so, they cannot harm and conquer us if we take this last step to them in intercessory prayer. Now we are taking up their neediness and poverty, their being guilty and lost, and Continue Reading

40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Day 38

Day 38 ====== Words and thoughts are not enough. Doing good involves all the things of daily life. “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink” (Romans 12:20). In the same ways that brothers and sisters stand by each other in times of need, bind up each other’s wounds, ease each other’s pain, love of the enemy should do good to the enemy. Where in the world is there greater need, where are deeper Continue Reading

40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Day 37

Day 37 ====== (Bonhoeffer’s view of a life among enemies was formed in the Nazi Germany of the 1930s, a situation that was becoming increasingly hostile to Christians.) The Christian cannot simply take for granted the privilege of living among other Christians. Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. In the end all his disciples abandoned him. On the cross he was all alone, surrounded by criminals and the jeering crowds. He had come Continue Reading

40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Day 36

Day 36 ====== When another Christian falls into obvious sin, an admonition is imperative, because God’s Word demands it. The practice of discipline in the community of faith begins with friends who are close to one another. Words of admonition and reproach must be risked when a lapse from God’s Word in doctrine or life endangers a community that lives together, and with it the whole community of faith. Nothing can be more cruel than that Continue Reading

40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Day 35

Day 35 ====== Thus there remains only one path for those who in following Jesus want to truly serve God in worship, and that is the path of reconciliation with their sisters and brothers. Anyone who comes to the word and sacrament with an unreconciled heart stands judged by doing so. Such a person is a murderer in God’s sight. That is why you must “first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” It is a Continue Reading

40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Day 34

Day 34 ====== Often we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we absolutely refuse to allow them to be verbalized. It is certain that the spirit of self-justification can only be overcome by the spirit of grace; and it is just as certain that the individual judgmental thought can be limited and suppressed by never allowing it to be spoken except as a confession of sin…. Thus it must be a decisive rule of all Christian community life that Continue Reading

40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer Day 33

Day 33 ====== Every act of self-discipline by a Christian is also a service to the community. Conversely, there is no sin in thought, word, or deed, no matter how personal or secret, that does not harm the whole community. When the cause of an illness gets into one’s body, whether or not anyone knows where it comes from, or in what member it has lodged, the body is made ill. This is the appropriate metaphor for the Christian community. Every Continue Reading

40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Day 32

Day 32 ====== Intercessory prayer is also a daily service Christians owe to God and one another. Those who deny their neighbors prayers of intercession deny them a service Christians are called to perform. Furthermore, it is clear that intercessory prayer is not something general and vague, but something very concrete. It is interested in specific persons and specific difficulties and therefore specific requests. The more concrete my Continue Reading