Why Bonhoeffer and not Wesley?
This fall, we are exploring one of the Christian classic texts, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Life Together.” Someone might ask why we are delving into Bonhoeffer, instead of, the writings of John Wesley? In a world currently dealing with the epidemic of loneliness, “Life Together” offers a unique perspective on fostering genuine Christian community.
Bonhoeffer's book delves into the essence of intentional Christian communal living, urging readers to embrace committed relationships that shape personal growth and shared worship. Amidst the challenges of his own time leading an underground seminary during Nazi Germany, Bonhoeffer's emphasis on radical discipleship and accountability remains relevant for modern seekers of authentic spiritual connections. Gemeinschaft is a German term that signifies a sense of genuine, deep community and fellowship among individuals who share common values, beliefs, and experiences.
In "Life Together," Bonhoeffer emphasizes the importance of this kind of intimate and spiritually enriching fellowship as an essential aspect of Christian life. Each generation encounters its prophetic voices, such as Wesley and Bonhoeffer, who guide and correct the church and Christian community, reminding us of the timeless importance of sincere fellowship. While John Wesley's works are pivotal for comprehending theology and personal piety, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book aligns closely with our present-day longing of deep interpersonal relationships.
"Life Together" stands out as a guide for those who seek to enrich their understanding of Christian fellowship in a world desperately seeking alternative answers to the current sense of purposelessness. By exploring themes of humility, selflessness, and the Theology of the Cross, Bonhoeffer's work provides a timeless and impactful resource for individuals striving to cultivate transformative Christian communities Jesus intended.
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23 NIV