Quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Life Together"
Updated: Jan 17, 2021
Quotes about Christian unity and community from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's famous book, "Life Together:"
“If there is so much blessing and joy even in a single encounter of brother with brother, how inexhaustible are the riches that open up for those who by God’s will are privileged to live in the daily fellowship of life with other Christians!”
“God has willed that we should seek and find God’s living Word in the testimony of other Christians."
“Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate."
“Contrary to all my own opinions and convictions, Jesus Christ will tell me what love toward the brethren really is.”
“If you scorn the fellowship of the brethren, you reject the call of Jesus Christ, and thus your solitude can only be hurtful to you.”
“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.”
"A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person.”
"We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.”
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”
"I have community with others and I shall continue to have it only through Jesus Christ."
“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions.”
“The Christian, however, must bear the burden of a brother. He must suffer and endure the brother. It is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated."
"We are living on self-forgiveness and not a real forgiveness.”
“If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. ... How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?”
“As Christ bore and received us as sinners so we in his fellowship may bear and receive sinners into the fellowship of Christ through the forgiving of sins.”
“Human love is directed to the other person for his own sake, spiritual love loves him for Christ’s sake.”
"Let him who until now has had the privilege of living a common Christian life with other Christians praise God’s grace from the bottom of his heart. Let him thank God on his knees and declare: It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren.”