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“I’m writing at the moment. In commenting on how we have reduced Christianity to mere cognitive confession or belief and have thereby effectively excluded discipleship from the equation, I decided to quote what is surely one of Bonhoeffer’s most sobering statements on the danger of non-discipleship….”
“Discipleship means adherence to Christ, and, because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship.
An abstract Christology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace or on the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous, and in fact they positively exclude any idea of discipleship whatever, and are essentially inimical to the whole conception of following Christ. With an abstract idea it is possible to enter into a relation of formal knowledge, to become enthusiastic about it, and perhaps even to put it into practice; but it can never be followed in personal obedience.
Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. It remains an abstract idea, a myth which has a place for the Fatherhood of God, but omits Christ as the living Son. And a Christianity of that kind is nothing more or less than the end of discipleship. In such a religion there is trust in God, but no following of Christ.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship.
Happy New Year!
As you head into the New Year, I encourage you to keep this vision from C.S. Lewis in mind as you go through various things, good and bad:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
Happy New Year, Living House! HaHaHa – tjbrassell