Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Review, 'the cost of discipleship'

I was in the process of reading Bonhoeffer's book, 'the cost of discipleship', then I read this review by Dr. Gary Gilley. I had been troubled by a couple of things I'd read in the book, and now have decided not to finish it.

Here is Pastor Gary Gilley's review...


The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Bonhoeffer, who died because of his principles in a Germany concentration camp in 1945, is one of the most frequently quoted individuals by evangelical leaders. This has always surprised me given the fact that Bonhoeffer was a Christian humanist with neo-orthodox leanings. Nevertheless, I decided to read for myself this, his most well known book.
Bonhoeffer's greatest contribution to the Christian community is his teachings on what he calls "cheap grace." "Cheap grace," he writes, "means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner" (p.46). In a statement that would strike a great blow against easy-believism of our day he says, "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" (p.47). To these thoughts, and the theology behind them, we say a hardy "amen."
On the other hand, in addition to his humanistic and neo-orthodox tendencies mentioned above, The Cost of Discipleship clearly revealed other major problems. Most disturbing of which is his belief concerning sacramental regeneration. Bonhoeffer takes the traditional Lutheran view that grace is dispensed through the sacraments of baptism (most often infant baptism) (pp. 254-262) and the Lord's supper (pp. 263-276). In other words, it is through these means that one is born again. Additionally he believes that a true Christian can lose his salvation (p. 329). These are grave errors that must be factored into any understanding of Bonhoeffer's teachings.
While Bonhoeffer supplies some thoughts worth considering, his false teachings are too many and too real to ignore.

5 comments:

Linda said...

I read this yesterday and I thank GOD for Pastor Gilley. I knew from that same book by Bonhoeffer that something didn't settle right with me because he was for ecumenicism. I haven't read the whole book.
Since then there was one Christian man who spoke out against Bonhoffer when a lady brought him up at the Christian forum I used to go to. I went online to find articles on him and came up with mixed opinions.

Gilley clears it all up for me and I am so blessed by HIM. So very blessed,,

Didn't you say this is your Pastor lyn? If he is then please if you can tell him Thank YOU!

lyn said...

Hey sister,

Yes, Gary Gilley is my Pastor; I recently joined his church. It is a sound, biblical church and I thank God for it.
I will tell him you said 'thank you'!

Walter said...

I agree Linda. I didn't care for Bonhoeffer's stuff either.

Check out this link for more documentation:
http://www.fundamentalbaptistministries.com/archives2/DIETRICH_BONHOEFFER.htm

Manda said...

Is that the only reason you chose to stop reading? Were you afraid you'd disagree or that it would challenge you? If you're as strong in your faith as you lead on to be, this could have been a great learning experience. Being strong in your faith should encourage you to challenge yourself and beliefs. It makes us smarter and stronger.

lyn said...

Manda,

First of all, my faith is not based on whether or not I read a book based on another mortal, faith is a gift of God given to those He chooses. Faith is tested and strengthened by God through trials and tribulations. So, whether I choose to read a book or not to read a book has no bearing on the faith God has gifted me with.

That is how faith is made stronger- by God, and what He sends, not by reading books. You are confusing faith with edification/encouragement. You may be encouraged by what you read, but it will not increase your faith and trust in God. Remember the definition of faith, for example, from Mark 11:22, " And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God." Here, faith is translated from the Greek word πίστις - pistis - defined as 'assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity, persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth' - From Strong's dictionary.
Here is how Thayer's defines faith, ' in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it
1a) relating to God
1a1) the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
1b) relating to Christ
1b1) a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God
1c) the religious beliefs of Christians
1d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same
2) fidelity, faithfulness
2a) the character of one who can be relied on
Context is essential when reading the word of God; to pull verse[s] out of context is to cause one to misinterpret the meaning of the text.

To have faith in God is to have absolute trust in Him for the redemption of your soul, to trust in Him even when you are in the midst of the severest of trials, to trust in Him if you are facing martyrdom, to trust in Him when the whole world hates you and comes against you, to trust in Him when your family turns on you. Bonhoeffer can't help you in such times of testing, only Christ can.
Faith in Christ is not deepened by reading about a man, it is deepened by God as He puts each of us to the test.

Now, let's address Bonhoeffer's false teachings. He teaches being born again is achieved by the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper. What does God's word say? Take note of John 1:13, 'Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.' This is how the new birth is given; supernaturally, by God. I also recommend you read Ezekiel 36:26-27; for in those verses is the clearest picture of the new birth and who is responsible {notice the 'I's in those verses, which references to God Himself}.

As for the Lord's supper, Christ Himself commands we do this in remembrance of Him, not as a means of salvation {Luke 22:19}
How are sinners saved? Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us exactly how salvation comes, 'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast'
Bonhoeffer was a false teacher, his orthodox views are equal to that of the Roman Catholic Church,which is a dead religion that is damning to the soul.