Dietrich Bonhoeffer Quotes

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Man seeks, in his manhood, not orders, not laws and peremptory dogmas, but counsel from one who is earnest in goodness and faithful in friendship, making man free.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A god who let us prove his existence would be an idol.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jesus' call to bear the cross places all who follow him in the community of the forgiveness of sins. Forgiving sins is the Christ-suffering required of his disciples. It is required of all Christians.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It is the characteristic excellence of the strong man that he can bring momentous issues to the fore and make a decision about them. The weak are always forced to decide between alternatives they have not chosen themselves.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Cross is not the terrible end of a pious happy life. Instead, it stands at the beginning of community with Jesus Christ. Whenever Christ calls us, his call leads us to death.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"If any want to become my followers," Jesus says. Following him is not something that is self-evident, even among the disciples. No one can be forced, no one can be expected to follow him. ... "If any want to follow me, they must deny themselves and take up their cross."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The activity will prove to be "peculiar" by leading the active person into Christ's own passion. This activity itself is perpetual suffering and enduring. In it, Christ is suffered by his disciple. If this is not the case, it is not the activity Jesus intended. In this way, the "extraordinary" is the fulfilling of the law, the keeping of the commandments.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Distant or near, in joy or in sorrow, each in the other sees his true helper to brotherly freedom.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

There remains an experience of incomparable value. We have for once learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcasts, the suspects, the maltreated in short, from the perspective of those who suffer. Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. Christians are called to compassion and to action.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God. Where are these responsible people?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

By his willingly renouncing self-defence, the Christian affirms his absolute adherence to Jesus, and his freedom from the tyranny of his own ego. The exclusiveness of this adherence is the only power which can overcome evil.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

By willing endurance we cause suffering to pass. Evil becomes a spent force when we put up no resistance. By refusing to pay back the enemy with his own coin, and preferring to suffer without resistance, the Christian exhibits the sinfulness of contumely and insult. Violence stands condemned by its failure to evoke counter-violence.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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