Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of those books that “everyone” has read – unless of course everyone includes me. Somehow I missed memory-holing that it’s one of El’s favorite books – for every reason!
In my search for more wisdom, the first book out of the gate was a great choice. It challenged me, it educated me, it enlightened me. This book made me wonder why people talking about Christian community don’t … you know… read it? It seems like most efforts to form/maintain Christian communities (either full-out, living together or just as a church body or part thereof) are stepping right onto the mines that Bonhoeffer points out in this (short) work.
I’m spending a lot of time thinking about community right now, so this was amazingly useful.
“But it is part of the discipline of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform a service and that we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God.”
“The final breakthrough to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners.”
“The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous will be his isolation.”
I recommend this book heartily to anyone who wants to be challenged and grow wiser. It’s counter-cultural and uncomfortable.