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Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s main body of work which explained his understanding of following Jesus was the The Cost of Discipleship. Before the book was published. he was able to lay a foundation for the book while he was a director of the illegal Confessing Church seminary at Finkenwalde.

During this period, he taught that Jesus words from the Sermon on the Mount call for a radical obedience to Jesus. Geffrey B Kelly and F. Burton Nelson write in The Cost of Moral Leadership: The Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer...

In these lectures he opened to his seminarians the personal heart of his own spirituality: discipleship and the cross, living out the teachings of Jesus Christ even if that led to their persecution and martyrdom (131).

It is ironic that part of the foundation to his classic work, The Cost of Discipleship occurred while he was a director of an illegal seminary. Thus, from the beginning he lived out the teachings of his own lectures. Lectures that stressed an all obedience to Jesus regardless of the cost.

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