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When Dietrich Bonhoeffer was in New York City in 1939, he attended the Riverside Church where Henry Emerson Fosdick (see picture) was pastor.

Bonhoeffer  was in a mood to hear God in the preaching of his Word, even if it was not in the precise form he liked. But he was in no mood for what he heard that morning at Riverside. The text for that sermon was from James, but not from the James of the New Testament. It was from the American philosopher William James, whose works Bonhoeffer had studied nine years earlier.

The usually exceedingly gracious and tolerant Bonhoeffer had been aching for something of God, but he had come to the wrong place. In his diary he wrote, “Quite unbearable!”

(Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, 332-333)

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