Downward, Upward, and Forward Behind Jesus

Dietrich BonhoefferDietrich Bonhoeffer did not have to help Jews escape Nazi Germany and flee to Switzerland.  After all, he was safe and sound in New York in the early 1940’s. He was free to stay in America and preach the gospel from the safety of a free church pulpit or teach New Testament in the peace and freedom of a university. But the gospel he preached compelled him to return to Germany and stand against Nazi aggression.

Before he was executed by the Nazis in 1945, he wrote the following words that I believe the American Church that is embedded in a narcissistic society needs to hear again and hear loudly:

Cheap grace is the preaching of….forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession…  Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ living and incarnate. Costly grace is…the gospel which must be sought again…

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