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Chapter 6 of Jon Walker’s book, Breakfast with Bonhoefferis called “Jesus Defines”. 

Bonhoeffer teaches “that Jesus must be central to our lives. He is the mediator between God and us, but he also is the mediator between us and others. When we become believers, we can never look at anyone the same. We have to look at them through the lens of Jesus and interact with them according to our relationship with Jesus.” (75).

Bonhoeffer said, “Our hearts have room only for one all-embracing devotion, and we can only  cleave to one Lord. Every competitor to that devotion must be hated” (75).

Jesus…will not tolerate wishy-washy disciples (77).

Following Jesus means we must stay in the present and cooperate with him as he works through our circumstance no matter how difficult they seem (79).

 

Chapter 5 of Jon Walker’s book, Breakfast with Bonhoefferis called “Jesus Central”. 

Bonhoeffer expressed concern that, when faced with a critical decision  believers often argue from experience or opinion, leaving out any argument from Scripture. He says that when we give greater credence to experience or opinion, we reveal we don’t “seriously read, know, and study the Scriptures.” (62).

Bonhoeffer said, “It’s not our heart that determines our course, but God’s Word.” (63).

When we try to separate Jesus from our relationships, we deny the reality that the life of Christ is active within us. Since that life flows from Jesus through us to others, we actually have to block the flow in order to hide Jesus from our friends, family, or business associates. And this undermines the authenticity of those relationships (68).

Bonhoeffer adds that the world is full of little gods who want to retain their hold over you, and that is why the world is so bitterly opposed to Christ. Some of those little gods are us: We refuse to relinquish our independence from Jesus, insisting we can receive forgiveness but then return to a life of independent living (68-69).

May the Lord Jesus be the center of our lives!

Chapter 4 of Jon Walker’s book, Breakfast With Bonhoefferis called “Dishwater Disagreements”. 

Bonhoeffer says only Jesus can break through our petty tyrannies, our demands to live life on our terms, and our delusions about what is important in life. To enter the Kingdom, we must come not only to the end of ourselves but we must alter our lives in obedience to the Word of God, Jesus. Only then do we enter God’s grace…  (55).

Bonhoeffer taught me that the free gift of grace also carried costly responsibilities. Think of it like this: Grace is an orchestra you are invited to join. Your membership is free. It is a gift from the maestro who sees a talent in you no one else sees. But joining the orchestra will cost you everything because you have to leave other things behind as you focus on following the maestro and becoming the musician God made you to be (56).

In order to follow Jesus, it will cost us everything!

 

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer is Jon Walker’s third book based on the life and works of German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Here is a quote from chapter four, “Dishwater Disagreements”.  

The danger as we follow Jesus in the Kingdom is that we can slip off the narrow path, on one side sliding into a ditch of burdensome religion–what we call commonly call legalism–and on the other side sliding into a ditch where there is a presumptive disregard for the bloody cost of God’s grace, something Bonhoeffer refers to as cheap grace (52).

 

 

 

 

 

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Breakfast with Bonhoeffer is Jon Walker’s third book based on the life and works of German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His previous books are Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship” (2010) and In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s Classic Work “Life Together” (2011).

Chapter three of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer is titled, “Double-Minded”.  Below are some quotes from the chapter…

…This morning Bonhoeffer reminds us that as long as we live with our delusions, we hinder ourselves from engaging the Kingdom of Heaven in the now (40).

…This cheap grace, Bonhoeffer says, “is the preaching of forgiveness with requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate” (41).

…we’re like an obese man who can understand the need to exercise, talk about exercise, and even plan to exercise, but who does not actually begin to exercise. It does him no good (42).

…When we aren’t focused on what is real–on Kingdom reality–it’s like we have bipolar faith. We swing from belief to unbelief, from hot to to cold without ever being either. Jesus says our lukewarm faith makes him want to puke (46).

…I borrow this question from Dallas Willard, who asks in his book, The Divine Conspiracy: Have you ever considered that Jesus is the smartest man in the world? Would the very fact that we follow conventional wisdom instead of the commands of Jesus indicate that we don’t believe he is? (50).

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer is Jon Walker’s third book based on the life and works of German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His previous books are Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship” (2010) and In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s Classic Work “Life Together” (2011).

Chapter two of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer is titled, “Double Vision”. 

…Most of us try to live with one eye on Jesus and one eye on the world. The only thing that does is give us double vision. Following Jesus down the narrow path and through the narrow gate into the Kingdom of Heaven with double vision is more difficult than a drunk trying to stay steady and straight while touching his nose or walking heel-to-toe down the line (33).

…Every step is unstable and unsure. Everything you see is skewed by two images, neither one representing the exact likeness of that at which you are looking (33-34).

…We stumble along, trying to walk a straight line but instead staggering between what is right and what we think is right. And we call this normal; we call this discipleship. I think about this when Bonhoeffer says we should have a singular vision on Jesus. We were never meant to walk with double vision…double vision is unfocused (35).

…Jesus tells us again and again that we have to look past the things of the world into the eternal reality of the Kingdom (37).   

Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived a messy faith, believing Jesus continually brings us to choices that require total dependence upon him in order to take the next step. This means we stop being afraid of making mistakes, trusting that, if we mis-step, God sweeps us with his grace, is faithful to forgive, and will work things out to get us back on track because he wants us to move forward in our journey. Bonhoeffer teaches that a life of such extraordinary risk is expectation, not the expectation for any disciple of Jesus  (Jon Walker, Breakfast With Bonhoeffer15).

Jon Walker in his book, In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s Classic Work:  Life Together writes in chapter 36, the final chapter, about the “Ministry of Communion”. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote…

It is the command of Jesus that none should come to the altar with a heart that is unreconciled to his brother. If this command of Jesus applies to every service of worship, indeed, to every prayer we utter, then it most certainly applies to reception of the Lord’s Supper. 

Walker writes that The Big Idea of the chapter is…

Communion is about the sharing of life. It is about knowing others and being known by others, about caring and being cared for on a deep and personal level. And, when we take Communion (The Lord’s Supper) together, we should reflect the life we share with one another because the Life of Christ is active in our hearts.

Walker added:

We cannot love like Jesus loves us unless we enter each other’s lives in an intimate and personal way.

…And so Jesus expects us to come up-close to each others.

…During the Last Supper, Jesus emphasizes the reality of our oneness with him, with the Father, and with each other; yet, we’ve lost that emphasis in the way we shares the Lord’s Supper (Communion) today. We’ve reduced it to a superficial ritual, where we focus entirely on the sacrifice of Jesus, but the exclusion of the oneness we are called to with each other. .

Don’t misunderstand, the death and resurrection of Jesus is the unimpeachable core of our relationship with God and each other. It is the very thing, the only thing, that brings us into communion with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

…And so our communion with Christ should compel us into communion with each other.

…Jesus spent most of the Last Supper speaking about his love for us, and our oneness with him and the Father.

…Yet, somehow we’ve truncated the message into a memorial service for Jesus. We say, “Let’s remember what he did for us,” but then we stop before we get to the part where we’re supposed to remember what we should do for each other because we are in union with Christ… 

…To be like Jesus is…When we are united in Christ, we “can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God…” (Romans 15:6 NLT).

(Jon WalkerIn Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s Classic Work: Life Together, Chapter 36).

Jon Walker in his book, In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s Classic Work:  Life Together writes in chapter 35 about the dangers of confession. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote…

Only the person who has so humbled himself can hear a brother’s confession without harm.

Walker writes that The Big Idea of the chapter is…

And we’re not qualified to hear the confessions of others of special insight or training or unique spiritual training on our part. We’re qualified to hear each other’s confessions because we are sinners who know sin and its destructive power, and we now know Jesus and his redemptive power.

Walker added:

Bonhoeffer says there are two dangers to watch for as our community practices biblical confession.

First, we should never designate one person as the only person to hear confessions. Confession isn’t about setting up some special, spiritual leader who acts as a mediator between God and us. Jesus is already our mediator and he paid a bloody price so that we could have a direct and intimate relationship with the Father. 

…Second, we should guard against turning confession into a pious work. In other words, we don’t confess to impress. We don’t confess in order to appear spiritual. 

…Jesus is…The blood of Jesus purifies us from every every sin and brings us into fellowship with him.

To be like Jesus…Because we are in fellowship with Jesus, we are authorized to help bring one another into the light, where God purifies us from our wrong doing and where we can “have fellowship with one another.” 

(Jon WalkerIn Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s Classic Work: Life Together, Chapter 35)

Jon Walker in his book, In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s Classic Work:  Life Together writes in chapter 34 about whom do we confess to in the fellowship of the church. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote…

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Anybody who lives beneath the Cross and who has discerned in the Cross of Jesus the utter wickedness of all men and of his own heart will find there is no sin that can ever be alien to him. Anybody who has once been horrified by the dreadfulness of his own sin that nailed Jesus to the Cross will no longer be horrified by even the rankest sins of a brother. 

Walker writes that The Big Idea of the chapter is…

Only those who live under the cross of Jesus can hear confession. And only those who confess can hear the confession of sin.

Walker added:

…Confessing to one another helps us see each other under the Cross of Jesus, where we are judged, yet granted mercy through the blood of Jesus Christ.

The Cross pushes us past our harsh human criticism and weak indulgences toward “the spirit of divine severity and divine love., We enter into the reality of grace–that we need God’s grace because of our sin–an in that reality, we see the death of our sin.

…We hear confession from one another so that each of us in the fellowship can experience this new gladness: “Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach sinners your commands, and they will turn back to you.” (Psalm 51:12-13) 

…To be like Jesus…We must be broken and humbled before the Father in order to hear the confession of others…

(Jon WalkerIn Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s Classic Work: Life Together, Chapter 34)

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