In our current context, given what we are learning about the high cost of failed moral leadership, it is more urgent than ever to seek and study models for the formation of exceptional leaders. Readers who missed Burton Nelson and Geffrey Kelly's groundbreaking, insightful, painstakingly researched, and substantially encouraging study of what Dietrich Bonhoeffer teaches us about moral leadership when it was first published will be copiously rewarded by studying it now. This is a book to read for yourself and recommend to students, congregants, colleagues, and others whom you would like to draw into profound and fruitful meditation on Christian moral leadership.
“It was a struggle that sought to preserve the integrity of the believing community” (Page 21)
“it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith.1” (Page 1)
“I plunged into work in a very unchristian way. An … ambition that many noticed in me made my life difficult” (Page 30)
“nothing in his calling competed in importance with preaching” (Page 16)
“Whoever I am, you know me, O God, you know I am yours” (Page xv)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s spirituality, his following the incarnate and living Jesus, keeps drawing me and growing numbers of others closer to him. The Cost of Moral Leadership invites us into this spirituality with absolutely profound and accurate sensitivity. The book emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit to make true for all Christians what was true only for Jesus Christ—namely, the conforming of our human wills to God’s will—and underscores the Spirit’s mission to stir the teachings of Jesus into the hearts of the faithful. This book stirs my heart.
Rare is the book that can introduce a thinker as complex as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and, at the same time, inform Bonhoeffer scholars. In this extraordinary book, however, Geffrey Kelly and F. Burton Nelson do just that, providing one of the best introductions to Bonhoeffer available while also helping those who know his work well to see that work in a new and fascinating light. Equally important is the authors’ ability to help us see how Bonhoeffer remains an essential figure for Christians today. His struggles remain our struggles.
A book for the college and seminary classroom, the clergy study group and the Sunday morning discussion class, as well as the theologian’s library. Above all, this is a book for those prepared to think about moral leadership at a time when the future is unclear and when self-righteous certainty dominates public discourse.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Geffrey B. Kelly was professor of systematic theology and chairman of the Department of Religion at La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The former secretary and two-term president of the International Bonhoeffer Society’s English Language Section, he also authored Liberating Faith: Bonhoeffer’s Message for Today.
F. Burton Nelson (1924–2004) was research professor of Christian ethics at North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois and former vice president of the English Language Section of the International Bonhoeffer Society. His other books include A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, edited with Geffrey B. Kelly