Dietrich Bonhoeffer died a martyr’s death at the age of 39 but remains one of the most influential and challenging theologians of our time. His writings teach us the value of cross-centered theology, and his courageous actions against the Nazi regime compel us to consider the cost of discipleship. From Bonhoeffer we learn that the Christian life is lived both alone and together, and that there is a stark difference between cheap and costly grace. With insight, clarity, and wisdom, Stephen Nichols guides us through the words and deeds of this humble yet heroic pastor, whose example shows us that the Christian’s life flows from the cross, for the world.
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“We could summarize all of this background to Bonhoeffer’s christology in one sentence, albeit a complex one: The cross was a stumbling block to the Romans; the cross was a stumbling block to the Nazis; the cross was a stumbling block to moderns; and—unless we are humbled and brought low beneath the cross to see its power and beauty—the cross can be a stumbling block to us.” (Page 37)
“So why all this emphasis on human weakness? Because human weakness paves the way for God’s grace. Human weakness leaves us unable—dependent on something beyond and outside us.” (Page 36)
“ Christ’s humiliation forces us first upward to look to him, then outward to look to others.” (Page 49)
“From The Cost of Discipleship we learn of the difference between a Christianity that asks nothing of us and one that requires a 180-degree turn from all that comes naturally. We learn of the difference between cheap grace and costly grace.” (Page 23)
How I rejoice to see thinkers of Stephen Nichols’s caliber applying their fine minds to the life and thought of the inimitable Dietrich Bonhoeffer. There’s so much yet to be written about this great man. A hungry readership awaits!
—Eric Metaxas, New York Times best-selling author, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
This book will quicken your pulse as you are drawn into the story and the example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Stephen Nichols brings a long and complex life to a point of ongoing personal application. This book prompted me to pray for the kind of courage that comes only after intense communion with the living God. Read and be strengthened.
—Russell D. Moore, president, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission