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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Gift of courage

Bonhoeffer inspires with wisdom, courage

Sixty years after his death, the faith, wisdom, courage and devotion of Dietrich Bonhoeffer continue to inform and reform this church. The insights of this German pastor, theologian and martyr continue to help us discern God’s call to lives of faith and discipleship today. May his words stimulate further reading and conversation among us. (See also, "Bonhoeffer at 100.")

The late professor Timothy Lull found in Bonhoeffer a helpful middle ground between differing emphases in the church. He described Bonhoeffer’s “double thrust,” both deepening disciples (The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together) and encouraging engagement with the world in the structures and risks of daily life (Ethics and Letters and Papers from Prison). Lull suggested that every congregation should have an expanding core of clergy and lay members who, like Bonhoeffer, center their life in Christ and the community that bears his name.


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