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A Review of Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A life together review

            In this book, Dietrich Bonhoeffer is at once convicting and encouraging.  He warns against your own vision of Christian community and yet paints a picture of it  you aspire to hive.  It is simple and yet complex.  In sum, this book will help add a rhythm to your life that enables you to throw yourself on the grace of God in Christ.

            Bonhoeffer sets out to discuss and explain what true Christian community and its practical implications.  In chapter 1 he states that community is not achievable by any man because believers have community is only found in Christ.  To participate in this community, Bonhoeffer says we must give up our own ideal of Christian community and take hold of the reality created by God in Christ.  In chapter 2 he pleads for the community, most normally the family, to have daily devotions together.  He gives a practical outline of what this might look like.  To be sure it is written for less busy schedules, but perhaps that too is a helpful corrective.  In chapter 3, Bonhoeffer discusses a personal time with the Lord.  He suggests that multiple times be set aside as well as a prayerful spirit throughout the day.  Chapter 4 discusses how we might minister to one another.  He insists this is ministering the Word of God but we can do this through listening, helping, bearing, and proclaiming.  Chapter 5 discusses the confession of sin.  Bonhoeffer is adamant that we confess our sins to God but also to our brother or sister in Christ.  By this we claim ourselves as a sinner and accept the forgiveness in Christ offered by the gospel.

            I highly recommend this readable book.  There are many parts that are pithy and quotable.  All of it makes you think.  It is Christ centered throughout.  He focuses on Christ and His work and the implications for everyday life.  Your heart will be encouraged and your mind will be challenged.  Your family and church will thank you for reading this book.

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