“If a Christian is in the fellowship of confession with a brother, he will never be alone again, anywhere.”1
German pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church, Dietrich Bonhoeffer presents a brief but rich treatise on Christian community in his classic work, Life Together, his inspiring account of a unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi years in Germany. It reads like one of Paul’s letters, giving practical suggestions on how you can live in Christian community with others.
To achieve this goal, he first defines community. In the subsequent two chapters, he describes a typical day both in community with others and in solitude. Bonhoeffer then explains how you can practically minister to your brethren, and he concludes Life Together with the importance of confession and communion.
The book raises these five challenges for your life and ministry.
- You must balance your spiritual day alone versus your day with other believers.
- You can view ministry as service.
- Be more thankful for the ability to live with brethren.
- You can integrate your faith into your everyday life.
- Life truly is meant to be lived in community with other believers.
Life Together is a great read for anyone desiring more insight into the complexities and beauties of Christian community. Bonhoeffer’s insights are invaluable for preserving “the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together” (Ephesians 4:3, GNT).
1Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Life Together. Translated by John W. Doberstein. San Francisco: New York, 1954.
2Good News Translation (GNT). Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society.
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