Full Text for Pro Deo et Patria Themes of the Cruciform Life in Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Text)

Volume 723 January2008 Editorial ..................................................................................................... 2 Christian Identity in Pagan Thessalonica: The Imitation of Paul's Cruciform Life Charles A. Gieschen..................................................................... 3 The Narrative of Scripture and Justification by Faith: A Fresh Response to N. T. Wright Mark A. Seifrid ........................................................................... 19 The Mystical Sense of Scripture according to Johann Jacob Rambach Benjamin T. G. Mayes................................................................ 45 Pro Deo et Patria: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Dietrich Bonhoeffer Eric R. Andrae ........................................................................... 71 Book Review ........................................................................................... 96 An Old Journalunder a New Cover This issue, sporting a new cover designed by Colleen Bartzsch, gives us reasons to celebrate. First, after being two years behind in our publication schedule, CTQ is now current. Our readers have been pleasantly surprised by the receipt of 15 issues since December 2006, a few of which were two issues printed under one cover in order to save postage. Some of you have even suggested that our journal should now be named Co?~cordia nzeological Montlzly! Although David Scaer previously mentioned the key persons who helped in this catch-up process (see CTQ 70 ~uly/Octoher 20061: 367), I again express our sincere appreciation for the dedicated work of Annette Gard (CTQ Administrative Assistant), Jason Braaten (CTQ Graduate Assistant in 2006-2007), and Peter Gregory (CTQ Graduate Assistant in 2007-2008). The exemplary quality and quantity of these issues, produced under a demanding schedule, is due to these three individuals. A second reason to celebrate is because this jourilal has been blessed for many years by the editorial leadership and writing of David P.Scaer. As we begin our seventy-second year of publication, it is orth thy to note that it has been almost four decades since Scaer first became Editor of this journal (see J71e Springfielder 33, no. 3 [December 19691: 1).Over 30 years ago, he introduced both a new name (The SpringfielJrr became Corzcordiu i7zeological Quarterly) and a new cover (see his editorial in CTQ 41 [Janua~ 19771: 1-2). The respect that CTQ enjoys among its readers as one of the most important journals in Lutheran theology is due, in large part, to Scaer's work. He has been a consistent advocate for letting this journal be "the theological voice" of our seminary to the wider church, an untiring editor in cultivating the right mix of writings for publication, and a prolific author of countless incisive articles that have appeared in these pages over the past four decades. Mre are thankful that he continues to serve as Editor. We hope you enjoy the small changes in this issue and those that will follow. Do not, however, expect an issue each month: we are back to four issues a year, one every three months! Most of all, we pray that you will continue to be blessed and nurtured by the theology-especially the faithful witness to Jesus Christ-presented in this journal. Charles A. Gieschen Associate Editor Pro Deo et Patria: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Dietrich Bonhoeffer' Eric R.Andrae "There are still. ..hearts and minds who love God's Word, their fatherland and their freedom."* Many love Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and many hate him. Although some claim to know, and understand Bonhoeffer, others assert that few actually do. There are at least two reasons for much of the misunderstanding: Bonhoeffer preached and was published widely before he became a devout Christian (ca. 1932), as he himself a~knowledged,~ and material, including many personal letters, were published from the midst of prison struggles. In The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), he has been generally ignored.-' In 2006, Bonhoeffer's centennial year, however, both LCRlS seminaries had conferences devoted to examining aspects of his life and thought.5 An earlier and much longer form of this article was presented at the second annual Pastors' Study \Vwk at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminan, St. Catherines, Canada, on June 19-20, 2006. The Latin title translates "For God and Fatherland." The quotation is from Bonhoeffer's cousin and confidant, Hans Christoph von Hase, as quoted in Cwe Siemon-Netto, The Fabricated Luther: The Rise and Fall of NIP Shirer Myth (St.Louis: Concordia Publishing I-Iouse, 1995), 92. 3 See Bnnhoeffer, Mrilitating on the Word, ed. and trans. David hlcl. Gracie (Cambridge, XIA: Cot\-ley, 1986). 42-48, on his encounter with the Bible. ke also Eberhard Bethge, Dietricll Ronhoeffer: A Biography, ed Victoria J. Bamett, trans. Eric Mosbacher, rev. ed. (\iimeapolis: Fortress, 2000), 205. %exception to this excIusion has been Christinx h'eiiys, which has labeled him a heretic, a false teacher, and an unbeliever. For example, "Evangelicals Who Promote Unbelievers: Bonhoeffer Worshipped a False Christ," Cilristinn Nncls (New Haven, MO), June 5,2CO6,11. Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, held its "Dietrich Bonhoeffer Conference" on 34, 2006, and Concordia Seminar)., St. Louis, with Februa~~ the Bonhoeffer Centennial Committee of America, held a conference entitled "\Vill the Real Dietrich Bonhoeffer Please Stand Up?" on July 19-21,2006. Eric R. Andrae is CLIV~~LISPnstor at First Trinity Lutherrzn Church atld Rector of tlze Augsburg Acaiiony, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvanin, and a n~mrber of the Bonhoeffer Cen tnrniai Corrlmittee ofAmerica. 72 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) Bonhoeffer's reception, which Stephen Haynes calls The Botzl~oeffer Phenomenon in his insightful overview of the topic, is fascinating.& ~a~ies provides a survey of Bonhoeffer interpretation with sections on "The Historical Bonhoeffer," "The Radical Bonhoeffer," "The Liberal Bonhoeffer," "The Conservative Bonhoeffer," and "The Universal Bonhoeffer." One obvious omission would seem to be a chapter on "The Confessional Bonhoeffer," or simply "The Lutheran Bonhoeffer."; While in the past Bonhoeffer has often been extolled among liberal Lutherans and shunned by conservative Lutherans, there is now increasing interest in and appreciation for Bonhoeffer among some conservative, confessional Lutherans."~ study offers a similar perspective by looking at some of the themes in his thought, life, and death from a confessional Lutheran perspective. Some may argue that Bonhoeffer cannot fit into this catego?; certainly there is room for criticism, as well as reason to distance oneself from several of his positions. While acknowledging these areas, the purpose of this study is to show what-and there is much-confessional Lutherans can affirm in Bonhoeffer's writings and actions. After Martin Luther, Bonhoeffer may arguably be the most recognized and quoted, as well as the most misunderstood and misapplied, Lutheran theologan today. The full-page spread that his centennial received in a Februaq 2006 issue of The USA Today certainly confirms that he is widely appreciated." Uwe Siemon-Netto even advocates reclaiming Bonhoeffer for confessional Lutheranism. He claims that for decades Bonhoeffer has been misinterpreted, misrepresented, and hijacked by odd admirers: the unorthodox theologies of the 1960s "God is dead" movement, the left- wing, the liberationists, the radicals, the postrnodernists, and others. Siemon-Netto tells them to "step back and hand [Bonhoeffer] over to us."'O 6 Stephen R. Haynes, The Bonhoefier Phenomenon: Partrnit.: cf n Prnf~stnnt Saint (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005). 7 On "The Lutheran Bonhoeffer," see Lutheran Forum 27, no. 3 (1993). In personal correspondence with Haj-nes, he acknowledged this omission (e-mail dated January 13, 2006). [It mirst nlso be ncknoiclledged tlmt Bonlweffer did not idet1tif4 Iiirrl.cr!f ic'itlz confessio?zal Lutlteranism; 12e zllns n life-long ?iieinber offhe Prussian Union. 77ie Editors] 8 For example, Uwe Siemon-Netto and Charles Ford in St. Louis. The fruit of this has been seen at the two conferences mentioned above. G. Jeffrey MacDonald, "Courage vs. Conscience," USA Todo?, February 1, 2006, 6D. Matthew Becker calls Bonhoeffer "the most influential Lutheran theologian of the twentieth century" in his review of Ti11 the Night Be Past: The L!fi and Ti~nes qf Dietrich Bonhoeffer, by TheodoreJ.Kleinhans, Concordia Journal 30 (2004): 409. 10 Uwe Siemon-Netto, "Welcome Back, Dietrich," 771e Lutllernn 1Vitihle.c~ (February 2006): 16, 17, and Siemon-Netto, "Bonhoeffer, the Bold Sinner," (Fort Wayne, IN: 73 Andrae: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Bonhoeffer Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born on February 4,1906, in Breslau, then the capital of German Silesia, now part of Poland. He was executed on April 9, 1945, at Flossenburg concentration camp for directly assisting persecuted Jews," as well as for his part in assassination plots against Adolf Hitler. What follows is an introduction to a few important themes in Bonhoeffer that deserve close attention: suffering, prayer, action, and community. I. Suffering (The Theology of the Cross) "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die."'2 These words from The Cost o,f Discipleship are arguably Bonhoeffer's most famous. He lived out their meaning in a most tangible and unique way. They find their context within his theology of the cross as a whole, and specifically in his discussion of grace, discipleship, and the cross. Indeed, for Bonhoeffer, "everything depended on the theologia crucis. . . ."I3 The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death-we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise godfearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow him, or it may be a death like Luther's, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time-death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at his call.Jesus' summons to the rich young man was calling him to die, because only the man who is dead to his own will can follow Christ. In fact every command of Jesus is a call to die, with all our affections and lusts. But we do not want to die, and therefore Jesus Christ and his call are necessarily our death as well as our life.14 There is neither neutrality nor luke-warmness with the one who is a consuming fire. One is never the same after being met by the Lord who confronts you: you die to self, the world, and its ways. This is painful. It is a cutting off, a pruning, and a drowning. There is no way around the cross; Concordia Theological Seminary, 2006), http://ww.ctsh~.edu/events/bonhoeffer/ BonhoefferEssa>-s.pdi. 1' "In 1943 [he was] arrested for [his] involvement in a successful Abrrlelrr operation that enabled 14 Jews to exape Germany."Charles Ford, "Diebich Bonhocffer and the German Resistance" (unpublished paper, March 11,1995), 2. 12 Diehich Bonhoeffer, Re Cost ofDisripleship (NewYork: Macrnillan, 1963),99. liBethge, Dietriiii Bonlloe@, 888. Bonhoeffer, C0c: ilf Di:ciples/lip, 99, 74 Corlcordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) one can only go through it. Death, even the resulting (new) birth, is painful. After being in the presence of Christ, one will either remain dead or will have a new life, but that person will never again be the same. "For the rest of mankind to be with Christ meam death, but for Christians it is [finally] a means of grace."lj Bonhoeffer describes the suffering of the Christian life: The call to discipleship, the baptism in the name of Jesus Christ means both death and life. The call of Christ, his baptism, sets the Christian in the middle of the daily arena against sin and the devil. Every day he encounters new temptations, and every day he must suffer anert- for Jesus . . Christ's sake. The wounds and scars he receives in the fray are living tokens of this participation in the cross of his Lord. But there is another kind of suffering and shame which the Christian is not spared. \thile . . only the sufferings of Christ are a means of atonement, yet since he has suffered for and borne the sins of the whole world and shares with his disciples the fruits of his passion, the Christian also has to undergo temptation, he too has to hear the sins of others; he too must bear their shame and be driven like a scapegoat from the gates of the c~ty.But he ~vouldcertainly break down under this burden, but for the support of him who bore the sins of all. The passion of Christ strengthens him to overcome the sins of others by forgiving them.16 Of course, this forgiving is exceedingly difficult for sinners. Indeed, it would be impossible were it not that the forgiveness is Christ's, won and given by him. Forgiveness overcomes sin because the forgveness of Christ, in which the baptized participate, removes sin. As Christ bears our burdens, so ought we to bear the burdens of our fellow-men. The law of Christ . . . is the bearing of the cross. 11y brother's burden which I must bear is not only his outward lot, his natural characteristics and gifts, but quite literally his sin. And the only \cay to bear that sin is by forgiving it in the power of the cross of Christ in which I now share. Thus the call to follow Christ always means a call to share the work of forgiving men their sins. Forgiveness is the Christlike suffering which it is the Christian's duty to bear." Baptism is foundational to Bonhoeffer's understanding of the theology of the cross, the Christian's suffering in this world. The call to discipleship -15 Bonhoeffer, Cost ofDisciplesllip, 268. 16 Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship, 99-100. 1; Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship, 100. Others are borne in and through prayer as cell; see Dictrich Bonhoefier, Dietrich Bonlwefer Works, ed. Wayne LYhitson Floyd, Jr., vol. 5, Life Togetller and Prayerbook of the Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996), 90, hereafter DBLV'. 75 Andrae: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Bonhoeffer is baptism." Bonhoeffer makes explicit the connection between baptism and the cross rrith its forgiveness. Consider, for example, his sacramental focus in his explication of key texts such as Romans 6 and Galatians 2: Baptismal death means justification from sin. lhe sinner must die that he may be delivered from his sin. If a man dies he is justified from sin (Rom. 67; Col. 2:20). Sin has no further claim on him, for death's demand has been met, and its account settled. Justification from . . . sin can only happen through death. Forgiveness of sin does not mean that the sin is overlooked and forgotten, it means a real death on the part of the sinner and his separation from . . . sin. But the only reason why the sinner's death can bring justification and not condemnation is that this death is a sharing of the death of Christ. It is baptism into the death of Christ which effects the forgiveness of sin and justification, and completes our separation from sin. The fellowship of the cross to which Jesus invited his disciples is the gift of justification through that cross, it is the gift of death and of the forgiveness of sins. . . . All this creates in them the assurance that they will also lire with him.19 For Bonhoeffer, this Christ crucified is the very imago Dei that is recreated in the disciple through baptism. The conclusion of The Cost qf Discipleship states: The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed: in other words, the]; must be conformed to his death (Phil. 3:lO; Rom. 6:4f). The Christian life is a life of crucifixion (Gal. 2:19). In baptism the form of Christ's death is impressed upon his own. They are dead to the flesh and to sin, they are dead to the world, and the world is dead to them (Gal. 623).Anybodv living in the strength of Christ's baptism lives in the strength of Christ's death. Their life is marked by a daily dying in the war between the flesh and the spirit, and in the mortal agony the devil inflicts upon them day by da>-. This is the suffering of Christ which all his disciples on earth must undergo. A few, but only a few, of his followers are accounted worthy of the closest fellowship with hs sufferings- the blessed martyrs. No other Christian is so closely identified with the form of Christ crucified. hlen Christians are exposed to public insult, when they suffer and die for his sake, Christ takes on visible form in his Church. Here we see the divine image created anew through the power of Christ crucified. But throughout the Christian imperfect appropriation of Bonhoeffer appears on the Kjos Ministries h7eb site, which includes the above quotation but without the references to the substitutionan atonement and the call of Jesus in baptism. "The Cost of Discipleship," Kios Mini-triec Web site, http://w~~v.crossroad.tojPersecution/Bonhoffer.hhnl;cf. Shepherd's Mote<-Bonhoeffer's Co5t qf Discipleship (Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1998). l9 Bonhoeffer,Cirs.' ofDi.icipler;lrip, 258,268. 1" 76 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72(2008) life, from baptism to martyrdom, it is the same suffering and the same death.20 The cruciforn~ presence of Christ in baptism shapes Bonhoeffer's ecclesiology. As such, he goes on to say, "The Church of Christ is the presence of Christ through the Holy Spirit. In this way the life of the Bod?7 of Christ becomes our own life. In Christ we no longer live our own lives, but he lives hs life in us. The life of the faithful in the Church is indeed the LifE of Clirirt i?i them. . . .021 He states again: "Every day Christ is their death and Christ is their life."" This life of the crucified Christ in the baptized "who have died after the old man through Christ" effects both faith and love: Love, in the sense of spontaneous, unreflective action, spells the death of the old man. For man recovers his true nature in the righteousness of Christ and in his fellow-man. The love of Christ crucified, who delivers our old man to death, is the love which lives in those ~vho follow him. "I live; yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20). Henceiorth the Christian finds himself only in Christ and in his brethren.:; Or, as Luther famously said, a "Christian lives not in himself, but in Christ and in his neighbor. Otherwise he is not a Christian. He lives in Christ through faith, in his neighbor through love. By faith he is caught up beyond himself into God. By love he descends beneath himself into his neighbor."" 11. Prayer Bonhoeffer's confession of the theology of the cross and his aversion to a theology of glory finds doxological expression in the life of prayer and meditation. Regarding the meaning and purpose of prayer, Bonhoeffer introduces his Prayerbook of tlze Bible with the following instruction: "Lord, Teach Us to Pray!" So spoke the disciples to Jesus. In mak~ng this request, they confessed that they were not able to pray on their own, that they had to learn to pray. The phrase "learning to pray" sounds strange to '0 Bonhoeffer,Cost of Disciplesllip, 342 Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship, 272."Bonhoeffer, Cost of Di.;cipledlip, 321. 23 Bonhoeffer, Cost of Disiipleslrip, 178-179. 24 Martin Luther, On Cllristian Liberty, in Luther's fibrk5. American Edition. 55 vols., ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann (Philadelphia: Fortress Press; St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1955-1986), 31:371, hereafter LW. Bonhoeffer concludes his chapter on "Discipleship and the Cross" by quoting from Luther on Psalm 328. See Bonhoeffer, Cost of Di~riyleship.103-101: in a different translation, the Luther quotation is available in LW 14:152. -- Andrae: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Bonhoeffer us. If the heart does not overflow and begin to pray by itself, we say, it will never "learn" to pray. But it is a dangerous emor, surely very widespread among Christians, to think that the heart can pray b!- itself. For then I\-e confuse wishes, hopes, sighs, laments, rejoicings-all of which the heart can do by itself -with prayer. And we confuse earth and heaven, man and God. Prayer does not mean simply to pour out one's heart. It means rather to find the way to God and to speak with him, whether the heart is full or empty. No man can do that by himself. For that he needs Jesus Christ. 1he disciples \rant to pray, but they do not know how to do it. That can be very painful, to \rant to speak with God and not to be able to, to have to be speechless before God, to discover that elre? call to him dies within itself, that heart and mouth speak an absurd language that God does not want to hear. . . . Ii he [Jesus Christ] takes us with him in his prayer, if we are pri\.ilegecl to pray along with him, if he lets us accompany him on his way to God and teaches us to pray, then we are free from the agony of prayerlessness. But that is precisely what Jesus Christ wants to do. He wants to pra>- with us and have us pray with him, so that we may be confident and glad that God hears us. When our will wholeheartedly enters into the prayer of Christ, then we pray correctly. Only in Jesus Christ are n-e able to pray, and with him we also know that we shall be heard. And so \re must learn to pray. The child learns to speak because his father speaks to him. He learns the speech of his father. So we learn to speak to God because God has spoken to us and speaks to us. By means of the speech of the Father in heaven his children learn to spak with him. This is the rhythm of worship and prayer: from the word of God to man -the ~vord ~chichprompts prayer and teaches how to pray -and then from word-saturated hearts and minds back to the Word made flesh who is at the right hand of the Father and yet dwells among Christians and in the world. Bonhoeffer cclntinues: We ought to speak to God and he wants to hear us, not in the false and confused speech of our heart, but in the clear and pure speech, which God has spoken to us in Jesus Christ. God's speech in Jesus Christ meets us in the Holy Scriptures. If we wish to pray with confidence and gladness, then the \\-or& of Holy Scripture will have to be the solid basis of our -5 Dietrlch Bonhorfter, Psnlrrr?: 77le Pruyer Book ofthe Bible (.Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1970), 9-11; see also Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Togetller (Selv York: Harper & Ro%v Publishers, 1934j. 84-55. Sorman Nagel echoes this understanding of worship in his introduction tc Lir tiier.r!l; LV~rsl~ip(St.Louis: ConcordiaPublishing House, 1982j,6. 2' to pray to him. beginRepeating Goci's o1t.n words after him, we 78 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) prayer. For here we know that Jesus Christ, the Word of God, teaches us to pray.26 Bonhoeffer's interpretation of the Psalms is pervasively christocentric. Some liberal Lutheran scl~olars actually seem embarrassed at hot\- Christ- centered Bonhoeffer is as an interpreter of the Psalms. ;Zn editorial footnote in the Dietricl~Bonlzoefler Works translation of Proyerbook suggests that Bonhoeffer's use of the phrase "Pauline Psalms" does violence to Scripture.?' The editor also claims that "[f]e~v exegetes today ~vould agree . .. with Bonhoeffer's attempt to interpret the psalms of wrath in terms of the Christian gospel's insistence on forgiving one's enemies."" Bonhoeffer, however, insists on the doctrine of justification as the touchstone and thereby interprets these Psalms in light of Christ's forgiveness toward all.29 In Proyerbook, he continues to advocate this christocentric reading of the Psalms: If we want to read and to pray the prayers of the Bible and especially the Psalms, therefore, we must not ask first what they have do uith us, but what the! have to do with Jesus Christ. We must ask hot\- we can understand the Psalms as God's Word, and then we shall be able to pa!- them. It does not depend, therefore, on whether the Psalms express adequatelv that which we feel at a given moment in our heart If we are to pray aright, perhaps it is quite necessary that we pray contrar! to our own heart. Not ~vhat we want to pray is important, but what God wants us to pray. If we were dependent entirely on ourselves, we would probably pray only the fourth petition of the Lord's Prayer But God wants it otherwise. The richness of the Word of God ought to determine our prayer, not the poverty of our heart. ?"onhoeffer, Prayer Book of the Bible, 11-12 1; The editor's note seems to apply the following passage, ~vritten by Karl Holl about Luther, to Bonhoeffer: "Luther bases his interpretation on the conviction that the Bible in all its parts has one and the same meaning. Under this constraint he points ouf that what had become for him the most significant feature of the Bible, the Pauline Gospel, was also integral to the Psalms. He did not realize that he was, thereby, doing very serious violence to the text. The Psalms, indeed, preach self- justification as does the entire Old Testament. . . ." Prayerhonk in DB1Ar3:171 n. 23. 's Prn!/erhook in DBI.2: 5174 n. 26. Cf. Bonhoeffer, A Testnnle!rt tc Freedoln: rile Eser~tinlMi-iti~lpof Dietrich Bor~lloefer, eds. Gcffrey B. Kelly and F. Burton Nelson (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1995), 15,17. 3 See Daniel Bloesch and F. Burton Nelson, "A Bonhoeffer Sermon Translated," 771ecllogy Toilnu 38 (1982): 166, http://theologytoday.ptsem.edu/janl9S2/v384-article3 .htm. See also Bonhoeffer, Meditnting on the Word, 84-%; Bonhoeffer, My Soltl Find5 Rest: R~~flect~oil011 the Psizlrns (Grand Rapids: Zondeman, 2002),53-66; and Martin Kuske, T71e Old Testirirletrt 175 tlir Book ofCl~rist:An Appraisal of Bonhoeffer' I~fe~ir~tnfin~~ [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976). 79 Andrae: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Bonhoeffer Thus if the Bible also contains a prayerbook, we learn from this that not only that 11-ordwhich he has to say to us belongs to the Word of God, but also that \\-ord which he wants to hear from us, because it is the word of his beloved Son. This is pure grace, that God tells us how we can speak with and have fellowship with him. We can do it by praying in the name of Jesus Christ. The Psalms are given to us to this end, that we may learn to pray them in the name of Jesus Christ.30 In his "Sermon on a Psalm of Vengeance," Bonhoeffer points us outside ourselves-extra nos-to Christ. Not only justifying righteousness but aIso the life of prayer is alien. Bonhoeffer outlines the proper order of application w-he11praying the Psalms: "In David is Christ," he says, "and therebv the church of God. . . . Christ himself praj-s [the] psalm with David -andprvith Christ the whole church of God."?l Biblical prayer asks first what the text says about Jesus. This is then applied to the utzu ~atzcta, as well as to David, the human instrument. Only after these steps can one finally ask, "M-hat does this mean for me?" By praying and asking in this way, one is led In true prayer to the true answer." This pattern can also be applied in general to the Lord's Prayer, as ~vell as to the collects and prayers of the church. A theology of glory would not only reverse the order just given but then would also stop at the first point with self. A theology of glnr!- requests for the self: it demands expansion of its own territory, and daily bread narrowly and selfishly understood-and lots of it. A theolog!. of glory establishes the word of man first and last. A theology of glorv boasts that prayer is natural, overflowing from the heart. The theolog- of the cross, however, understands that "the natural man does not receil-e the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he kno~vthem, because they are spiritually discerned" (1Cor 2:14). The theology of the cross proclaims that God is the Alpha and Omega of prayeriul conversation: he has, and is, the first and last word. Bonhoeffer understood this literally: God's word in disciplined devotion and meditation" should begin each day, before other concerns arise, and should end the dal- as the proper conclusion. Significant time should be set -3: Bonhoeffer,Priilirr Boc-k qf the Bible, 14-15. Bonhoeifer,bleiiitnti~~gcn the Word, 87. 32 For a discussion of hov- prayer flows from God's gracious will in Jesus Christ, see John Pless, "Prayer: The \~oiceof Faith," For the Life of the Cthrld 3, no. 2 (1999): 10, http:/ / wm~\v.1ifeofthe~vorld.com/lorn/ article.php?m_vol=3&mmnum=2&a-num=3. '3 Meditation is not dissecting and analyzing the \vord but accepting it: "You should accept the \I-ord of Scripture and ponder it in your heart as Man did." Bonhoeffer,.llrditatii~,: ctr tilt7 llord, 33; d,4. Coizcordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) aside for this -up to an hour, undist~rbed.~"Meet[Christ] first in the day, before you meet other people. . . . Before our daily bread should be the dailv Word. . . . Before our dailv work should be the morning prayer."3' Bonhoeffer maintained that the church, especially in times of crises, must "believe much, pray much, and suffer much."36 Bonhoeffer's theology of prayer confesses the all-encompassing nature of the God of pra>-er with joy, because he knows that there is indeed a merciful God who teaches so that man may learn, who leads so that man may find, and who incorporates man into his sacred heart so that he may live. Having been taught to pray in the unshakeable language of God by God hmself-and knowing that he delights to hear-the Christian prays in confidence and gladness.': Finally, Bonhoeffer closes his introduction to praver by quoting Luther: "[The Psalter] penetrates the Lord's Praver and the Lord's Prayer penetrates it, so that it is possible to understand one on the basis of the other and to bring them into joyful harmony."38 Bonhoeffer concludes: "It makes good sense, then, that the Psalter is often bound together in a single volume with the New Testament. It is the prayer of the Christian church. It belongs to the Lord's Prayer."'g 111. Action Prayer leads to action, for God is not to be called upon as a deus ex mnchine,N invoked simply to solve problems that humanity has created. Prayer is actional, instrumental, and incarnational. It calls upon God to use the faithful as his hands, feet, and voice (Matthew 25). Prayer is a petition that the heavenly Father rvould conform Christians to his will, both in word and deed (SC Ill, 10). Gustaf Wingren describes the relationship between praver and action in Luther: "Turning to God in prayer, without using the external means which God has given, is tempting God; it is 3 See Bonhoeffer, Life T~igetlwr, 87; cf. 73,97. 33 Bonhoeffer, hleditatirlg on tile Word, 32,39; see also Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters ar~d Pnperifrom Prison (New York: Touchstone, 1997), 290. 36 Quoted in Torbjom Johansson, "Dietrich Bonhoeffer-kristen bekannare in en s\Gr tid," Kyrkn och Folk 15-16 (2006): 12 (my translation). "[Bonhoeffer's] ecclesiology seemed entirely absorbed with the tlzeclogia irucis." Bethge, Dietrich BonlineljFer, 887. 5' Cf. Joharvl Gerhard, Si~cred hleditnfions (Decatur, IL: Reprishnation Press, 1998), 119-120. According to John Pless, "The confidence is not in the pa!-ing heart hut in the promises of God. . . .The God who has pen us His Son tenderly invites us to hust His Word and call upon His name with boldness and confidence." Pless. "Prayer," 10,ll. 3 Quoted in Bonhoeffer, Prnyer Bouk of the Bible, 16. '"onhoeffer, Prayer Book of tlle Bible, 16. 4'' See Bonhoeffer, Letter; and Pnpt-rs,frorn Prison, 281-282,361; ct. 312. 81 Andrae: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Bonhoeffer pmesrrnlptio. . . . (Iln vocation, man becomes God's mask . . . In his toil he is a tool in God's hands, bound before God, i.e., receiving and passive before God, but active outxvardIy."fi Prayer calls to action; prayer bids to love. The theology of the cross and prayer, as creed and deed, were concretely expressed in Bonhoeffer's life and death. As fellow Nazi-resister Eivind Berggrav writes, "Words are never mere words when they are God's. Words are action, contribution, courage, the willingness to take consequences, and finally the willingness to suffer."42 As early as 1932, while serving as a campus pastor at the Berlin Techmcal Universiq in Charlottenburg, Bonhoeffer wrote to the students: "The church . . . needs nothing less than spectators and nothng more than coworkers."A' The following year Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. As the German state instigated mass boycotts against Jewish businesses and established the "Aryan Paragraph" of the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service," which proscribed Jews from holding any position of civil service in Germany, Bonhoeffer published his essay "The Church and the Jewish Question." He outlined possible ways for the church to interact with the state: [The church] can ask the state whether its actions are legitimate and in accordance uith its character as state, i.e., it can throw the state back on its responsibilities. Secondly, it can aid the victims of state action. The church has an unconditional obligation to the victims of any ordering of society, even if they do not belong to the Christian comrnunity.4 'Do good to all men.' . . . The third possibility is not just to bandage the victims under the wheel, but to put a spoke in the wheel itseLf.45 -Gustaf St'ingren, Lufller on Vocation (Evansville, IN: Ballast Press, 1994), 136-137; see also 185. 4' Eivind Berggrav, hfatl atiri State (Philadelphia: ,Muhlenberg Press, 1951), 307. Berggav was the Bishop of Oslo (1937-1951) during the Nazi occupation of Norway (1940-1 945). Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "Aufsatz: Evangelische Studentenseelsorge an der Technischen Hochschule," Die Technische Hochschule 99 (1932), 200f., quoted in Bethge, Dietrich BonlrvefFer, 221. Afte~ ten years he was still emphasizing the same: "Mere waiting and loolung on is not Christianbehaviour." Letters and Papersfin1 Prison, 14. -H See also Berggrav, Ma11and State, 283-282. 4' Bonhoeffer, So R~;rz/y5;cords (New York: Harper & ROW, I%), 225; cf. 221-W. The essay was apparently completed in April or May 1933 and then originally published in the June issue of VPr~narsdr. 82 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) To be more explicit with Bonhoeffer's imagery: When the state crushes its citizens unjustly, the church is to throw itself between the spokes of the wheel in order to stop it!46 These beliefs led, in due course, to Bonhoeffer's \veil-documented participation in attempted tyrannicide. In 1939 he joined the Ahmehr, military counterintelligence, which was the center of the German resistance against Hitler and the Third Reich. Bonhoeffer's statements from the 1933 article and his subsequent actions from within the state as citizen and officer led to many questions. For example, a co-conspirator "asked Bonhoeffer one evening what he thought about the Nerv Testament passage 'all who take up the sword will perish by the sword' (Matt. 2652). Bonhoeffer's reply was that the word was valid for their circle too-'we have to accept that we are subject to that judgment, but there is now need of such men as will accept its validity for themse1ves."'~- Confessional Lutherans rightly have questions about Bonhoeffer. Courageous though his words and action might have been, did Bonhoeffer ignore discretion and so lose his life? More significantlv, how do such actions conform to Luther's doctrine of the two kingdoms?& Was not Bonhoeffer's action a violation of this teaching? How can a Christian, much less a pastor, violate the Pauline injunction to submit to the governing authorities (Rom 13:l-5) as Bonhoeffer did? Bonhoeffer, however, did not believe that his action contradicted the biblical teaching on the two governments. In fact, he invoked ths teaching -Cf. Renate Wind, "A Spoke in the Wheel," IournnI c~fLirtl~r~ii!~ 3, no. 8Ethics (August 2003): Ill], http://~~~~v.elca.org/jle/article.asp?k=2.See also Bethge, Dietrirll Bonlloeffer, 272-276, and Renate Wind, Diefrih Bonh~fer: A Spc~heirr fl~rIlireel, trans. John Bowden (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992). For a comparison of Karl Barth's and Bonhoeffer's responses to the Aryan Clauses, see Bonhoeffer, So R~isty Sic.ord5, 230-240, and Jordan J. Ballor "A Time to Tear, A Time to Speak," Actoil Ir15tit1ct' PoitwrBlog, http://w$-~~~.aiton.org/blog/index.html!/archi~-Speak.htm1(May 3, 2006). 47 Eberhard Bethge, Dirtridl Bonhoeffer (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), 330. See also Siemon-Netto, TheFnhrirated Luther, 84-83,91-98,148, 183, and lS9. aRather than using the language of "two kingdoms," ths doctrine might be better termed the "two realms (or regiments)." See Martin Luther, rriirporl;! Alifilority: To Mlwt Extent It Shculd hc Obeyed in Lh'45:75-129 and Whether Soldleri, Too, Cn~lBc Sni*edin LW 46:93-137; J. M. Porter, ed., 1.lrther: Selected Political Writirrg.; (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1974); Cameron A. MacKenzie, "Ihe Challenge of Histon: Luther's TM-o Kingdoms Theology as a Test Case," CTQ 71 (2007): 3-28; Wingren, Llrtller on Vocation, especially 1-37; Berggrav, Man und Stnte, 300-319; Bonhoeffer, No Rlrtw Sitlo~lii, 221-230; and CA XVI, XXVIII. 83 Andrae: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Bonhoeffer of Luther as the basis of his decision." A few months after writing "The Church and the Jewish Question," Bonhoeffer co-authored "The Bethel Confession" with Hermann Sasse.3 His goal was to recognize the state and presenre it as such, that is, as legitimate temporal authorih-: nothing more, but nothing less.51 Bonhoeffer gves at least four applications of the principle of the state's and church's distinct realms to the situation of Germany and the church under Hitler, and thus supplies reasoning for his ultimate stance and act. First, the Nazi totalitarian state had abdicated its responsibilities to protect the just and legal order. Second, the Nazi state, as temporaI government, infringed on church order (the ecclesial realm) by barring those of Jewish ethnicity from rninistrv and even memberslup. Third, the Nazi state gave no legal recourse for-dissent. With these three points, Bonhoeffer boldly proclaimed that the Nazi state had actually negated itself.': Finally, civil disobedience is legitimate (Acts 5:29), but only if marked by a willingness to suffer the consequences, by unselfishness, by sacrifice, and by the corporate conscience.'3 Another Nazi-antagonist, the Danish Lutheran playwright and pastor Kaj Munk, spoke similarly. In January 1944-the same month that the Nazis dragged him from his home, shot him in the head, and left him dead in a ditch-Munk wrote: "The Scriptures do not say: When your neighbor is smitten on one cheek it is your duty to hold him so that he may be smitten on the other cheek also."% No, rather, love does no harm to a neighbor. In his essay, "God and Caesar: 'Christianity Takes Orders from Nobody,"' Munk also wrote: 4' Cf. Dax-id hIark bjhitford, Tyranny n~d Resistance: nlr Mugdeburg Cot!fession anti the Lritkeron Tr,~~lclrtic!~ [St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2001), 103. 3 See the comments ahout "The Bethel Confession" in Laurence L. M'hite, "The Cultural Cri~is and Lutheran Social Ethics," Confessional Luthernns Weh site, http://u?4.~\~.confessionallutherans.org/papers/alcwhite.html(April 17,1998). Bonhoeffer, Xo K~ctw Sil~ords, 226. Bonhoeiier, So Rli~t~xords, 225. 5' See Charles Ford, "Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Resistance, and the Two Kingdoms," Lutheran Forritrr 27, no. 3(1993): 28, and "Luther, Bonhoeffer and Revolution" Ltctllernn Forurn 25, no. 4 (1991):24. Cf. Bonhoeffer, Ethics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995), 193-2M, 280-297, 327-357; as well as Ford, "Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Authoriv" (unpublished paper. Ianuan 1, 2004), and "Diehich Bonhoeffer and the Gennan Resistance." This echoes three features of Bonhoeffer's theology of the cross: "first, it is voluntary; second, it is bearing the burden of others; and third, it is done for the sake of Christ." John D. Godsel-, "Diehich Bonhoeffer on Suffering," Stouros Notebook 14, no. 2 (1995), http://fi?\-M.r;tauros.org/notebooks/vl4n2aOl.html.See also Berggrav, Man and State, 282-283. Kaj Munk, Foirr Ser?norl.i(Blair,NE: LutheranPublishng House, 19M), 27. 3' -- 84 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) [I'hat] a pre* sort of religion! If only little So-and-so can be kept out of harm's way . . . and find his seat in Heaven, what business of his are his neighbors . . .? Let it go to Hell! Such would certainly be a religion to the liking of Czsar! Upon such a religion he would be happy to hestow the favors of the state! For such . would never cross his path! The name of this religion is -Blasphen1)-?' So Romans 13, the very same text that is often used against Bonhoeffer, concludes with this summary of the fulfillment of the law: "Love does no harm to a neighbor" (Rom 13:lO).Love is neither cautious nor passive; it is active. "Even moment and every situation challenges us to action. . . ."% For Bonhoeffer, love meant taking action-jamming the wheel that was crushing his neighbor, church, and nation. He explained, "If you boarded the wrong train, could you get where you wanted by running through the corridor in the opposite direction?"j7 Bonhoeffer claimed that non-action in the face of the Nazi antichristj" would be spiritual suicide; in other words, it would be harmful not only to the Jews and other persecuted ones but also to the Christian church and the self. Thus, in 1940,he would lead the church in this confession of sin: If m!-share in this is so small as to seem negligible, that still cannot set my mind at rest. . .but I must acknowledge that precisely my sin is to blame for all. . . . I am guilty of cowardly silence at a time when I ought to have spoken. I am guilty of hypocrisy and untruthfulness in the face of force. I have been lacking in compassion and I have denied the poorest of my brethren. . . . The Church confesses that she has not proclaimed often and clearly enough her message of the one God who has revealed Himself for all times in Jesus Christ and who will tolerate no other gods beside Himself. She confesses her timidity, her evasiveness, her dangerous concessions. She has often been untrue to her office of guardianship and to her office of comfort.. . . She was silent when she should have cried out because the blood of the innocent was crying aloud to heal-en. She has failed to speak the right word in the right way and at the right time. She 23 Munk, Four. Sermons, 36. The first of these sermons has also been translated and published under the title "The Cost of Truth," in Kaj Munk: Pl,~yi~~ig/;t,Priest nrrd Patriut, ed. R. P. Keigrvin (London: The Free Danish Publishing House, 19aj, 69. Many paralIels can be drarcn between Bonhoeffer and Munk, see Hans Mikkelsen, "Only the Suffering God Can Help," Portland Irldepeildent Media Center, http://portland.indymedia.org/en/ 2003/12/ 277367.shtml (December 28,2003). 3 Bonhoeffer, Cost of Di.iciples/~ip,86. 5; Quoted in Theodore J. Kleinhans, Till the Night Be Past: The Ljfe ~zt~dTimes of Diefnch ~orlhaeff~r(St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2002), 128. See also Berggrav, Man and ~fate,.308. '8 On tlus use of the term "antichrist," see Siemon-Netto, "Welcome Back, Dietrich," 16; Berggrav, Miln and State, 305-306; and Bethge, Dietriclz Bonlzoeffrr, 722. Andrae: Themes of the CruciformLife in Bonhoeffer has not resisted to the uttermost the apostasy of faith, and she has brought upon herself the guilt of the godlessness of the masses. The Church confesses that she has taken in vain the name of Jesus Christ, for she has been ashamed of this name before the world and she has not striven forcefully enough against the misuse of this name for an evil purpose. She has stood by while violence and wrong were being committed under cover of this name. . . . The Church confesses that she has witnessed the lawless application of brutal force, the physical and spiritual suffering of countless innocent people, oppression, hatred, and murder, and that she has not raised her voice on behalf of the victims and has not found ways to hasten to their aid. She is guilty of the deaths of the weakest and most defenseless brothers of Jesus Christ. . . .The Church must confess that she has desired security, peace, and quiet, possessions and honor, to which she had no right. . . . She has not borne witness to the truth of God. . . . By her own silence she has rendered herself guil? of the decline in responsible action, in bravery in the defence of a cause, and in willingness to suffer for tvhat is known to be right. She bears the guilt of the defection of the governing authority from Christ.59 Upon confession of guilt, justification and renewal result. This renewal finds its place very much in the world. Bonhoeffer wrote, "Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. . . . On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work."a For Bonhoeffer there is a "profound this-worldliness" of Christianity, as he explained in a prison letter to his best friend,hl relative, and future biographer Eberhard Bethge: I don't mean the shallow and banal this-worldliness of the enlightened, the busy, the comfortable, or lascivious, but the profound this-worldliness characterized by discipline and the constant knowledge of death and resurrection. I think Luther lived a this-worldly life in this sense. .. .[It is] only by li~ring con~pletely in this world that one learns to live by faith. One must completely abandon any attempt to make something of oneself, whether it be saint or converted sinner or churchman (a so-called priestly type!), a righteous man or an unrighteous one, a sick man or a healthy one. By this-T\-orIdliness I mean living unreservedly in life's duties, iQonhoekier. Etl1ii5, 112-115. Th~sis part of a section titled "Guilt, Justification and Renewal" on pages 110-7 19. M Bonhoeffer, Ljfe Togetizrr, 17. Bonhoeffer then quotes Luther "The IOngdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. . . . If Christ had done what you are doing [dwelling only among friends] svho would ever have been spared?" Life Together, 17-18. See Bethge, FCe.tl.isizip snd Resistance: Essays on Dietrich Bonho* (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1993),especially "Bonhoeffer's Theology of Friendship," 80-104. 86 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. Tn so doing, we throw ourselves completely into the arms of Cod, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the I\-orld- watching with Christ in Gethsemane. That, I think, is faith; that is rrretnrroia;and that is how one becomes a man and a Christian (cf. Jer 451j.0' For Bonhoeffer, "this-worldliness" was deeply incarnational (as indicated by his reference to John 1:14).63 According to Charles Ford, Bonhoeffer's "this-worldly" activity in the German resistance was an attempt to draw- the attention of the allied nations to Nazi atrocities and to encourage allied support of the German resistance.@ Although Lutherans may come to different conclusions regarding the appropriateness of Bonhoeffer's actions, I am convinced that Bonhoeffer's assistance with the assassination plots against Hitler was an act done in Christian faith and love within God's left-hand regiment. L~ve Siemon- Netto has designated Bonhoeffer as a martyr-not of the right-hand but of the left-hand realm.65 He acted as a dutiful German citizen, returning in July 1939 to his native country from the United States just prior to the outbreak of war. In deciding this, Bonhoeffer said: I must live through this difficult period of our national hiitor!; with the Christian people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the tvar if 1do not share the trials of this time with my people. My brethren in the Confessing Synod wanted me to go [to the United States]. They may have been right in urging me to do so; but I was wrong in going. Such a decision each person must make for him- or herself. Christians in Germany will face the terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that Christian civilisation may survive, or willing the victory of their nation and thereby destroying our civilisation. I know which of these alternatives I have to choose; but I cannot make the choice in security.& Bonhoeffer acted to protect hs nation, neighbor, and the church from a ruler turned robber and murderer. According to Siemon-Netto, "Bonhoeffer explained himself with the quintessentiallv Lutheran imperative: 'Sin boldly! [pecca fortiter].' This advice to citizens of the secular 62 Bonhoeffer, Letters and Pnpersfrom Prison, 369-370; cf. 393. 63 Bonhoeffer, rafters nnd Papersfrorn Prison, 286-287. aFord, "Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the German Resistance," 2. 63 Siemon-Setto, "Bonhoeffer, a Bold Sinner." 66 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, rile Way to Freedom: Letters, Lecfltre. Natp.i,.~r~ii 1935-1939 frorn the Collected Works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ed. Edwin H. Rokrtsoil, tram. Edwin H. Robertson and John Bowden (New York: Harper & ROW, 1966), 246. See also Wind, "A Spoke in the Wheel," 1181. - - 87 Andrae: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Bonhoeffer realm is often ripped out of context and then becomes a dreadful cliche to be used against Luther. . . . But when quoted in full, it really sums up how, according to Luther, a Christian should live in this world."bi Luther himself, in his Warning to His Dear German People (1531), explicitly sanctioned armed resistance by individual Christian citizens against a corrupt monarch who is acting in violation of all divine and human law: [I]f rrar breaks out-which God forbid-I will not reprove those who defend themselves against the murderous and bloodthirsty papists, nor let anyone else rebuke them as being seditious, but I will accept their action and let it pass as self-defense. I will direct them in this matter to the law and to the jurists. For in such an instance, when the murderers and bloodhounds wish to wage war and to murder, it is in truth no insurrection to rise against them and defend onese1f.M Luther maintained that the church itself should certainly never resort to weap0ns.6~ New situations required a new application of this principle. Violent anarchy wrould result if the citizens, including Christian citizens, were left defenseless. Even in such a situation a Christian citizen "could not raise a weapon of defense against the rioter . . . in the name of the church. At this point the Christian citizen is no higher than the second table. He exists in that situation not as a child of God but as one who is subject to civil authorit!.. . . . His responsibility is to the law."-0 h7 Siemon-Setto, The Fabricated Luther, 84-85; cf. 103 n. 106. "(IJf grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God dws not save people \vho are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. A; long as we are [in this world] we have to sin. Ths life is not the dwelling place of righteousness, but, as Peter says (2 Pe. 3:13), we look tor new heavens and a new earth in whch righteousness dwells." Martin Luther, Letter to Philip Melanchthon, Wartburg, August 1,1521 in LC%' 48:279. Luther, ot course, was not against a Pauline view of sin, grace, and the redeemed life. M7hat he advocated, and the way in which Bonhoeffer appropriated it, was that the Christian life is active and not a "spectator sport." Indeed, Christian love is action. See also Carter Lindherg, foreword to Whitford, Tyranny and Resistance, 10. Luther, Itizrni?lL$to His Denr Gernzan People in LW 47:19-20. On Luther's position, see also Bergpa\-, Alr7ii i7,1d State, 315. h9 Luther, Ternporn: A~1Mtority (15231,LW 45:75-129. 7@Bergqav,Ma11atzd State, 315. Berggrav argues that this "responsibility to the law" was the argument used by Luther when the Smalcald League was created. Man and State, 315-316. See M-hitford, Tyrnnny and Resistance. For example, Luther made this statement in 1338: "If the emperor undertakes war he will be a tyrant and will oppose our ministry and religion, and then he will also oppose our civil and domestic life. Here there is no question whether it's permissible to fight for one's faith. On the contrary, it's 88 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) Hitler opposed the law in civil and domestic life and, via the Aryan clause, opposed the ministry and religion. Bonhoeffer was acting out of Christian love for the neighbor, focusing on the neighbor's needs.' About his own actions, Bonhoeffer said, "[R]eason dictates that we must do this, and then of course we must still turn to God for forgiveness in Christ.":' The question, however, was not one of submission; it could not be. All means of non-violent dissent and protest had been removed by the Nazis: distribution of various written materials (free press), opportunity for public speaking and lecturing (free speech), peaceable assembly, the petitioning of government, and open elections. The question is not "Was Bonhoeffer's action sinful?" -as if an answer to this w70uld finally resolve the issue-but rather "Of the choices before him, all 'sinful,'' what should he have done?" Though the action was difficult, the question was not difficult to answer. According to Bethge, they "just assumed as a matter of course that as followers of Christ, they could not possiblv allow themselves to become accomplices in the slaughter of Jews and all the other horrible things that were going on in Germany."-4 Bonhoeffer's action grew out of his theology of the cross, as rvell as his understanding of baptism, prayer, and the call to discipleship.;' In this he found true freedom: "freedom from the fear of decision, freedom from fear to act."T6 N.Community For Bonhoeffer, though, this freedom was always bound up in action within and to the community. It was outwardly directed, corporately understood, and communally lived. necessaq to fight for one's children and family." Tahie Talk in LII' 34:278-279. Those who espouse quietism in the face of despotism must look elsewhere than the mature Luther. On Luther's view of service to the neighbor, see Wingren, L:itilrr on \'ocatio~r, 153-1%.See also Bonhwffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, 298, and Etlrics, 299-313, w~here he discusses the uses of the law. 7' As recounted by Bethge in Siemon-Netto, "Welcome Back, Dietrich," 16. '3 Cf. Bonhwffer, Et/lic.i, 362-363. 74 Malcolm Muggeridge, 4 I7~;t-d Testnrneilt (Farmington, PA. Plough Publishing House, 2002), 137. 7' Bonhoeffer, Letter; atzd Papers from Prison, 299-300. The scriptural support for Bonhoeffer's action is simply the biblical concept of love for neighbor. Bonhoeffer wrote: "The Christian is called to sympathy and action, not in the first place by his own sufferings, but by the sufferings of his brethren, for whose sake Christ suffered." Letfers ntld Papersfron~ Prisotl, 14. y6 Bonhoeffer, Ethics, 276. See also Bonhwffer, Letters and Papr.r~~frolir Prisotz, 14. '1 Andrae: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Bonhoeffer Freedom-frotri something experiences its fuIlment [sic]only in freedom for something. Freedom for freedom's sake, however, leads to anarchy. Biblically, freedom means: freedom for service to God and the neighbor, freedom for obedience to the commands of God . . . Freedom is not primarily an individual right but a responsibility, freedom is not primarily oriented to the individual but to the neighbor. . . ." The call to discipleship naturally meant community: the call being, for Bonhoeffer, baptism (that is, incorporation into Christ and his church). Bonhoeffer's classic statement on community is Life Together,-s which was written in the setting of an illegal seminary at Finkenwalde. One of the students, Gerhard Lehne, described the community of this seminary-life "as a 'brotherhood under the Word, irrespective of the person,' with an 'open-mindedness and love for everything that still makes this fallen creation loveable -music, literature, sport, and the beauty of the earth -a grand way of life."'7Y The seminary was opened in April 1935, moved to Finkenwalde in June 1935, and closed by the Gestapo in September 1937. The themes explored by Life Together are the day with others, the day alone, intercession, quiet and solitude, service, private confession,FO and the Lord's Supper. The continuity, consistency, and interrelatedness in Bonhoeffer's thought are clear; the themes of suffering, prayer, and action also find a home in Bonhoeffer's discussion of community: "Bear !.e one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2). Thus the law of Christ is a law of bearing. Bearing means forbearing and sustaining. The brother is a burden to the Christian, precisely because he -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "Gedanken," in Gesanrmelte Schrjften, vol. 1, Okur?terre: Briefc, Aufiiitze, Duk:rtne,itr. 1926-1942, ed. Eberhard Bethge (Munich: Kaiser Verlag, 1958), 359, quoted in Ford, "Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Resistance, and the Two Kingdoms," 32 (emphasis original). '"onhoeffe~, L+ Togcfller (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993). This edition is subtitled: "The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community." Life Togetller was written in a single four-tveek stretch in 1938, with break. only for tennis and a music festival. Geffrey B. Kelly, "Editor's Introduction to the English Edition," in DBJY 5:4. Life Together, with Pr8yt.r Book, is Bonhoeffer's finest work. According to Maria von Wedemeyer, his fiancee, while in prison Bonhoeffer himself "claimed that the only [book of his] of concern to hm at that moment was Lifr Together." Bonhoeffer, Letter5 rind Papersfion1 Priso~z,416. '9 David XfcI. Gracie, introduction to "Meditation on Psalm 119," in Bonhoeffer, Meditating on the Il'or,i, 103. On private confession, see Bonhoeffer, Life Together (lYS), 110-122. This should be understood in the historical context of the preachers' seminary at Finkenwalde, as well as James 516. 90 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) is a Christian. For the pagan the other person never becomes a burden at all. He simply sidesteps every burden that others may impose on him. The Christian, however, must bear the burden of a brother. He must suffer and endure the brother. It is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated. The burden of men was so heavy for God Himself that He had to endure the Cross. God verily bore the burden of men in the body of Jesus Christ. But He bore them as a mother carries her child, as a shepherd enfolds the lost lamb that has been found. God took men upon Himself and the!-weighted him to the ground, but God remained with them and the) with God. In bearing with men God maintained community ~vith them. It is the law of Christ that was fulfilled in the Cross. And Christians must share in this law. They must suffer their brethren, but, what is more tmportant, now that the law of Christ has been fulfilred, they cnn bear with their brethren.el Believers bear each other's burdens in time and space, and also in intercessory forgving prayer, even as Christ bore the sins of all." This focus on community did not preclude Bonhoeffer's feelings of isolation at times. While in prison, Bonhoeffer yearned for family and friends; he felt alone even among his fellow prisoners. He expressed these emotions on community, self-identity, and God in his poem "Who Am I?": N'ho am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine. Ul-toever I am, thou knowest, 0God, I am thine.63 V. Excursus: Bonhoeffer's Non-Religious Language Perhaps the most controversial aspect of Bonhoeffer is his prison-cell musings on so-called non-religious language. These reflections on a "non- religious interpretation of Christianity" have caused as much, or more, controversy and debate than even his resistance to Nazi totalitarianism. Bonhoeffer used the phrase "non-religious Christianity" only once, in order to ask a hypothetical question regarding its definiti0n.w Bethge maintains that Bonhoeffer's more common phrase was "'no~eligious interpretation,' [which] means Christological interpretation. It might not mean that for others, but it did for Bonh~effer."~~ Bonhoeffer specifically 8' Bonhoeffer, Life Together, 100-101. See also Bonhoeffer, Lrf? Tilgeti~cr,93, 98-99, and Cost of Discipleship, 110. R2 Bonhoeffer,Cost of Discipleship, 102-103."Bonhoeffer,Letters nnd Pnpersfrorn Prison, 347-348."Ths is the correct translation of the phrase found in a 30 April 1944 letter to Bethge in Bonhoeffer,Letters and Papersfrom Prison,280. 85 H. Elliott Wright, "Aftermath of Flossenburg: Bonhoei'fer, 1947-1970: An Interview with Eberhard Bethge," C/lristian Century 87 (May 27,1970):657. 91 Andrae: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Bonhoeffer references justification, and uses Paul and circumcision as an analogy: "The Pauline question whether [circumcision] is a condition ofs6 justification seems to me in present-day terms to be whether religion is a condition of salvation."" Bonhoeffer, however, nowhere defines "relig~on" or "develops any closed theory of religi0n,"~8 though he seems to equate it with the outward trappings, the externals, even the anthropocentric and self-righteous elements of worship. Nonetheless, he does not systematicall\, identify it. "It seems that Bonhoeffer is using the word 'religion' in a I\ a? that not only makes a definition of its content difficult, but often does not even try to provide any such definition."" This makes "the large number of misinterpretations understandable, all of which presuppose Bonhoeffer to be operating with a fixed concept of religon and then on the basis of this presupposition attempt to explain the nonreligious interpretation.""' Bonhoeffer n7as struggling with how to present the gospel to an increasingly secularized world, that is, with evangelism and catechesis. The day will come. . . w-hen men will once more be called so to utter the word of God that the ~vorld will be changed and renewed by it. It will be a new language, perhaps quite non-religious, but liberating and redeeming-as was Jesus' language; it will shock people and yet overcome them by its power; it will be the language of a new righteousness and truth, proclaiming God's peace with men and the coming of his kingdom. . .. (Jer.33.9).91 Bonhoeffer did not gi\,e up traditional, biblical termin~logy.~~ Charles Ford notes that leading figures in the resistance, including members of [his] own family, were mot~vatedb!-nineteenth century liberal thought and far from Christianit!.. It was specifically to address the latter that Bonhoeffer wanted to det-elop a "non-religious" interpretation of Christianity. In approaclung the liberal resistance, Bonhoeffer wanted to present "as phrase, in both instances in this sentence, could be translated "prerequisite for." Ralf K. bl'iistenberg, A 771eology of Lqe: Dietrich Bonhoefer's Religrorlless Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 199P),25."Bonhoeffer,Lt7:tcr5 ntrLiP(lpersJrom Prison, 281. @ Some attempts include "human yearning [and striving] for God" and "cheap grace." Wiistenbrrg, A nreoiugy o,f Life, 8,14; cf. Bonhoeffer,Cost ofDiscipleship, 15-18. Rq TYiistenberg,A Iireology of Life, 27. Wiistenherg, A Ti~eolo$iqfLife, 297. fl Bonhoeffer, Leticr-ntzd PflpersJrom Prison, 300."See &thge, Dirtric11 Bo?i!~oqffer,881; 6. Bonhwffer, Reflections on the Bible: Human Word and Word @Goti (Yeabody,51.4: Hendrickson, 2004,831 92 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) Cluistianiv gradually in ways that addressed issues which they were enco~ntering.~~ He was attempting to formulate an evangelistic paradigm 1%-ithin the context of a catechetical model. Ford states: In this he appealed to early church tradition in which catechumens Irere asked to leave the liturgy before Holy Communion. His "non-religious" language for Christianity was like a catechism. At some point the catechumens will be ready for traditional Christian language One can notice how members of his family came gradually to speak traditional Christian language, especially as they faced execution.94 Ford also points out that after his "reflections on 'non-religious' language, Bonhoeffer himself returned to traditional language after the failure of the attempted assassination of Hitler. 'My past life is brim-full of God's goodness and my sins are covered by the forgiving love of Christ crucified."'9j It must be kept in mind that Bonhoeffer was discussing and asking questions on nonreligious interpretation in personal letters from jail to his best friend. On one occasion he wrote to Bethge: "You would be surprised, and perhaps even worried, by mv theological thoughts and the conclusions they lead to; and this is where 1miss you most of all, because I don't know anyone else with whom I could so well discuss them to have my thinking clarified."% On another occasion he wrote, "Forgive me for still putting it all so terribly clumsily and badly, as I really feel I am. But perhaps you will help me again to make things clearer and-simpler, even if only by mv being able to talk about them with you and to hear you, so to speak, keep asking and answering."97 VI. Conclusion Bonhoeffer is not without faults, so it is fitting to consider briefly some of his shortcomings. Though he believed in the inspiration of the original text, in regard to Scripture he was not an inerrantist,+ which is not a 93 Ford, e-mail to author, June 18, 2006. Also published as "Luther and Bonhoeffer Misunderstood,"Cllristiatz hreu1s (New Haven, MO), July 3, 20116, 23. Some have called these leading figures in the resistance, whom Bonhoeffer was tning to reach, "homesick humanists.""Ford, e-mail to author, June 18,2006. 95 Ford, e-mail to author, June 18,2006. % Bonhoeffer, Letters a~rd Papersfram Prison, 279. 97 Bonhoeffer, Letters and Pnpersfrorn Prison, 362."He believed in the inspiration of the original test. See Bonhoeffer, No Rudy Suwrd~,322. 93Andrae: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Bonhoeffer surprise considering the German milieu in which he was born and bred.99 Bonhoeffer, hotvever, was no higher critic -a discipline that he considered more or less useless for meeting the world on its own terms and for the purpose it was intended.'" Rather, he read the Bible faithfully, meditatively, prayerfully,lol and christocentrically, pondering each word in a passage,l02 sometimes for days or even weeks.103 He also preached from the Bible.'" Not surprisingly Bonhoeffer has been labeled in opposite ways by different people. One considers him a radical; another, a biblicist.lO' He was neither. He was a man of the word of God. His "view on the relationship behveen revelation and Scripture is that revelation takes place by means of the Holy Spirit who works through the text of Scripture, the presentation of Christ in the proclaimed word, and also the ~acrarnents.''~~~ Bonhoeffer could have given more frequent attention to sacramental 99 Hermam Ssse had to overcome the same bamers and, granted a longer life, he did so. According to Robert Kolb and Charles Ford, while visiting Concordia Seminan in 1964, Sasse called Bonhoeffer a wonderful young Lutheran theologian and said, "The longer he lived the more Lutheran he became." Two of Bonhoeffer's latest complete works intended for publication were his best: Life Together (1939) and Psn!ms: 77re Prilyerbook qffire Bibie (194il). 'WSee Bonhoeffer, Meditirting on tlle IGrd, 4. 1%Bonhoeffer, Ljfe Tege!her, 81-85. l@z"The Gospel . . . never speaks a superfluous ~vord." Bonhoeffer, Llfc Togetlrer, -13. See also Bethge, Diet rich BozlloefJer, 204. '03 See Bonhoeiier, hleditnh'ng on tire lard, especially 30-41. No interruptions should be allorved during this quiet time; it should precede all other activities of the da~.Bonhoeffer's claim to "need help against the ungodly haste and unrest xvhich threaten my work as a pastor" rings true for all. Bonhoeffer, -2lcditntirrguii the Ilbrd, 31. As an example of his approach, see Bonhoeffer, Crentiorr arrd Fn!! (Sew York: Simon and Schuster, 1997). '0; For example, see Kleinhans, Till the Night Be Past, 61.See especially Bonhoeffer, "The Bible Alone" in Meditoting on the Word, 404; Bethge, Dietriclt Bonlloefrr, 204-206; Bonhoeffer, Reflections on the Bible; and Joel ShaItanis, 771e Iilterpretntion of Scripture in the Theology ofDietricir B~~liho~fler [unpublished paper, Concordia Seminary, 2006), in which the author argues that Bonhoeffer must be understood in light of three distinct periods: pre-1931 (pre-conversion [see, e.g., Bethge, Dietriclr Bonhoeffer, 202-2063), ca. 1932-19-13, and 1913-1945 (imprisonment). One could even divide the second phase into two sub- periods: ca. 1932-1937 and ca. 1937-1943, as Bonhoeffer himself indicates a break in commenk on the \\riting of C~xtofDiscipleslrip (1937). Bonhoeffer, Letters nrr,i Pr~pers-fiorn Prison, 369-370. For a brief overview of Bonhoeffer's hermeneutic from a confessional Lutheran perspective see Timo Laato, Romambrecets Henneneutik [Gothenburg: Forsamlingsforlaget, 2006), especially 3844, though Laato focuses on Act nnd Being, Bonhoeffer's doctoral dissertation (habilitation thesis) n-ritten in 1930. By 1932, Bonhoeffer, in a personal letter, mentioned he had himself "taken quite a dislike to [the dissertation]." Bonhoeffer, So Rusty Swordl, 149. Shaltanis,In te~retationof Scripture, n.p. 94 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) theology in his writing, even though he considered baptism and the Lord's Supper to be foundational and essential.107 Occasionally, Bonhoeffer shows an attraction to pa~ifisrn.~" In Ethics, however, Bonhoeffer defends war as a necessary reality.'? According to Jordan J. Ballor, "The idea that Bonhoeffer was ever a pure pacifist is incorrect. [H]e did have lifelong affinities for the position, hoxt-ever. Bethge relates Bonhoeffer's great interest in Gandhi's methods of nonviolent protest, for example."llo Some maintain that the earlv Bonhoeffer was a pacifist who was forced to change course due to the iise of Hitler. Ballor argues against the view that Bonhoeffer began as a pacifist hut changed after the rise of Hitler by citing from an early work, Sanctorrrlir Colillnunio: "Where a people, submitting in conscience to God's rrill, goes to war in order to fulfill its historical purpose and mission in the rrorld though entering fully into the ambiguity of human sinful action-it knolvs it has been called upon by God, that history is to be made; here war is no longer murder."l" Ballor concludes, "Many attempts to cast Bonhoeffer as a pacifist fit more with later interpreters' thoughts about \\-hat they wish Bonhoeffer would have done or should have done, rather than the reaIities of his positions and actions.""2 Finallv, although Life Tqqetller, his Prayerhook, and other works are highly recommended, Cl~rist the Center is not. Despite its helpful summary of christologcal heresies, it is the least useful, the weakest stylistically, and perhaps the least orthodox of his books.113 Bonhoeffer also offered this caution about The Cost of Discipleship: "I thought I could acquire faith by trying to live a holy life, or something like it. I suppose I ivrote Ute Cost of Discipleslzip as the end of that path. Today I see the dangers of that book, -10; See, for example, Bonhoeffer, Nu Rusty Swords, 241-242, and Bonhoeffer, &st qf Discipleship, 267, and 46-48 for the relationship of "cheap grace" to the sacraments. As one of several possible examples see ~onhkffer,A T~iin~lielrtto Freedoln, 93 (1932), but then compare his words in the same year on 99. See also Bethge, Dietriih Bonhoefer, 205. lor See especially Bonhoeffer, Ethics, 89-110,154-164,171-181,232-236. 244-258. Cf. Bonhoeffer, No Rusty Su.orri, 223. "0 Jordan J. Ballor, e-mail to the Bonhoeffer's Cell yahoo e-group, Sovember 16, 2m. "1 Ballor, e-mail to the Bonhoeffer's Cell yahoo e-group, November 16, 2004. For a different translation of the same statement, see Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Sarlctor~im Con~mui~io: Sociology ofthe Utrcrch, in DBL2'1:119.A n~eological Study qf fl~ 1" Ballor, e-mail to the Bonhoeffer's Cell yahoo e-group, November 16,2304. 11; Chnst the Center is based on lecture notes from the summer of 1933, during Bonhoeffer's transition to hat he would simply term Christiaruc. Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffrr, 205. 95 Andrae: Themes of the Cruciform Life in Bonhoeffer though I still stand bv what I wrote."lla Due to its depth and its sometimes subtle, though distinction of law and gospel and of obedience and faith,"' it is best read only by the mature, discerning Christian.nb There is no doubt that Bonhoeffer was broken and twisted: a sinner conceived, born, and living after the fall. He simply cannot measure up to the expectation that he should be something other than this."' There is really only one focus for Bonhoeffer, one theme among these interconnected cruciform themes of suffering, prayer, action, and community: Christ. His last recorded words-"This is the end, but for me it is the beginning of lifew"$-and the text for his last sermon-"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Pet l:3)N9-provided a fitting close to his life. Bonhoeifcr, Let:t.f--il~lriPnpersfrorn Prison, 369. "5 Cf. Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship, 63. ilh See Bonhoeffer, Cast of D~scipleship,312. "-See his reflections on being a pastor in Bonhoeffer, L!fe Togetlzer, 109. lI"ohr~ \V. Doberstein, introduction to Bonhoeffer, Life Toyeflter,13. The text \\-as for Quasimodogeniti Sunday (First Sunda! after Easter), April 8, 1945. Bethge, D!?tricli Bclzhrq~?r.,926-927. See also Bonhoeffer, Letters and P~persfronl Pn~0?1,3i0-3ii.