A Provocative Theology

It depends on a God who demands responsible action in a bold venture of faith, and who promises forgiveness and consolation to the man who becomes a sinner in that venture.

This statement was penned by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who I have written about a couple times this semester, if you hadn’t noticed with the obnoxious amount of quotes I have posted. Using this time as a break for one of those papers now actually. This quote is from a letter while Bonhoeffer was in prison to his fellow conspirators after the failed attempt to kill Hitler had taken place. The letter was to be a Christmas gift to all those who he sent it to.

This quote seems to be so profound, while being uniquely abrasive. What Bonhoeffer claims in the quote is that even if one is to sin through “a bold venture of faith”, forgiveness still awaits. I obviously don’t disagree with the reality of forgiveness awaiting all sin, but  what convicts my heart is rather Bonhoeffer’s perspective that negates any room for a pacifist-like Christianity. I might argue that what we continually find today is that pacifism is ubiquitous among Christians. We tend to confuse revenge and justice, or maybe its responsibility and passivity; I’m not sure, but I know the premise Bonhoeffer provides is provocative even today. A quote from Ethics states the following:

Good, as what is responsible, is performed in ignorance of what is good and in the surrender to God of the deed which has become necessary and which is nevertheless, or for that very reason, free; for it is God who sees the heart, who weighs up the deed, and who directs the course of history.

Back to work now…


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