Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Following Jesus into the World (and Why Martin Luther Left the Monastery)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote his 1937 classic, The Cost of Discipleship, as a call to return to the original vision of the Protestant Reformation. According to Bonhoeffer, “When the Reformation came, the providence of God raised Martin Luther to restore the gospel of pure, costly grace.”

Read more

“Unless He Obeys, a Man Cannot Believe”

When Jesus calls you to follow Him—and He never stops calling you to follow Him—He is calling you to take a step of faith. He doesn’t wait until you already believe before He calls you. He speaks to you where you are, in unbelief, just as He invited Peter to step out of the boat and walk to Him on the water.

When Jesus said, “Come,” Peter was still in the boat and still could not believe that he was looking a Jesus. The command of Jesus enabled Peter to step out of unbelief and into faith, just at it had done and would continue to do over and over again throughout his life.

This is an argument that Dietrich Bonhoeffer made in chapter two of The Cost of Discipleship. That first step of obedience is critical, he explained, and you can’t wait for faith to motivate you to take it because it itself is a step into faith.

Read more

“When Christ Calls a Man, He Bids Him Come and Die”

A watered-down gospel produces watered-down Christians. When we read, in the Gospels, about Jesus calling disciples, we see that He didn’t make it easy to follow Him, but He made it worth it. We also see that there was a difference between the crowd and the disciples. Jesus didn’t call crowds, He called disciples.

In The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer argued that the grace of salvation is also the call to discipleship. “Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow,” he wrote, “and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ.”

Read more

7 Insightful Things Andrew Murray Said about Humility

These are all from Murray’s book, Humility.

Andrew Murray’s remarkable accomplishments make him someone worth listening to on this subject. He had an awful lot to be proud of yet seemed to know an awful lot about humility.

1. First a definition

Define humility in 15 words or less. Murray boiled it down to this:

“Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all.”

Read more

11 Great Quotes from A. W. Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy

A. W. Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy is a book about the attributes of God, with each chapter focused on a different attribute. Published in 1961.

1. The most important thing about us

This quote is the first sentence of Chapter One. What a great way to start a book.

“What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

Read more

Three Things Hannah Whitall Smith Said about Faith

Hannah Whitall Smith published The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life in 1875, at the height of her popularity as a speaker, along with her husband, in the Higher Life movement. It’s a good example of the preaching that was prevalent at the beginnings of the Keswick Convention in England and in the Holiness movement in America, with its emphasis on trusting God to develop and maintain personal holiness. Here are three lessons she taught about such trust.

Read more