Monday, July 18, 2011

The Cost of Discipleship Retold

Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship has long been considered a classic, if not the classic, work on discipleship, following Jesus, and costly grace. It was written in German just before World War II, but became popular when translated into English after the author's death at the hands of  Hitler and the Nazis.

I first read it when I was in high school.  It is an astounding book.  However, as the concepts are sometimes difficult, and as it is a translation from thoughts and words first expressed in a foreign language and culture, it can be hard for many Americans to read and understand. I include myself in that group.

Jon Walker has done us all a great favor by publishing Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. This book is not a re-translation of Bonhoeffer.  It is a retelling of the concepts and idea of his book, following the same structure, yet written in contemporary English. This makes it easier for us to understand. I do not say, however, that it makes it easier to digest and process. Easier to understand, but still as hard to process as is Jesus' call to take up the cross and follow him.  He still says "Come and Die."

Over the next several days I will be posting quotes from the book.  Decide for yourself.  Come and follow!