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Hello everyone. It has been a long time since I have blogged. I want to thank Craig Slane for resurrecting this blog area. I hope to do some blogging in the fall! But first, I'd like to announce a new Facebook discussion group for Bonhoeffer, started by J.W. Wartwick. It would be great to have some robust discussion, so I hope people will participate. The address is below:
The Dietrich Bonhoeffer forum: https://www.facebook.com/groups/327047571375635/
I also include my post, a response to J.W's, as J.W. brought up so many of the central issues we are up against with understanding Bonhoeffer. These revolve around anachronism: his time not being our time. To me, the challenge of trying to truly understand (rather than appropriate) someone who defies our easy—should I say "cheap" categories?—is one of our most important tasks if we want to get to the heart of Bonhoeffer's theology. My post:
I agree that Bonhoeffer can't be taken out of context. I agree too that he was very vehemently opposed to Nazism, and he wrote against the kind of empty social gospel church he encountered through Union Theological, much preferring the presence of the spirt he felt at the Abyssinian Baptist Church. He is a difficult figure for any group to "own" and this what I find fascinating about him. What can we learn from how he defies our "slots?" He was also, at the end of his life, very frustrated with churches that would not embrace the here and now--and this seems on the surface like an embrace of the social gospel--"let's jump in for social justice--" but it's definitely not that. Grappling with what it means to live in present moment--the center of the village rather than focused on the afterlife--engaged in the world but not overtly politically--what does that mean? How does the spirit become central to that?