Dargan Thompson – 12 Essential Bonhoeffer Quotes

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I have just found today on Facebook the link to this article and I want to also share with you these amazing Bonhoeffer quotes selected by Dargan Thompson. I have underlined in bold my favourite ones, with a special attention to those relevant for Christian apologetics, spirituality, and social justice.

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On Silence

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

On Judging Others

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
The Cost of Discipleship

On Gratitude

“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.”
Letters and Papers from Prison

On Injustice

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

On ‘Defending’ the Bible

“Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic. Do not defend God’s word, but testify to it. Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity.”

On Real Morality

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”

On Spirituality

“When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.”

On Fellowship

“The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists of listening to them. Just as love of God begins with listening to his word, so the beginning of love for our brothers and sisters is learning to listen to them.” —Life Together

On Proof of God

“A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol”

On Peace

There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God’s commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of Almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.”

On God’s Love

“God does not love some ideal person, but rather human beings just as we are, not some ideal world, but rather the real world.”
Meditations on the Cross

On God’s Will

“Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.”

Correction: This last one is actually not a Bonhoeffer quote, but a paraphrase of one of Bonhoeffer’s principles that Eric Metaxas wrote in his biography of Bonhoeffer that has been mistakenly attributed to Bonhoeffer himself.

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Source, Relevant Magazine.

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