Thursday, December 2, 2004

BONHOEFFER'S RESISTANCE. David Alan Black's ( article, "The Travails of a Lonely Resister," concisely tracks Dietrich Bonhoeffer's roots and expressions of resistance to the capitulation of his Evangelical church to Nazi statism. Black writes:

"Clearly, the struggle of the German church was uppermost in Bonhoeffer’s thinking. The statist fervor of the German Christians impelled him to say that the true church must constantly defend itself against idolatry. Long before the excesses of the Third Reich forced Bonhoeffer to join the political resistance, acceptance by the German Christians of Nazi ideology had driven him into a state of protest against the church in which they were so dominant."

In a warning and challenge to Amercian pastors, Black writes:

"What, then, was the role of the pastor for Bonhoeffer? And what is the responsibility of church leaders today? [Professor Michael] Moeller, who carefully studied this issue, concluded: 'The pastor has to speak the truth. Not the truth of ideologies, but the truth of the Gospel which the world does not like to hear. The role of the pastor is not to be the master of ceremonies for the world celebrating itself. The role of the pastor might be more the role of the fool, the one who is set aside to speak the truth even though nobody really wants to hear it.'

Well said, Dave and Michael. Now, who will heed the call? O God, help me thus to live and speak!

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