Item description for Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer...
Overview The German pastor celebrates Christian fellowship, personal prayer, and common worship as he describes the clandestine seminary he led for training pastors during the Nazi reign of terror
Publishers Description After his martyrdom at the hands of the Gestapo in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer continued his witness in the hearts of Christians around the world. His Letters and Papers from Prison became a prized testimony to Christian faith and courage, read by thousands. Now in Life Together we have Pastor Bonhoeffer's experience of Christian community. This story of a unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi years reads like one of Paul's letters. It gives practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups. The role of personal prayer, worship in common, everyday work, and Christian service is treated in simple, almost biblical, words. Life Together is bread for all who are hungry for the real life of Christian fellowship.
Citations And Professional Reviews Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Century - 05/04/2010 page 32
Christianity Today - 03/01/2010 page 60
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.8" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.4" Weight: 0.25 lbs.
Release Date May 26, 2009
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 0060608528 ISBN13 9780060608521
Availability 0 units.
More About Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born in Breslau in 1906. The son of a famous German psychiatrist, he studied in Berlin and New York City. He left the safety of America to return to Germany and continue his public repudiation of the Nazis, which led to his arrest in 1943. Linked to the group of conspirators whose attempted assassination of Hitler failed, he was hanged in April 1945.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born in 1906 and died in 1945.
Reviews - What do customers think about Life Together?
Insightful book into life in the Christian Church Feb 17, 2007
I found this book very enlightening. Those small in size, it is not an easy read. Very thought provoking, I found myself studying and pondering it instead of just read through it. Information on the duties of pastors and how much responsiblity is carried out by the pastor was informative. I felt a compelling to empliment some of these teachings into my own personal life. Daily devotions, not new to me, were suggested for the whole family -- which used to be common practice in many Christian homes, was discussed. Confessing ones sins to other Christians vs. a therapists was discussed. Overall I would recommend this book to ones Christian library.
Sanctorum Communio - the "Communion of Saints" Feb 7, 2007
INTRODUCTION: This has been my "introductory" book to the wonderful writings of this saint, this mystic Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It made a radical change in my spiritual life, specifically it lit up my soul's hidden and unknown yearning for the fellowship of believers on Sunday, the communion of saints, the beautiful and divine liturgy (aka worship service) - something that my beloved Baptist parents criticized, since it was a book other than the Holy Writ that created in me this yearning. For too many years I dabbled in man's philosophies, being next to "the Way," ... at one point believing in Christian spirituality, but not in "organized religion." Brother Dietrich, this saint clarified for me, elucidated, explained and imprinted on my heart the importance of "Sanctorum Communio" - the fellowship of beliviers, the communion of saints. ("Sanctorum Communio: A Theological Study of the Sociology of the Church (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works)" is the title of his PhD dissertation which he finished at 21; see book by Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1998).
I recently purchased this book for a coworker (Christian brother, who goes to church once in a while) and wrote him "May you always see the church as the Sanctorum Communion, the communion of saints, the ekklesia of God, where we draw strength from one another's company as we worship the Holy Trinity."
EDITION: This translation is not the most faithful the original language (German). "Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 5)" offers a better English translation, plus the added bonus of the editors notes with regards to the history and language terms used by Bonhoeffer - not to mention one of his other writings (on the Psalms).
AUTHOR: The 6th of 8 children intellectual German turn-of-the-20th-century family, Lutheran theologian, a pastor, a renewed child of God, a pacifist, a collaborator, A martyr for Christ at the hands of the Nazis. Today he is remembered, as an inspiration for Christians and non-Christians - a testament to the power of the Gospel lived out in every stage and trial of life. Up there with C.S. Lewis, he seems to be one of the most widely read and known modern Christian writer. For me, he is my favorite theologian (a pragmatist at heart). One whose love to pastor the local parish and lead youth groups did hinder him from contemplatively writing about his struggles and God's "costly Grace" (to use one of his expressions).
CONTENT: I think THE KEY to understanding and getting more out of this book (and some of the advice that Bonhoeffer offers - section about music), is to know that Bonhoeffer WROTE THIS BOOK IN 1 DAY, in Berlin at his parents house after the Finkenwalde seminary of the Confessing Church had been discovere by the Gestapo and as a consequence of the experienced gained being a professor, teacher, and fellow believer in that isolated community.
Chapters: 1) Community 2) The Day with Others 3) The Day Alone 4) The Ministry 5) Confession and Communion
Chapter 5) is the chapter that I learned the most from since in my Baptist upbringing experience in the church, there was not theological concept of Confession - in contrary to the NT evidence, and Communion was nothing seen as deep as Bonhoeffer explains).
CONCLUSION: * Do you have a yearning to spend time in the house of God (Psalm 118:24), to be a living stone in the holy temple of God (1 Peter 2:4), to be a "sinner and saint" (using Martin Luther's terminology) as Christ feeds you and you edify your fellow brothers and sisters in "Word and Sacrament" (Lutheran theological phrase) ? * Do you find church boring, devoid of spirit ? * Do you seek more from your local church ?
As an answer, I can only say this "Do not ask what the Church can do for you, but ask, plead, contemplate, on what you thru Christ can do for His local church!"
I highly recommend this book for anyone who faces lethargy, disinterest, non-commitment to be actively involved in a local church and thus participate in the Church of God.
True Christian Community Jan 24, 2007
Bonhoeffer's "Life Together" is a classic expression of life in the community of believers!
I attend a house church and I found my second read of this book to be more helpful in understanding the kind of life that should be celebrated within the sanctorum communio. I believe Bonhoeffer's book holds more meaning and influence in the context of a first-century styled house church than any other religious setting.
I remember reading this book several years ago when all I knew of church life was from within the institutional confines of religious rigorism. I believe Bonhoeffer's words have more depth and meaning when they are applied and understood within the setting of a house church. Frankly, I have come to believe it is the only way this kind of community can be achieved. In Bonhoeffer's words, "In the spiritual realm the Spirit governs; in human community, psychological techniques and methods."
I benefited greatly from Bonhoeffer's plea for believers to be thankful for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed. When we focus on what our community isn't... we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow as it ought. We are bound to one another. We have no choice but to get along and learn to manifest Christ in our midst! Bonhoeffer makes plain that our actions, good or evil, in sight or in secret... effects the body life. This is not theory... it is reality.
The only way this kind of fellowship works is by embracing Christ's love instead of human love. "Human love has little regard for truth... human love cannot love an enemy." I believe this exposes the kind of love that many in the church have settled for. Bonhoeffer's own actions prove we are all capable of settling for human love and justifying our actions to get our way.
Overall, the reader will find Bonhoeffer's book (as his many others) to be Christocentric. The whole purpose of life in the community is to see our Lord manifested and glorified in our presence. In "Life Together," Bonhoeffer successfully pulls away the empty ritual and the religious ceremony to reveal a simple and clear understanding of life in the Body of Christ!
*My only points of disagreement with Bonhoeffer are at those places where his committment to reformed theology come to the surface. I know this about Bonhoeffer and simply move past it to hear his wonderful words of wisdom and insight.
Short and Powerful Jan 18, 2007
Bonhoeffer's classic is short and powerful. His insights on the church community and the faith of Christians living together are very powerful. This book is fairly simple to read and very short but will have lasting impacts on your life.
I have only recently (within the past year) been introduced to Bonhoeffer and have thoroughly enjoyed what I have been studying. His perspectives on Christianity have had lasting impacts on me and my ministry.
Grace allows us to live in community and this book helps the readers to embrace that. It will touch everyone's life in special ways.
Christ Centered Community Jan 9, 2007
Bonhoeffer presents a challenging, Christ-centered view of Christian community in this concise and challenging work. Some may view certain particulars described by Bonhoeffer as overly specific and dogmatic, but all points are made with a clear eye for the Scriptures and focus on Christ. This is a very good read for today's disciple of Christ, especially with the many competing voices vying for one's attention and allegiance.