Item description for Anxious Souls Will Ask : The Christ-Centered Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by John W. Matthews...
Overview Foreword by H. Martin Rumscheidt This brief yet brilliant book shows that the prison reflections of Dietrich Bonhoeffer contain profound inspiration for all who desire to walk more closely with Jesus in today's troubled and often troubling world. Illuminating the context and content of Bonhoeffer's life and thought, Anxious Souls Will Ask... uses writings of the famous Christian martyr to critique the spirit of the age and to encourage in contemporary Christians the depth of commitment required to stand firm against the contemptuous winds of postmodern culture.
Publishers Description Foreword by H. Martin Rumscheidt This brief yet brilliant book shows that the prison reflections of Dietrich Bonhoeffer contain profound inspiration for all who desire to walk more closely with Jesus in today's troubled and often troubling world. Illuminating the context and content of Bonhoeffer's life and thought, Anxious Souls Will Ask... uses writings of the famous Christian martyr to critique the spirit of the age and to encourage in contemporary Christians the depth of commitment required to stand firm against the contemptuous winds of postmodern culture.
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.55" Width: 5.53" Height: 0.28" Weight: 0.33 lbs.
Release Date Apr 22, 2005
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802828418 ISBN13 9780802828415
Availability 0 units.
More About John W. Matthews
John W. Matthews is senior pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota, and vice president of the International Bonhoeffer Society's English Language Section.
Reviews - What do customers think about Anxious Souls Will Ask : The Christ-Centered Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer?
What is the role of the church? Feb 14, 2008
I found this book very thought provoking - what should be the basis of the role that the 'church' in the world today plays!! This book and the discussion group that I was with move me to look to Bonhoeffer for more insights on what pillars our church, our society, and our nation rest upon.
In the midst of these... Apr 7, 2005
In his forward to this book, H. Martin Rumscheidt describes the new sculptures at the west entrance of Westminster Abbey, sculptures that celebrate the life and witness of Christian figures whose witness had profound impact on the world as a whole. These figures include Oscar Romero, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, each one a martyr of the 'civilised' twentieth-century. These are people who knew first-hand the meaning of Bonhoeffer's costly grace. Bonhoeffer's influence continues to be felt in places of oppression and violence, providing inspiration in recent times to Minjung theologians in Korea, anti-Apartheid activists in South Africa, and churches behind the Iron Curtain.
Bonhoeffer is somewhat of an enigma, even as he becomes an increasingly popular figure for study, spiritual reflection, and emulation in various parts of the world. John Matthews argues that, while Bonhoeffer's greatest impact comes from his martyrdom, it is in Bonhoeffer's spirituality and theology that the seeds for continuing relevance and inspiration for the church into the third millennium. Our context is the same in significant ways, according to Matthews: we live in an increasingly secular world, with a church quite often on the defensive, and hence reactionary.
Matthews connects the times of the ancient Israelites with modern times, and shows a connection thereby of the prophets in eighth-century Israel (BCE) with Bonhoeffer and modern calls for struggles against the collapse of civilisation and the rise of tyrrany. However, it is more than a call for simple preservation or restoration, however anxious change might make us. 'The life and legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer offers a powerful, prophetic perspective for helping Christendom embrace God's future, without allowing anxiety to lure it toward simple, conservative restoration of the past.' While exploring Bonhoeffer's life, upbringing and experience, Matthews looks for examples of a Christological-theological faith and spiritual development, demonstrating where Bonhoeffer's ultimate sense of truth and courage come from.
The book begins with a brief chronology of the events in Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life, from his birth in 1906 to his death in 1945. The appendix has selections from Bonhoeffer's 'Letters and Papers from Prison', a pivotal work that has profoundly influenced Christians all around the world since its publication. There are also appendices of the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well as secondary sources in English.
'Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one who sought to experience and express the present reality of God - in Jesus Christ - within a rapidly changing world and a less-than-rapidly changing church.' Matthews identifies five particular elements that Bonhoeffer recognised as being crumbling pillars of the church: the persistence of individualistic religion, an exclusive focus on otherworldiness, uncritical verbal proclamation and evangelism, the identification of earthly blessing as the presence of God and earthly suffering as the absence of God, and childish dependence on God. All of these are crumbling pillars, according to Matthews' reading of Bonhoeffer, but yet remain attractive and persistent in varying ways.
Some speculated that Bonhoeffer had periods where he lost his faith in prison. Indeed, he did not set out to be a martyr, and would have looked upon intentional and sought-after martyrdom as an inappropriate expression of the Christian calling. Matthews argues that the faith Bonhoeffer had in God through Jesus Christ was so deep that his expression of that faith continues to be misunderstood at times even as his witness to the truth of God continues to be admired.