Thursday, October 27, 2011

Historical Church Writings #12: Dietrich Bonhoeffer on building the church

Today is Historical Church Writing Thursday. Each Thursday will feature the writings of the church fathers, reformation fathers or other church writings. Today's Historical Church Writing is from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
     It is not we who build. [Christ] builds the church. No man builds the church but Christ alone. Whoever is minded to build the church is surely well on the way to destroying it; for he will build a temple to idols without wishing or knowing it. We must confess -- he builds. We must proclaim -- he builds. We must pray to him -- that he may build.
     We do not know his plan. We cannot see whether he is building or pulling down. It may be that the times which by human standards are times of collapse are for him the great times of construction. It may be that the times which from a human point of view are great times for the church are times when it is pulled down.
     It is a great comfort which Christ gives to his church: you confess, preach, bear witness to me and I alone will build where it pleases me. Do not meddle in what is my province. Do what is given to you to do well and you have done enough. But do it well. Pay not heed to views and poinions. Don't ask for judgments. Don't always be calculating what will hapen. Don't always be on the lookout for another refuge! Church, stay a church! But church, confess, confess, confess! Christ alone is your Lord; from his grace alone can you live as you are. Christ builds.
     -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Jesu Juva,
Soli Deo Gloria

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