The Cost of Discipleship
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
There are times that demand that those who call themselves Christians make a decision: is your Christianity mere lip service, or is it a reality? If your faith is real, it will cost you something.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer paid that cost. As a Lutheran pastor during the rise of Nazi Germany, he became a vocal opponent of Adolph Hitler. Bonhoeffer went to the United States in the late 1930s, but he willingly chose to return to Germany to continue his opposition to the Nazi regime. There he joined the underground resistance, helping Jews escape to Switzerland. Bonhoeffer was linked to a failed assassination attempt on Hitler and was arrested in 1943. Bonhoeffer continued his ministry while in prison. In his Letters from Prison, he wrote, “Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. Christians are called to compassion and action.” Bonhoeffer was executed by the Gestapo in 1945, just one month before Germany’s unconditional surrender.
In The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer contrasts what he calls “cheap grace” with “costly grace.” “Cheap grace,” he wrote, “is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate." Costly grace “is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”
The Cost of Discipleship is a classic work on Christian commitment whose relevance shines all the more in a darkened age.
316 pages. ISBN: 9780684815008