Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community Paperback – Oct 25 1978
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"When I think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, some words Gorky used of Tolstoy come into my mind--'Look what a wonderful man is living on the earth.'" -- Malcolm Muggeridge, author of Jesus
From the Back Cover
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Life Together was written while Bonhoeffer was being held by the Nazi's. It is his short treatise on Faith in Community - what it means to be the Body of Christ. During his time in prison, Bonhoeffer undoubtedly had interaction with Christians of many denominations. This probably led to contemplation of what it meant for all of them to worship together, even in a prison camp.
The book is just five chapters:
2. The Day with Others
3. The Day Alone
5. Confession and Communion
Amazingly enough, Bonhoeffer thinks seriously and deeply about what it should be like for Christians to experience Life Together as the Church. Few current authors are packing so much in so little a book.
In the first chapter he looks at relating to one another as Jesus would have us relate to one another. He distinguishes between the worldly and the biblical concepts of living in community. His observations are astounding and would do many churches a great deal of good today.
In chapters 2 and 3, he looks at one's relationship with God as it should be lived both corporately and individually. He even gives us a glimpse of what family worship was expected to look like at that time. Again, his observations would do Christians much good today.
The chapter on ministry is outstanding, but one really cannot do it justice in just a few sentences. The final chapter on confession and communion was a mixed bag for me.Read more ›
"LET HIM WHO CANNOT BE ALONE BEWARE OF COMMUNITY. He will only do harm to himself and to the community. Alone you stood before God when he called you; alone you had to answer that call; alone you had to struggle and pray; and alone you will die and give an account to God."
"LET HIM WHO IS NOT IN COMMUNITY BEWARE OF BEING ALONE. Into the community you were called, the call was not meant for you alone; in the community of the called you bear your cross, you struggle, you pray. You are not alone, even in death, and on the Last Day you will be only one member of the great congregation of Jesus Christ."
It takes a little reading to get used to Bonhoeffer's style (prose), but once you can read "Life Together" fluidly, it hits you like a machine gun: practical advice followed by rationalle; practical advice followed by rationalle; etc. Among the topics covered are components to daily, family devotions, the relationship between work and worship; a new way of looking at Psalms and hymns; the importance of daily showing love through your actions so that you can spread the word of Christ; ways to guard against conflict in a church (as if there is ever conflict at voters meetings. Ha!)
This book won't take you very long at all to read, but the thoughts you take away from it will churn in your head for weeks. You'll find yourself turning back to the book re-read a section or two. You'll kick yourself for not reading it sooner. I know I have. HIGHLY recommended.
A beautiful book, my copy freely given me by a Lutheran pastor who shared my love for Bonhoeffer. I wanted to lead a Bible study, he said if he ever led one he would use this book!
I first heard of Bonhoeffer from someone at my church. I discovered Bonhoeffer for myself when I watched the documentary Hanged on a Twisted Cross, the life and times of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which I highly, highly recommend.
The parts of the book which spoke to me most were the sections in chapter 1 entitled through and in Jesus Christ and in chapter 3, the section on intercession. Here are some excerpts I love:
"A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner......Intercession means no more than to bring our brother into the presence of God, to see him under the cross of Jesus as a poor human being and sinner in need of grace....His need and his sin become so heavy and oppressive that we feel them as our own, and we can do nothing else but pray: Lord, do Thou, Thou alone, deal with him according to Thy severity and Thy goodness."
I do believe Bonhoeffer has " the mind of Christ" on that one.
Beautiful, beautiful book.
P.S. I challenge you to examine and compare the lives of Noah, Daniel, and Job
to find out what was so pleasing to God about them. How do their lives reflect Christ's and what about everyone else's?!!! Please see Ezekiel 14:14-23. So I leave you with some homework, I just couldn't resist!
Most recent customer reviews
I love the idea of any help in living "right relationship". I will enjoy this one in the New Year. The book arrived in perfect conditionPublished on Dec 19 2013 by T. Winnie Odo
"Life Together" is a Christian classic. We are using it for a community book study. The sellers were efficient and expeditious. I would recommend both the book and Amazon.Published on Oct. 5 2013 by James M Patterson
Dietrich Bonhoeffer receives a lot of attention because he feels closer to the modern Christian experience than the Puritans or the Reformers. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2012 by Samuel
Having read Dietrich Bonhoeffer's biography and seeing how my housemate is raving about the profoundness of The Cost of Discipleship (which I also wanted to purchase) I decided to... Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2012 by Hsiang
Best part of book of "Life Together" by Bonhoeffer is the chapter on "Being Alone and in Community" which sets the tone of how one can and should live in a Christian Community.Published on April 3 2010 by Caleb Ng
Bonhoeffer is brilliant in his understanding of the church's lifeblood, which is the cross. Where other ecclesiologies become distracted by secondary issues, Bonhoeffer cuts right... Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2004
Bonhoeffer stands in stark contrast to the Christian writers of today. In Life Together, he brings the power of a first class mind to the problem of how we may strengthen the... Read morePublished on July 28 2003 by Kevin Hutchison
This brief book contains one of the most passionate calls to Christian community of any book I have read. Read morePublished on July 23 2003 by Bethany McKinney Fox
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