This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Grace That Leads To Death

1376 words - 6 pages

Come and Die: The grace that leads to death

Costly versus cheap grace
The grace that leads to death
Grace that demands a response
Bonhoeffer's theological intersection with Wesleyanism

Grace is a word that can seem dull and lifeless in the church today due to its overuse and familiarity. Dietrich Bonhoeffer sees grace, costly grace, as the summary of the true Gospel. In Bonhoeffer's day, such costly grace had been exchanged for a cheap imitation of grace that was little more than empty religion, demanding little effort and no obedience. Bonhoeffer, who was eventually martyred, knew intimately that , “When Christ calls a man [sic], he bids him come and die.”1 For Bonhoeffer, then, death is the mark of true discipleship and is a manifestation of the appropriation of costly grace in the life of the believer. This paper will explore this thesis first by contrasting this costly grace with cheap grace. It will then make the connection between grace and death (both spiritual and physical), with particular emphasis on the ethical response required of this grace. Finally, a brief analysis will be given of points of intersection between Bonhoeffer's understanding of God and grace and contemporary Wesleyanism.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer's understanding of grace developed in the particular historical context of the rise of the Third Reich to power in a Germany that had only recently been defeated in World War I and had suffered what many considered to be great humiliation as a consequence of the Treaty of Versailles. The German church, the church of Martin Luther, had come to align itself with the Hitler and the Nazi regime in the 1930's. Christianity in Germany accepted grace as only an abstract concept, which had little bearing on real life. There was no need of a response of obedience to grace given. It was into this setting that Bonhoeffer developed his perspective on the importance of grace, and how that grace speaks of the character of God.

Bonhoeffer opens his Cost of Discipleship with a chapter on costly grace. He begins this chapter by first describing what he calls cheap grace, which is, in reality, no grace at all. Cheap grace is described as: the deadly enemy of the church; blessings without limits; merely a doctrine, system or principle; intellectual assent to an idea; needing no contrition, “still less any real desire to be delivered from sin;”2 effects no real change; justifies the sin but not the sinner; is a denial of the living God, and especially disregards the costly sacrifice on the cross. He also describes it as, “The preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession... Grace without discipleship... the cross... [and] without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”3 It emphasizes the love and acceptance of God without realizing the sacrifice that wrought our forgiveness. Cheap grace, then, is really no grace at all.

Find Another Essay On The Grace That Leads to Death

"Comedy of Errors": a tragedy that leads to a comedy

2241 words - 9 pages Shakespeare's plays can be divided into several groups, these groups are: histories, tragedies, comedies and tragicomedies. Comedies were very popular, since they were often full of laughter and irony. This was much appreciated in Elizabethan times since death and misery lead the Elizabethan common man to seek for these ironic and satiric plays as a way of escaping reality.What are the main elements that can be used to difference comedies and

The absence of truth leads to

2496 words - 10 pages unable to quickly see the truth of his heritage. He is raised under a false pretext, which leads to future disorder. When a drunken man negates his legitimacy as the son of Polybos and Dorian of Corinth, he questions the king and queen, "they stormed, calling it all the slanderous rant of a fool" (749-750). They lie to Oedipus to protect him, but they are actually sheltering him from truth that could save Thebes. His kingdom is in a state of chaos

The Odyssey: Fatal Flaws Leads to Downfall?

691 words - 3 pages this spell that makes time past faster in her temple than the outside world. This brings him to the future causing him to take longer to reach his goal; a bad mistake that leads him to his downfall. In brief, Odysseus does not think what will happen when encountering Circe; thinking that she is very trustworthy. In final consideration, Odysseus fatal flaws such as being boastful, not processing his mind through, and being tempted causes him to take

Globalization Leads to the Demise of the State

1690 words - 7 pages finally leads to a broader concept called globalization. Liberalization opens up a country to the rest of the world whereas privatization redistributes the national resources from the public sector to the private sector. It is evident that such redistribution will necessarily reduce the power of the state, as it would not be the sole owner of natural resources any more. Under globalization, it faces seldom interference in day-to-day business and

The Issue of Xenophobia and How it Leads to Violence

1114 words - 5 pages xenophobia and how it leads to violence and racism amongst the people within South Africa, as well as the effects it has on South Africa and its people as a whole. I also believe that if people are more aware of this situation they can educate others and try finding a solution to decrease and possibly prevent the issue of xenophobia. Following the 1994 elections, when South Africa became a democratic country, the fear of xenophobia increased and is

The Search for Scientific Truth Leads to God

4010 words - 16 pages The Search for Scientific Truth Leads to God At the dawn of the twenty-first century, many now realize that the opposition of science and religion has been exhausted. Today, unification of the two is imperative. The first step in this direction is recognizing that science is not the only source of knowledge; experience, spiritual discernment and spiritual experience constitute the unified process of cognizing the world. I. About the

Non-Linear Load Leads to the Power Quality

702 words - 3 pages To sustain the modern civilization, all applications which is made by the increased use of modern electronics switches, and rapid growth of industries in which uses loads which is purely non-linear load leads to the power quality disturbance in to the utility system which leads to presence of harmonics in the power grid. When the harmonic currents flow in the power Grid, they can instigate problems such as Voltage distortion, PF correction

The Virgin Of Guadalupe - Research Leads To Symbolic Unveiling

2232 words - 9 pages which leads to the Virgin Mary's symbolism of the Devine Feminine and the Mother figure. The outline of her figure as the oval nimbus, the lines of her robe as the vulva, our doorway to life on this earth and this time of being.The image uses a lot of organizational line in this outline of the body aura, and the texture looks as if it is flaking apart from age. A lot of times we see this figure and forget that it is a piece of art, and a Holy

The NSA Leads to A Stronger, Safer, & More Prosperous America

1188 words - 5 pages Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that required Verizon to provide the NSA and FBI with metadata (data about data) about their customers’ communications usage (The Washington Post). Reactions, ranging from approval and encouragement to shock and even blatant hatred or distrust, immediately proliferated social media, think tanks, and surveys. In the eight months since the first of nearly two million classified documents obtained by

Death to the Death Penalty

1371 words - 6 pages “When Michael Ryan was sentenced to death, We were sentenced to” (Kelle, a.n.d, par.2). Keeping him tied outside to a deck with no coat to freeze in the winter cold, disemboweling him with a shovel to shooting off each one of his fingers, James Thimm was tortured to death (Kelle,2009). We imagine that as each day went past the pain would weaken. But that wasn’t the case for Miriam Thimm Kelle and his family. Michael Ryan the killer of Jim, were

Death to the Death Penalty

1236 words - 5 pages Life is the most precious good that a human being possesses. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that one of the first human rights listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the right to life. The third article states that a person has the right not to be killed by any other human being, and this is where the nations that apply the death penalty are failing (Source 1). The death penalty or capital punishment is a legal process in

Similar Essays

Gatsby’s Personality Leads To His Tragic Death

1226 words - 5 pages the arms of his lost lover, then eventually to his death. If Gatsby would have just let her go none of that would've happened. Some of it was good and some of it was bad. He has a very ongoing and persistent personality that can be questioned. The debate of a stalker or lover, his romanticism, and being hopeful but foolish for loving daisy, all are pieces of his personality. These are the Three traits that ultimately leads to his death. One

A Struggle That Leads To Growth

913 words - 4 pages A Struggle that Leads to Growth We all live in the same planet, yet some people hide their faces or either moving away from their struggles and some is positive and confident to overcome their obstacles. Anyone who faces with a struggle in their life is in a continual battle and only the one who stands firmly through all the barriers will be victorious in the end. I think that even with all the power and understanding

Factors That Leads Teens To Commit Suicide

898 words - 4 pages Several factors, emotional and physical, can contribute to a teen’s decision to take his or her own life. Adolescent suicide rates have no doubt risen over the past 50 years, but the question is, why? As our world continues to advance decade by decade, modern-day teenagers experience problems that are quite different than those faced by teens from previous generations. One distinct, modern influence of teenage suicide is social media. Naturally

The Grace That Keeps This World

1924 words - 8 pages hunting trip and Gary accidentally shoots and kills Gary David. After this, he feels so badly about the incident that he shoots himself. Kevin finds his father lying in the woods and saves him from dying. Kevin rethinks his feelings toward his father by realizing all that his father has done for him and taught him which leads him to show grace to his father in this difficult situation. Towards the end of the story, Gary extends grace toward both