Only gradually did the church and world become aware of the rich theological legacy of this modern Christian martyr. That fall he began studies at Berlin University, including seminars under famous scholar Adolf von Harnack. What Shaped His Theology?
Because of this, he rejected apologetics, considering it a category mistake. Under the influence of Nietzsche, he also denied that Scripture contains any universal, timeless principles or propositions.
Though he experienced some kind of conversion aroundhe hardly ever mentioned it. Later he expressed distaste for Christians talking or writing about their conversions.
He even stated that the gospel was not primarily about individual salvation. While in prison, he preferred the Old Testament to the New Testament.
Besides all this, Bonhoeffer was a universalist. When President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, he invoked Dietrich Bonhoeffer to help justify his action. But how can Bonhoeffer appeal to so many contradictory constituencies? One Bonhoeffer scholar, Stephen Haynes, has devoted an entire book to dissecting the many conflicting interpretations of Bonhoeffer.
As a young man, Haynes identified with evangelicalism and considered Bonhoeffer a fellow evangelical. However, as Haynes became more liberal in his theological views, he discovered that Bonhoeffer was a fellow liberal.
Brimming with admiration for this theologian who sacrificed his life to oppose the evils of Nazism, I enthusiastically recommended his book to my friends.
I also esteemed him for rejecting racism and anti-Semitism, and for his works of compassion for the poor and oppressed. Bonhoeffer was my hero.
However, it baffled me. Was this the same Bonhoeffer I knew and loved?
Bonhoeffer apparently did not share my concerns. My next exposure to Bonhoeffer came in the late s, when I was working on my Ph.
In a church history course at a liberal seminary both the textbook and professor admired Bonhoeffer, considering him a fellow liberal.
It struck me forcefully that Bonhoeffer was praised by just about everyone across the theological spectrum, from fundamentalists to evangelicals to neo-orthodox to liberals to death-of-God theologians, not only for his courageous life, but also for his theology.
How could this be? Divergent Discipleship I decided to find out, so I began a systematic study of Bonhoeffer that led me to some rather unsettling discoveries. Bonhoeffer was not the theological conservative I had earlier assumed him to be. Why, if what I am saying is true, have many evangelicals embraced Bonhoeffer so uncritically?
Second, Bonhoeffer was a courageous individual who uniquely combined a powerful intellect with compassion for the disadvantaged. He was a sophisticated thinker completely conversant in—and heavily influenced by—Continental philosophy, including Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and others.
Fourth, many evangelicals applaud Bonhoeffer for rejecting liberal theology, not realizing that the neo-orthodox theology he embraced is still far from evangelical theology. Even if it rejects nineteenth-century- style liberal theology, neo-orthodox theology is on the liberal side of the theological spectrum, since it rejects biblical inerrancy and other doctrines central to genuine Christianity.
Sometime aroundBonhoeffer had a significant religious experience, which some describe as a conversion experience. Many evangelicals wrongly conclude that Bonhoeffer was urging all Christians to follow this example.
However, Bonhoeffer was directing his exhortations primarily to theologians, not to the laity. In Ethics he explicitly stated this: Scripture must be interpreted and preached.
In its essence it is not a book of edification for the congregation.
Struggles with Scripture After or so, Bonhoeffer seems to have lost his earlier zeal for the Bible. In JanuaryJuneand Marchhe admitted to his friend and confidant Eberhard Bethge that he went days and weeks without reading the Bible much, though sometimes he would read it voraciously.
Instead, Barth insisted that all Scripture is the Word of God. However, by this he did not mean that Scripture was historically accurate; in fact, he did not think Scripture had anything to do with empirical reality. Barth divided knowledge into two separate realms—religious and empirical, and the Bible is religious truth, not empirical truth.
Barth never embraced biblical inerrancy and readily admitted that higher biblical criticism had academic legitimacy.In Genesis, Cain murders his own brother, Abel, out of jealousy.
God sees this and is angry that Cain didn’t follow his rules, consequently banishing him and desecrating his . Bonhoeffer, Dietrich Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German Federal Archive (Bundesarchiv), Bild In Bonhoeffer was appointed to organize and head a new seminary for the Confessing Church at Finkenwalde (Pomerania), which continued in disguised form until , despite its proscription by the political authorities in The contribution of Dietrich Bonhoeffers Interpret The contribution of Dietrich Bonhoeffers Interpretation of the Old Testament The Contribution of Dietrich Bonhoeffers Interpretation of the Old Testament In reviewing the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the study of the Old Testament seems to be almost non-existent.
It is not until his time in. The contribution of Dietrich Bonhoeffers Interpretation of t “The Contribution of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Interpretation of the Old Testament” In reviewing the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the study of the Old Testame Indias Religion Religion plays a vital role in the Indian way of life.
Bonhoeffer, however, loved the Old Testament (especially the Psalms) and its focus on the law (Torah). He drew upon its demand for righteous living within the realm of God.
In addition, already in the early s Bonhoeffer was attracted to the Gospels—especially to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The Contribution of Dietrich Bonhoeffers Interpretation of the Old Testament In reviewing the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the study of the Old Testament seems to be almost non-existent.
It is not until his time in Tegel Prison, nearly one year prior to his execution, that he fully commits.