The latest video from Jefferson Bethke:
Bonhoeffer’s “Life Together” is one of the finest expositions of these themes I have read. Much of what Jefferson said is brought out so well in that book. BTW, Bonhoeffer’s closest friend and most intimate confessor was another Bethge, Eberhardt Bethge.
“Get in some kind of community or church or gathering.”
How disappointing that the church is thrown in here as just one possible corporate setting to deal with loneliness, fragmentation, isolation, etc. How can a follower of Christ NOT be involved in the Church which is Christ’s body made up of many members who are corporately joined to His person and are commanded not to forsake the assembling of themselves together for worship, fellowship and instruction?!
I would recommend Kevin DeYoung’s book “Why We Love the Church” as an antidote to this seeming indifference to the church. The ONLY community a believer can find his or her rightful place to remedy the problem exposed here is the Church as manifest in local assemblies. To me this is like saying we need a savior so choose Mohammad or Jesus or Buddha. I believe it was Cyprian of Carthage (3rd century Church father) who said: “He cannot have God for his Father who has not the Church for his mother.” This is not a Roman Catholic concern, this is a Biblical concern.
I wholeheartedly agree with Scott (but was hesitant to say it). I mentioned Bonhoeffer’s book. He feels that it is impossible to live and act as a Christian without the Church, and he devotes a lot of time developing that theme.
I really felt that one of the first videos Bethke did, where he did a rap song making his points about how he loves Christ but not religion (I can’t recall the exact phrase he used). It’s a nice sound bite, but struck me as immature and uninformed.
The church (where we meet Christ, the Holy Spirit, faith, and love)is the only true community. It’s the communion of saints consisting of people with burdens and suffering, challenges and difficulties. I was reading Stephen Nichols last night (Westminster Theological Seminary). He mentioned Bonhoeffer’s emphasis on church structure, order, liturgy, and sacrament.
To the question posed by this video: Christ overcomes the human condition, and only in Christ can we be truly human.
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Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.