Wednesday, September 26, 2007

breaking through to certainty

i have so many thoughts and ideas to write on, but so little time to do so - so today i will leave you with the conclusion of bonhoeffer's life together. i am so amazed that this whole book seems to have made so little difference in the modern church. i think it should be mandatory reading for anyone who uses the word community. i really could highlight 100 different things, but this one has so much to do with recovery and the 12 steps that i thought it needs to be here:
In confession a man breaks through to certainty. Why is it that it is often easier for us to confess our sins to God than to a brother? God is holy and sinless, He is a just judge of evil and the enemy of all disobedience. But a brother is sinful as we are. He knows from his own experience the dark night of secret sin. Why should we not find it easier to go to a brother than to the holy God? But if we do, we must ask ourselves whether we have no often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God, whether we have not rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution. And it is the reason perhaps for our countless relapses and the feebleness of our Christian obedience to be found precisely in the face that we are living on self-forgiveness and not a real forgiveness? Self-forgiveness can never lead to a breach with sin; this can be accomplished only by the judging and pardoning Word of God itself.
it's the part on relapses that just jumped off the page at me... lots to ponder. i can't recommend this book more highly to those in recovery or longing for community. it's only about 230 pages, but it's kicked my butt through the whole thing.

have a great day!


Steve F. said...

Oh, good - another chance for butt-kicking. My "wide load" is sore from the Henri Nouwen "ring cycle," thank you very much.

It's probably no coincidence that Life Together has been on my shelf for upwards of five years, now. Bought for fifty cents at a seminary book sale. Yeah, no coincidence at all...

It would be different if you were the first person to suggest this. But, as a wise man once said, "If one man calls you an ass, pay him no mind. But if three people call you an ass, get yourself a saddle."

Wayne Stratz said...

I often say that I quit 18 years ago, truth is the last relapse was 13 years ago.