Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In these times, the Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life, as well as other faith leaders, is standing for life
This caution notwithstanding, I am one Bonhoeffer scholar who thinks the German theologian has much to say to us during this
Yet does this association of American evangelicals with xenophobia ring true? Earlier this fall, the New York Times reported
"When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers". This proverb from Kenya is as true and relevant today as when the words were first spoken, perhaps thousands of years ago. When the most powerful among us conflict, the most vulnerable ultimately endure the most.
One of the most lamentable stories in all the history of Christianity must be the failure of the church in Germany to stand not only against Hitler and the Nazi movement, but to stand against the things that allowed fascism to flourish in Germany.
The phrase "a deafening silence," gets used a good bit these days, usually to describe a situation when something ought to be said but isn't. But on the evening of February 1, 1933, a "deafening silence" really did echo across Germany.
In 1934, Adolf Hitler expressed his contempt for German Protestants, in general, to a group of Nazi insiders. Hitler said
The press is concerned with polls and primaries, numbers of delegates, and the reporter's hopes for exciting contested conventions. But many faith leaders are concerned with the moral quality of our national discourse -- how much fear, division, and even hate are dominating over trust, compassion, and even love.
Many commentators have observed, with amazement, Hitler's rise to power. They have wondered how a man regarded by so many as a clown and a buffoon was elected.
The start of this New Year finds America at an inflection point as wars and terrorism abroad are echoed in violence, suspicion, and fear at home. How will we meet the moment?
Back in March, conservative Christian activists began to worry aloud that the U.S. Supreme Court might vote to legalize gay marriage. On a conference call with like-minded leaders, Rick Scarborough announced that such a decision would constitute a "Bonhoeffer moment in America."
Ministry often seems like a very placid vocation. We engage with congregants as they heal from their surgeries. We attend birthday parties and anniversary celebrations, officiate weddings, and baptize babies and adults.
Whatever our differences, Christian Americans should lend our ears, if not to Obama's call to our natures' better angels, at least to God's call for universal self-sacrifice and self-reflection on the whole range of pressing moral issues facing America.
To compare their anti-rights campaign to Bonhoeffer's pro-rights campaign is laughable. It merely indicates they are as prone to twisting history, as they do the Bible, to justify their own deep-rooted prejudices.
In this broken world with imperfect people, we do often lose our greatest loves. Wives walk away from husbands. Children turn their backs on parents. Faithful members exit the doors of church.
For all the accolades poured out upon Jesus, little is said about the harsh realities of the police state in which he lived and its similarities to modern-day America, and yet they are striking.
Eric Metaxas has had a varied career as a biographer, children's author, humorist, talk show host and the creator of Socrates in the City a salon type program which has featured dozens of thinkers in conversation with Metaxas.
This inescapably leads me to the towering figure of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the great moral figures of our time.
It's time for Christians to follow Dietrich Bonhoeffer's example when it comes to ISIS. We Christians should pray for peace, we should support nonviolent relief work with money and sweat, and we should open our homes and communities to refugees.
Where education and "dialogue" with lukewarm Christian "allies" continues to be a one-sided effort to which only LGBTQ Christians and a handful of outspoken allies contribute, perhaps it's time to recognize what Jesus taught in the parable of the sower.