Dietrich Bonhoeffer – spirit of antichrist?

Should he be quoted by Christians?

This will not be a long article, there are many out there on his heresies.  People either will want to at least do their due diligence, or they will stop up their ears.  But please at least check to see if these things are true.

bonDietrich Bonhoeffer is heavily quoted by reformed/Calvinist churches and individuals.  He is also well loved by the emergent/contemplative churches involved in the social gospel.  A hero of dominionists and Kingdom Now Theology. They admire him for his good works. Citing his bravery and outspokenness regarding evil, his attempt to assassinate Hitler, etc..

Eric Metaxas wrote a ‘biography’ on him, suggesting he was a prophet (“Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy”).  Metaxas had the audacity to tell Christianity Today, “Bonhoeffer is more like a theologically conservative evangelical than anything else. He was as orthodox as Saint Paul or Isaiah.”7  Sleight of hand and deceit comes to my mind (Eph 4:13).  Let’s see if he is conservative or ‘orthodox’ like Paul or Isaiah.   I believe if you continue reading, you will see, he is not even close.

By the way,  a couple years ago, at Scottsdale Bible Church, I asked Eric Metaxas in person about Bonhoeffer denying the resurrection. He stumbled around and said it was an ‘internet rumor’ they had recently heard of. Strange that a biographer wouldn’t have heard before, or know that it was in his books.  I referred him to “Letters and Papers from Prison” and said he might want to do a little more research.  Seems he has not.

I am not going to address much more about that part, nor the man himself, this is only about his doctrine.   Was it Biblical doctrine?  No.  Do we want to favorably quote someone, implying he is a Christian, when in fact Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s teachings were heretical?

Bonhoeffer is admired for his brilliant theology and acclaimed by many today.  It’s in vogue to pass along his quotes, and has been for awhile.  Should we overlook that he didn’t believe in the literal, historical resurrection of Christ?

“It looks as though our faith in the resurrection were bound up with the news of the empty tomb.  Is our faith then ultimately only faith in the empty tomb?  This is and remains a final stumbling bloc, which the believer in Christ must learn to live with in one way or another.  Empty or not empty, it remains a stumbling block.  We cannot be sure of it’s historicity.” (Earlier, on the same page, he states“Even the resurrection is ambiguous”.)8

The resurrection is ambiguous?  And pastors quote this man from the pulpit…

Denial of the virgin birth” or the veracity of the Word of God itself?   Or even that Jesus was the ONLY WAY…?

Do you have a problem with that?  If so, I’ll share more in a moment.  Here are some quotes for you to consider from some of his writings.

IS THE CHURCH CHRIST? The body of Christ is the church, however, is Christ the church?  Is the Word also itself Church?  This is where his teaching is so convoluted.  

Please note what he says regarding us being the revelation and the Word of God… 

Bonhoeffer: “He speaks and thereby creates the form of the Church.  This Church is thus not only the receiver of the Word, but is itself Revelation and Word of God….(Please consider the implication of what he says.  We are the Word of God, Christ….He continues on the next page,) “But the Word is also itself Church, in so far as the Church itself is revelation and the Word wishes to have the form of a created body?”10

What????  Christ, as the Word, wishes to have the form of a ‘created body’?  I don’t think so….He already came as man, and was not created, He always was.

Do you believe the real blood and the actual body of Christ is sacrificed daily in the mass?  

Do you believe that in this eucharist, you receive forgiveness of sins?

Do you believe that the ‘real body‘ (as Bonhoeffer says), is really present in the Eucharist (as the Roman Catholic church also teaches)?10

The Bible tells us His Sacrifice was once for all (Heb 10:10,14).  The Bible tells us these words were spirit and life, Christ’s real body and real blood are not present, it is done in remembrance of Him.

Bonhoeffer says: “The eucharist is the repeated feeding of the confessing community of the baptized with the ‘true body and blood’ of Christ, the faithful are assured of their ‘physical’ communion with the Lord and each other, and ‘receive forgiveness of sins’ through Christ’s body….(In order to be able to take the eucharist Bonhoeffer gives the one condition). One “must be able to distinguish between the body of Christ and any other meal, i.e., he must come in order to receive ‘truly’ the body and blood of Christ.”  (If one does not understand this portion, I can elaborate in the comments for you.)9

Bonhoeffer denied Christ was God.

This is crucial!  If Christ is not God, He is not Saviour.  

To be saved, a person must believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was truly God Himself (as He claimed to be), who gave His life to make a death and blood payment for his sin, which He did. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ OUR LORD” (Romans 6:23)6.

Jesus Christ was both God and Saviour, not some sort of collective consciousness.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:11  

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am hebefore me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no Saviour.  Isaiah 43:10-11

And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.  I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.  John 8:23-24

Bonhoeffer did not believe Jesus was the Great I Am, nor that He was God come in the flesh.  

If he did not repent (change his mind), he died in his sins…

What is it that should be important to a believer?  Another’s work?  Or is doctrine also terribly important?  Are we to contend for the faith that was once delivered?  What things are essential as believers?  Anything the Word says to clearly be true is essential to me.  Not so with Bonhoeffer who evidently followed his reformed forefather’s method of spiritualizing Scripture, and stating and believing much of it to be myth.

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.  2 Tim 3:14-17

Lots of false religions and teachings espouse good works.  And a Christian should most definitely do good works (Titus 3:8).  That is not part of becoming saved however, it is only HIS work on the cross whereby we are given the Free Gift of Eternal Life.

However, we also have plenty of warnings regarding doctrine.  How important will you consider the things I am about to share?  Will you please prayerfully consider this, and I will also try to do some screen shots of some of the referenced books (I bought many).

Cheap Grace

bonhoeffer=cheap grace

Cheap Grace, is a derogatory and inflammatory term, that Bonhoeffer meant for those who believe in the simplicity of Christ.  We believe in order to be saved, we must believe on Christ’s work on the cross on our behalf.

They have no fear really, it is these men who cheapen His grace and insult the Spirit of grace.  His grace is free to us, and was only costly to Christ.  They are puffed up and co-redeemers.

The church is Christ literally according to Bonhoeffer.1  So in that, Christ also was a sinner who repented3.

He got much of his understanding of repentance from Martin Luther and Karl Barth both.  Collectively, they taught repentance was conversion, which was gradual.  (That would explain his quote on the picture regarding no absolution without personal confession).  They believed that repentance was equal to discipleship, and was proven by your works. Daily contrition and repentance was the continual outworking of one’s ‘baptism’…3

Bonhoeffer agreed with Barth, who said (besides repentance equalling discipleship), that repentance was also conversion and was continuous.  There is more, no he is not speaking of progressive or practical sanctification.

Bonhoeffer says that, as the ‘contemporary manifestation of Christ, the church-community accepts the guilt of the whole world.’

What happened to every man bearing his own guilt?

Bonhoeffer says, “Repentance is allowing oneself to be pulled into walking the path that Jesus walks”.   He also states that “the Latin form ‘poenitentiam agite’ and the German phrase ‘tut Busse’ may be translated either ‘repent’ or ‘do penance.

There is much that if one really tested the spirit of what Bonhoeffer taught and believed, they would find he had a skewed and twisted idea of what the Bible teaches.

TheChurchfortheWorld=A Theology of Public Witness-Jennifer McBride 3

Bonhoeffer is/was the spirit of antichrist, as he denied that Jesus is God come in the flesh.  (I am not suggesting he could not have come to real faith in the end, only God knows). What I am searching here, and speaking on, is the theology and doctrine espoused in his writings.  His own teaching, along with those of his mentors that he repeated within his volumes.

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.  But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.  Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father:[but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.  1 John 2:18-23

WHEN DID GOD EVER CONFESS HIMSELF A SINNER?

TheChurchfortheWorld=A Theology of Public Witness-Jennifer McBride1.3

Bonhoeffer’s heresy

The following is a summary of beliefs and influence of Dietrich Bonhoeffer as taken from some of the over 14 books and documents attributed to him:

1. Bonhoeffer believed that “God is teaching us that we must live as men who can get along very well without Him. The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us.” Bonhoeffer also believed that the concept of God as a “supreme Being, absolute in power and goodness,” was a “spurious conception of transcendence,” and that “God as a working hypothesis in morals, politics, and science … should be dropped, or as far as possible eliminated” (Letters and Papers from Prison, S.C.M. Press edition, Great Britain: Fontana Books, 1953, pp. 122, 164, 360).

2. He believed that mankind had become of age and no longer needed religion, which was only a deceptive garment of true faith; he suggested the need for a “religionless Christianity.” To Bonhoeffer, “the Christian is identified not by his beliefs, but by actions, by his participation in the suffering of God in the life of the world” (Letters and Papers from Prison, S.C.M. Press edition, Great Britain: Fontana Books, 1953, p. 163). Thus, Bonhoeffer’s final writings have given impulse to Marxist theologians sponsoring “liberation theology” and to others wishing to promote a worldly social gospel.

3. He refused to discuss the origin of Christ, His relationship to the Father, His two natures, or even the relationship of the two natures. Bonhoeffer was adamant in his belief that it was impossible to know the objective truth about the real essence of Christ’s being-nature (Christ the Center, pp. 30, 88, 100-101).

4. He questioned the Virgin Birth, and in reality denied it (The Cost of Discipleship, p. 215).

5. He denied the deity of Christ; he advocated that “Jesus Christ Today” is not a real person and being, but a “corporate presence” (Testimony to Freedom, pp. 75-76; Christ the Center, p. 58).

6. He denied the sinlessness of Christ’s human nature and further questioned the sinlessness of His earthly behavior (Christ the Center, pp. 108-109).

7. He believed that Christ exists in three “revelatory forms” — as Word, as sacrament, and as church. From asserting that Christ is the church, he followed that all persons in the church are identical with Christ (Christ the Center, p. 58; The Cost of Discipleship, p. 217). This amounts to pantheism!

8. He believed that Christianity is not exclusive, i.e., that Christ is not the only way to God (Testimony to Freedom, pp. 55-56).

9. He was a prominent figure in the early ecumenical movement, as evidenced through his associations with the “World Alliance for International Friendship” (a forerunner of the apostate World Council of Churches [WCC]), Union Theological Seminary, and Visser ‘t Hooft (who later became the first General Secretary of the WCC) (Testimony to Freedom, pp. 22, 212, 568). Bonhoeffer also reached out to Roman Catholics, prefiguring the broader ecumenism that blossomed after Vatican II in the mid-1960s.

10. He was a practical evolutionist (No Rusty Swords, p. 143), and believed that the book of Genesis was scientifically naive and full of myths (Creation and Fall: A Theological Interpretation of Genesis 1-3).

11. He adhered to neo-orthodox theology and terminology concerning salvation (Testimony to Freedom, p. 130), was a sacramentalist (Life Together, p. 122; The Way to Freedom, pp. 115, 153), believed in regenerational infant baptism (Letters and Papers from Prison, Macmillan, pp. 142-143) as well as adult baptismal regeneration (The Way to Freedom, p. 151), equated church membership with salvation (The Way to Freedom, p. 93), and denied a personal/individualistic salvation (Letters and Papers from Prison, Macmillan, p. 156).

12. He placed little or no value on the Old Testament –“… the faith of the Old Testament is not a religion of salvation” (Letters and Papers from Prison, S.C.M. Press edition, Great Britain: Fontana Books, 1953, p. 112).

13. He denied the verbal-plenary inspiration of Scripture, believing that the Bible was only a “witness” to the Word of God and becomes the Word of God only when it “speaks” to an individual; otherwise, it was simply the word of man/men (Testimony to Freedom, pp. 9, 104; Sanctorum Communio, p. 161). To Bonhoeffer, the Bible was meant “to be expounded as a witness, not as a book of wisdom, a teaching book, a book of eternal truth” (No Rusty Swords, p. 118). He also believed in the value of higher criticism/historical criticism, which is a denial of the inerrancy and authenticity of the Bible (Christ the Center, pp. 73-74).

 14. He had no faith in the physical resurrection of Christ. Bonhoeffer believed the “historicity” of the Resurrection was in “the realm of ambiguity,” and that it was one of the “mythological” elements of Christianity that “must be interpreted in such a way as not to make religion a pre-condition of faith.” He also believed that “Belief in the Resurrection is not the solution of the problem of death,” and that such things as miracles and the ascension of Christ were “mythological conceptions” as well (Christ the Center, p. 112; Letters and Papers from Prison, S.C.M. Press edition, Great Britain: Fontana Books, 1953, pp. 93-94, 110).

 – Dr. G. Archer Weniger declared, “If there is wholesome food in a garbage can, then one can find some good things in Bonhoeffer, but if it be dangerous to expect to find nourishment in a garbage can, then Bonhoeffer must be totally rejected and repudiated as blasphemy. It is worse than garbage”5.

SO WHY DO I SPEAK?  I DO IT FOR THIS REASON:   But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. 2 Cor 11:12-15

What Must I do to be Saved?

FOOTNOTES: (not recommendations, just citing sources)

1 https://achristianthing.wordpress.com/tag/dietrich-bonhoeffer/

2 The material in this report was adapted in part from a paper by Don Jasmin (Fundamentalist Digest, P.O. Box 2322, Elkton, MD 21922-2322). See also the 9/13/93 and 9/18/95 issues of Christian News (p. 21 and pp. 11-13, respectively), and the Oct-Dec 1991 Bibliotheca Sacra, pp. 399-408.]

3. The Church for the World: A Theology of Public Witness, By Jennifer McBride

4 Letters and Papers from Prison, S.C.M. Press edition, Great Britain: Fontana Books, 1953

5 (FBF Information Bulletin, May 1977, p. 12).

6 Personal Evangelism Handbook by Ray Stanford, Pg 99

7 http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/februaryweb-only/redeemingbonhoeffer.html?paging=off

8 Page 112, “Christ the Center”, Harpers Ministers Paperback library.

9 Page 153, “They Way to Freedom, the Fontana Library Theology & Philosophy

10 Page 58-59, “Christ the Center”, Harpers Ministers Paperback library.

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70 Responses to “Dietrich Bonhoeffer – spirit of antichrist?

  • Metaxas probably didn’t know that part was in his book because, as I’m convinced, so many of these authors don’t write their own books. They have ghost writers and put their own names on the books. That’s how so many of them come out with a book almost every other month. No one can write that many books that quickly. I suspect it’s no different for Metaxas.

    • Could very well be Angela. This is why people must really consider what they are reading, and do their proving of all things, and testing of the spirits. We live in dangerous times…What this man taught made him an antichrist.

      Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 1 John 4:1-3

      Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 1 Thess 5:21

    • Actually, it would have been hard for Metaxas to be unfamiliar with Bonhoeffer’s positions. But what else was he to say? He was in the position of so many who are called out: they have to resort to one of two things.

      Either they rely on semantics to obscure what the issue is; or, they rely on pretending not to know what the issue is. Either way, they cannot admit the issue because once they do, they are forced to discuss it. And once force to discuss the issue, they are forced to either 1- admit they know and agree; or, 2- that they disagree and wrote a book without saying they disagreed.

      They are in a very precarious position. This is why so many feign ignorance or engage in semantics in an attempt to obscure what is really at stake.

      Very nice article.

      • It is hard to be wrong in those situations, the book would be a flop, the man’s image would be tarnished. But it did not take much research for me to find what I did, and I bought most of the books (that took a little longer), to see what was really the case before I myself made any allegations that were unfounded. There is only one truth we should stick by, and the rest we have to learn to admit when we are wrong, and contend for the faith once delivered. However, Mr. Metaxas does not say he came to faith by believing in the gospel, but by a Jungian type dream where I believe the fish was Jesus. That too can be found online (used to be a video on his site, not sure if it is still available). Thanks for your post Jeremiah, In Christ!

    • Interesting article Holly. I didn’t really know much about Bonhoeffer, but had seen his name mentioned at expreacherman a few times. Noticed someone at Our Daily Bread quoted him recently. 🙁

      • Thanks Jon, I didn’t either until a few years ago.

        A lot of people quote him… like the enemy, there can be truth and the Word mixed in, but we have to always be looking for the subtle deception of the enemy.

    • Excellent job Holly. You’ve done a tremendous job on briefly exposing this man and his teaching for what it is…..that of the anti-Christ.

      I have been following both this website and expreacherman for some time now and am thrilled that I have FINALLY found others who understand the truth of the Gospel – the Good News as it were…..that salvation is FREE to all who would trust / believe on the Lord Jesus Christ ALONE for it, and that it is for everyone…not some elect group that god (lower case because that’s not our god) supposedly chose in eternity past, or requires you to “surrender all to be saved”….which is absolutely impossible (sinless perfection).

      To me, it seems what is really missing in this day and age is a complete lack of Biblical discernment when it comes to understanding the fundamentals of the Bible, and the testing of different pastors and their “interpretations” of our Lord’s Word. The inability to rightly divide truth from error as it were. People unfortunately I have found are not students of the Word in any sense, and as such they inevitably leave themselves open to being led astray by the so many wolves in sheep’s clothing who occupy the pulpits of contemporary Christendom today. Some no doubt have genuinely been led astray by the false teachings today, but there also no doubt that the enemy has sown certain false prophets into the picture to prevent people from being effectively saved by the Blood of Christ.

      I unfortunately have also had an experience recently in that my wife and I were forced to walk away from our church some months ago as the “L.S” perversity started to leach it’s way in, along with the Galatian church phenomena. Regretfully, it became even worse though when I did confront the pastor and purveyor’s of these heresies, as I was met with overt confrontation and labeled essentially as a trouble maker by these radicals who drank the lordship and calvinism juice. I have no doubt that those in our former church quoted 1 John 2:19 about my wife and I after we left, as we were repeatedly contacted by members of the congregation who attempted to “bring us back into the fold”, and inevitably thought that we were the ones who had gotten off track…..how ironic.

      The shift in the definition of repentance from what it is properly exegeted as, that is, “a change of mind” ——> to “turn from sin” has absolutely catastrophic implications for Christianity today. Our only hope is to pray for those who are being subjected to this bondage and their freedom from it, and to keep standing for the truth unapologetically that our gracious Lord has confirmed both in His Word to us, and in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Amen.

      Please keep doing what you’re doing as I have referred many people to your website, as well as it also serves as a medium of sorts in which fellow believers can meet together and fellowship with one another in the truth and love.

      In Christ Alone.

      Adam

      • Adam, so good to meet you. I have been in the position (as you and your wife) of being labeled a troublemaker. I have been told by one pastor to ‘shut up’ that women were not to speak. I have been condescended to and patronized. I have had them get angry and slam their door shut so no one else could hear. I have recognized the “purpose driven church” in much of their methodology oddly. It hasn’t been easy, when I was going to some of these pastors, my dear husband was ill, and it was the last thing I wanted to bother to do. And it didn’t seem like I was the right person to be speaking so I kept praying (still do), “are you sure Lord”? Once my husband passed away, it didn’t seem much better, some insisted that I go get my husband before they’d speak to me. Not too long ago, a Bible study teacher told me in a telephone call that if I kept speaking some had threatened to leave the class. I guess it’s good that I am used to being alone now, it sure has me leaning on Him.

        You are so right, the understanding of most regarding repentance has likely been one of the most destructive corruptions of the simplicity that is in Christ. I am so terribly thankful for the gift I received, unmerited… Through the truth is how we come to know Him, through the truth even as believers is how we are set free from these deceptions. It’s the only reason I keep going, for love of Christ (because He first loved me), I love the body of Christ and want to see them get fed good food, and I want to wash the feet of the Saints by His Word, and I want to see the lost come to know Him, but the pure and clear Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation.

        Thank you for your encouragement, God is so good to always bring just enough in the right time. May the Lord bless and keep you and your wife, and thank you for standing for the truth, both of you! I am also on FB as Holly Sprenger Garcia and we fellowship in some groups there.

        In Christ’s love to you both, Holly (My oldest son’s name is Adam).

    • Dear Holly,

      The pleasure is all mine. I am so very sorry to hear of your husband passing. How long ago did that occur? I have no doubt that that must have been one of the most trying times in your life, and certainly must have left you feeling all alone more than once. Fortunately though, (as you know and I’m sure you will attest) our great Lord’s Grace is always sufficient for us, and His strength is made perfect in weakness…(2 Corinthians 12:9). And even when we are all alone physically, His Spirit abides in us, and we are promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and NO ONE can pluck us out of His Hand. Amen.

      What a great God we serve! Once that is so abounding in love, grace, and mercy!

      It is truly a shame though that there are so many hurting people in the world today, and those who desire to know the truth, and here we are trying to battle against the gross spiritual erosion that is occurring from the inside out. I have to say though Holly, that many of your experiences sound eerily similar, and at times I’m sure you would agree that you feel like you’re in the twilight zone as you battle for the true Gospel message of simplicity in Christ.

      My question as always though is why people would NOT want to believe in a God that desires for the WHOLE world to be saved (but He won’t force them to believe), has DONE everything necessary to secure all of eternity with Him, desires to be part of every waking little detail of their lives, and requires NOTHING of them other than simply believing on His only begotten Son for salvation??? That is, The Son who stepped down out of His heavenly Glory and willingly allowed mankind to spit on Him, pull His beard out, scourge Him, and then nail Him to a tree to remove our sin. But no, those who would pervert the truth look at that blood stained cross and say: “no, that’s not enough for me, there must be more to it”. Only in a world where the evil one is the prince could that be a reality….so crazy.

      Please be sure that we will be praying for you Holly and for you ministry here. Your expositions, articles and unapologetic proclamation of the actual truth will be a blessing to so many.

      Because He lives.

      Adam

      • Adam, He passed away four years ago, in so many ways it is as he just left, he was such a big part of my life. We were not just husband and wife, but best friends, and we also worked together so in almost 20 years we were together more than many people married 50 or more years. Through the unconditional way my husband loved me (as I used to say, even the good, the bad, and the ugly), I was able to really comprehend God’s love for me. I thank God for the time I had, we certainly were not the ideal picture of what a believer should be, but I praise Him for all, as it drew us back to Him and I will be ever thankful to Him for that. When my flesh and my heart literally felt like it was failing, God was my strength and my portion forever as Psalm 73 says.

        I am stymied with you on why they would not want to believe in the God that I believe is represented in the Bible very clearly, and the One I know. I love the Lord and it bothers me so much that they malign His good character through misuse of context, and complete disregard for Scriptures that are contrary to their system. I guess tradition trumps truth and men’s wisdom reigns in these cases. It’s hard for people to unlearn what they’ve been told, and almost difficult for them just to study the Bible and trust the Holy Spirit will guide them into all truth (assuming they are His and are willing to study for His approval).

        I cannot fathom the kind of love Christ has shown for all mankind, loving those who hated Him, weeping over Jerusalem. Do they think that He was only weeping for the elect? I have heard so much reasoning to that effect, the Lord says all, and they say He means them. The Lord says the world, and they say the elect from every nation. I just pray some will be recovered, it is very serious to me.

        Thank you for your prayers. I have no formal writing background, some Christian schooling (and they’d all vouch that I was on the outskirts then) and so many distractions with kids, work, and life; but what I do, I do for Him, and I am thankful if it helps some, anyone, come to know His deep love for all of man, not just some.

        As Jack says, In Jesus Christ eternally…and to answer your closing, Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…

        Thank you for another encouraging comment.

    • Holly always enjoy reading your blog and your comments. I repect your desire and courage to stand for the truth.I think most of us had to make a choice who we were going to believe, our church or the Bible ( Hank Lindstrom said he had to make that choice also)..Anyway I dont feel alone though as I know there are many that are seeking the truth and sites like yours have been very helpful to people like me.Thanks

      • Sam, I am so grateful that as a believer, who was bound up in misinformation, and twisted half-truths, to be set free by the truth, I cannot stand now to see God’s truth compromised, lied about, or mishandled deceitfully. I just want others to have the chance to also be set free, or the lost to come to know Him. A compromised gospel will kill as you know.

        Thank you for the encouragement too 🙂 I know there are many of us out there who might feel alone across the world, but we are never alone, and He always seems to send someone to encourage us. I am always thankful for the body of Christ.

    • Mark S.
      3 years ago

      Holly,

      Bonhoeffer was a victim of the German school of higher criticism that had it’s heyday during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries– everything that he questioned or denied came from the leaders of that apostate movement. Today, The Jesus Seminar (Borg, Crossan, Spong, and two hundred and fifty other devils) has taken up the mantle of their heretical and apostate forefathers, and they question or deny the same things that the Germans did. All the leaders in the Emergent Movement (McLaren, Pagitt, Jones, Bell, et al) are espousing the same lies and damnable heresies, and this goes to show that if bad theology and doctrines are not confronted and dealt with head-on, they will morph into a greater evil than before.

      Let God be true, but every man a liar, Romans 3:4.

      Very good article sister.

      • Thanks for stopping by to comment Mark. Compromise in the church has hurt us greatly. Men say, “non-essential”, and the list of those ‘non-essentials’ grow daily. It’s those subtle compromises that is exactly what the devil likes to accomplish. Slightly and craftily changing what God has really said.

        Heartbreaking.

    • Holly, it’s so very sad and pathetic that when you questioned Metaxes about Bonhoeffer’s denial of the resurrection of Jesus Christ that he was not forth coming and honestly responded to the facts you presented. It seems he would rather hide behind feigned ignorance than have to admit the truth and risk admitting that his foundation stood on a house of cards.

      Why don’t they go back to the Word and believe what it says? Because they want the prestige they hold. Again, it’s sad and pathetic that pride gets in the way of truth. It reminds me of Isaiah 14.

      • Marcie, thanks for commenting 🙂 Considering I saw the one person we both know, warning him about me on his page, (and about what I was saying), I am fairly certain he was prepared already. But even so, as a ‘biographer’, these things are not hidden, but to pick favored heroes from back in time and re-write history, most especially when it deals with whether one is a Christian or not. There are some necessities to the gospel, and resurrection is most certain a necessity as 1 Cor 15 states quite emphatically.

    • I agree with everything Dr. Hank is saying we cannot save ourselves only Christ can, but we are encouraged to be God’s Workmanship unto good works in Christ Jesus. We are also commanded to walk and live in the Spirit allowing the Holy Spirit to convict, lead, guide, fill, and direct us. We are also commanded not to use God’s Grace as a license to sin. I don’t believe in sinless perfectionism, but nor do I advocate that believers continue on living like the devil and the world with no real desire to turn away from their sins. God’s Word still commands us to live holy and Godly lives unto the Lord. We have to be very careful not to ignore the entirety of God’s Word. We are even warned about false converts. Goats among sheep or tares among the wheat. Sadly, it either one extreme or the other. Many exploits God’s Grace as a license to sin and others undermine it by condemning believers who embrace it knowing that they cannot save themselves as they continue to grow in His Knowledge, grace, and obedience. We have to allow the Lord, Jesus, to be everything He affirmed He is which consist of Redeeemer, Savior, Mediator, Heavenly High Priest, Lord, and the Author and Finisher of our faith unto those who have truly entrusted their lives to Him.

      • Thanks for commenting Donald. We agree, and the way that can be done is not so much with our own words, but by pointing them to Christ and into His Word. The desire to turn comes as we begin to apply our heart to His knowledge. No one here would ever suggest ignoring the entirety of God’s Word, we advocate not shunning to declare His whole counsel (Acts 20:26-32).

        We are also all to defend the gospel, and that would include not adding any performance to it. Whether one exploits God’s grace is to their shame, and also to their detriment, and a loss of rewards, a loss of fellowship with the Lord and other believers.

        There’s two remedies, we have to point people that are saved to Christ and His Word. Unbelievers, we have to point to an untainted gospel and be sure we also don’t frustrate His grace. False converts is more of a colloquial term that Calvinists love to use to fruit inspect and accuse the brethren of being unsaved. Didn’t the Bible tell us not to pull up the tares? So we should continue and work, since He did 🙂 And we show Him our love by feeding the sheep, and exposing the wolves like Bonhoeffer, so the young ones will not be made to stumble, or even seasoned believers (like Peter, Barnabas, and the church at Galatia) won’t be bewitched into finishing in the flesh, and the truth of the gospel will remain with us. Only by abiding in the Vine are we able to do a thing, and only by abiding in His Word, can we become disciples…

        In Him, Holly

    • I just ran across your little Internet rant about the great twentieth-century Christian theologian and martryr Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It’s not shocking that he wasn’t a superstitious ignoramus – he wasn’t, after all, an American fundamentalist of your ilk. As a Christian, however, I find it highly disturbing and insulting that this kind of bull—-(edited by admins) is posted on the Internet by people who have never faced death for adhering to Christian moral teachings.

      • Peter, thank you for commenting. I am nobody special, you are correct. Just a child of His, who believes in His Words, that He literally (not spiritually) rose from the dead. I believe as the Word says, that He was born of a virgin. I also believe His Word is truth, and not myth as Bonhoeffer asserted. I believe that Jesus is God, as shown heavily in the book of John and in the prophecies of the Messiah. I believe when Jesus said, God’s Word is truth, that it is. So the man may have a been a ‘great theologian’ but not of the Bible. Adhering to Christian moral teachings will save no one, but believing on the Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord, and His work on the cross in our place, that is how one will be saved.

        Have you placed your faith in Jesus and what He did for you. Does it not bother you that Bonhoeffer preached another Jesus?

        If that is fundamentalism, then I am good with being of that ‘ilk’.

        In Jesus Christ’s love eternally, Holly

    • John McBride
      3 years ago

      What is your understanding of why Jesus insisted that John baptize him? John’s baptism was for the forgiveness of sin. The sinless Christ didn’t need that, as John protested. But Jesus said it was necessary and ordered John to do it. WHY was it necessary? Since you have access to (edited by admins) you might consider (edited by admin) discussion of that on pp. 65-66.

      • Hi John, thank you for commenting, I hope I am not redundant here, it’s been a long week.

        Here is my understanding and thoughts regarding your question, although I do believe Scripture answers it simply, to fulfill all righteousness and to be identified and shown as the anointed Son of God by the Father.

        John the Baptist was the voice on one crying in the wilderness. His baptism was a baptism (true), unto repentance, and it was for Israel so that they would change their thinking and recognize and believe upon Jesus as their Messiah. No, Jesus did not need to change His mind, nor be forgiven, but this was shown in the Baptism, that He was not an ordinary man, and pure already.

        As far as why John baptized Jesus. Water baptism was a sign of several things to Israel. It was purification — sanctification, being set apart, and many other reasons, this was for the remission of sins. Christ would soon be identified as the One who would be remitting sins, the reason He was set apart and identified in this baptism.

        What was accomplished, what was the reasoning for baptizing a sinless Christ? John would be identifying that Jesus was the Sent One (Shiloh). So would the Father and the Holy Spirit set His seal upon Him as the Anointed One (the Christ).

        His baptism was also the symbol of our new birth, our burial with Him in baptism into death (Rom 6) and also of the type baptism that would accomplish that. The baptism of Jesus is with the Holy Spirit and it is HOW we are baptized INTO Christ Jesus (His body), 1 Cor 12:13; Rom 8:9, Eph 4:4-6.

        The purpose was also to identify WHO Christ was to Israel, and to anoint the beginning of His Ministry here on earth. The identification now would be that THIS is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit, so this is signifying a different identification, soon they would be water baptized not for salvation (as it never was for salvation) but for identification with Christ, vs. identification with John the Baptist or previously baptisms, with a baptism ‘unto Moses’ (1 Cor 10). None of those baptisms saved. But to ‘fulfill all righteousness’. He was identifying with man, verifying the ministry of John the Baptist as per the Scriptures (fulfilling what was written) and He would soon be identified from Heaven as the Son of God by His own Father, and the Holy Spirit.

        John 1

        30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

        31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

        Matt 3

        11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

        12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

        13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

        14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

        15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

        16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

        17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

        • John McBride
          3 years ago

          Okay, and no doubt all of that as well. But John’s protest makes it clear that John understood his baptism to relate to forgiveness of sins, and that the sinless Christ didn’t need that. But Jesus said no, it is NECESSARY to fulfill all righteousness.

          Jesus certainly bore our sins on the cross. At what point did he acquire that burden? Is it possible that he took on sin at the beginning of his public ministry? And then carried it for three years?

          It is difficult — probably humanly impossible — to reconcile in our own understanding Jesus’ dual nature as wholly man and wholly God. Presumably as man he had the same Fallen nature as you and I do. Faced every temptation, which means he must have FELT every human desire and every human emotion. But at every point he chose to do his Father’s will. So Fallen but not sinful.

          But nevertheless numbered with the transgressors. (Which maybe explains that weird and darkly humorous scene at the Last Supper when he tells his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy swords, and of course the disciples already have two! Apparently the apostles were supposed to look like the outlaw band the Jews thought they were to arrest.)

          Bonhoeffer is not denying the orthodox doctrine that Jesus was without sin. He is emphasizing that Jesus accepts responsibility for sin, and in that sense confesses sin.

          • It was not necessary to fulfill Christs righteousness, but to prove that He was righteous. Nor was it necessary to make people righteous, no one was ever made righteous by the law.

            At what point did He acquire the burdens of the sin? When the Scripture said He did.

            Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
            But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
            All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:4-6

            We were made near by the blood of Christ when He was killed on the cross, washed from our sins in His blood, forgiven all of our trespasses. (Eph 2:13;Rev 1:5; Col 2:13). Because He lives, we too (those who believe on Christ and Him crucified in our place.

            Listen John, I share this with you in kindness in love. Quit defending Bonhoeffer who denies the Deity of Christ, His literal resurrection, which goes into Antichrist. Defend Christ’s gospel which includes His resurrection (1 Cor 15:3-4). If Christ was not literally risen from the dead, you have no hope.

            Commend others to the Word of His grace (Acts 20:32). Feed and tend His sheep (with God’s Word) if you love Him (John 21).

            In Jesus Christ eternally.

    • John McBride
      3 years ago

      Excuse me, but your editing makes my post nearly meaningless. Why remove a reference to a book you have cited and included two page views of?

      • John, evidently since I’ve been gone, you have added more posts. We don’t allow citations or links until we check them out, I apologize if that bothers you, but let me ask you, do not the other thing’s Bonhoeffer deny bother you, (i.e., denying the Deity of Christ or the literal resurrection of Christ)?

    • John McBride
      3 years ago

      Okay, here’s another Bonhoeffer question. What do you understand the phrase “the Word of God” to refer to? The Bible? Yes, that’s half of a right answer, but the lesser half. THE Word of God is Christ Himself, per John’s gospel. HE alone is the Way and the Truth and the Life. We don’t worship the Bible, not even the Gospels. We worship the God Who reveals (part) of Himself through scripture. There is a real Person behind the words, a real TRUTH behind the partial truth revealed to the gospel writers by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is permanent and authoritative but does not save us. The church interprets scripture, or misinterprets. But the requirement on us (as members of the Body of Christ) is to BE Christ, as far as grace allows, and to see Christ in others as we deal with them.

      That is what Bonhoeffer meant in CHRIST THE CENTER.

      You badly (and I think uncharitably) misread Bonhoeffer. Beware of judging another’s servant. Beware of leaning too much on your own understanding of scripture.

      • Thank you for your warning John, I do lean on His understanding, on the Holy Spirit guiding me into all truth. The citations are there, the books, the publishers, and the page numbers, should you choose to prove all things (1 Thess 5:21) and hold fast to that which is good, vs. defending men because you may admire them, or their writings (1 Cor 4:6).

        We are NOT Christ, we are the BODY, the BRIDE of Christ. There is only ONE Christ, and that is Jesus. We are to strive to be LIKE Christ, and to identify with Him. To be a light to others.

        I trust the Lord, as I apply my heart to His knowledge (inclining my ear to hear), He will teach me excellent things of counsels and knowledge. I don’t need the wisdom of men, I have the anointing as He has told me in His Word, and do not need men to teach me. I do realize He has gifted some as teachers, but we are to be noble, and search His Word to see if what these people say are true.

        Bonhoeffer may have done good things, and admirable things, but speaking against the doctrine of Christ, I reject His findings in His book and unless you can prove otherwise (that what I cited does not say that He denies much of Scripture as myth, that He denies the virgin birth, the Deity of Christ, the resurrection), then I will listen to the Lord through His Word vs. liberal men’s wisdom of words and excellency of speech.

        In Jesus Christ (who is Christ alone)….

      • jimgrier
        1 year ago

        Well said John…Christ The Center is referenced repeatedly in this review of DB. CTC is a compilation of notes from his students in 1933. That makes it at best second hand observations of DB thought but also due to the time of the lectures early in DB’s theological development. This not admirable not solidly based to attribute as core DB theology but only perceptions of it at best.

        • Jim, I appreciate you stopping by. I spent quite some time over this, not just citing the pages, but tracking down the original books, and the exact publications, as the accusations tend to be that somehow we don’t really understand his theology, or are possibly seeing it out of context. His views may have ‘developed’ over time, but his aberrant theology was still sadly present in the end in his prison letters. May he have believed upon Jesus (who He is and what He has done for us) and that includes His resurrection, for without that, we have no hope (see 1 Cor 15). God bless you to stand for God’s Word before men’s. In Him, Holly

    • John McBride
      3 years ago

      Okay, once more unto the breach!

      I assume you and I agree about the authority of scripture, and also about the key role played by the Holy Spirit in interpreting it. But where, in human terms, does that authority now reside?

      We probably agree as well on some principles of Biblical interpretation, such as the importance of reading each part of the Bible in the light of other parts. (THis however can make the difficulties greater rather than less.)

      Does John McBride, or Holly Garcia, get to read the Bible by ourself, interpreting it as best we can? Not me, thank you! For one big thing, I don’t know OT Hebrew or NT Greek.

      So I rely on others to help. Commentaries, which often conflict. But finally on the church, understood as 2000 years of believers trying to understand. My church holds to sola scriptura, yes, but it still has a particular interpretation of scripture (in our case the Westminster Confessions). I understand that some Baptist churches think each individual believer works out what scripture means for himself, but to me the problems of that are overwhelming.

      We rely on AUTHORITY. Of scripture, yes, of course. But scripture as interpreted by who? with what authority?

      The only answer is the church. Of course we also don’t all agree on what THAT means. But I think it has to mean something more than “those Christian who agree with me.”

      I think you privilege your own understanding of scripture, and should consider humbly whether a theologian such as Bonhoeffer might be a source of insights, of truths about God, that you have overlooked.

      • John, I have done enough of my own research on Bonhoeffer over the years and it at least a dozen of his books, to be good enough to just say no 🙂

        Commentary is last for me, and of course as you say there are a multitude. I have shelves and shelves and shelves, full of them, not to my praise, likely to my shame, and love for books. I have thrown out many. I have kept some for reference material. And the rest, well, I have enough if I want to go there, I will. I do trust and believe in my prayer for wisdom. I do trust that if I will study with His approval in mind, I won’t need to be ashamed. I do trust Him to show me and also guide the direction as I learn, I take teaching from those who have approved themselves to me by their example, their doctrine, their teaching, their careful handling and trembling at His Word, and their humbling themselves under the mighty hand of God. I will do my best to be noble to test all counsel against His Word and trust Him to show me what is right and wrong in His time. My senses I believe are exercised to discern between good and evil as I continue in the strong meat of His Word. My understanding is only what I have received from Him, as I apply my heart to His knowledge and also apply my heart to His understanding as His Word exhorts me. I have no need (nor desire) to commend myself to others, to measure myself by another, it is not wise. So, I’ll leave the judgment of my understanding up to the Lord, wish you well, may His song be over you at night, hopefully a prayer to the God of your life.

        All the above was Scripture, I was certain you would recognize it, if not, it will be a fun exercise to search the Scriptures. God bless. <3

    • John McBride
      3 years ago

      If Bonhoeffer denied the deity of Christ — which he absolutely does not — or the literal resurrection — again, I deeply doubt that is the case — then he is not an orthodox Christian, and in that case I would discount his arguments. But I would need to see his words, in full context, which would include how he is defining key terms. Such as “myth” which has multiple definitions, some of which are not incompatible with Truth.

      • John, pardon me, but I have to laugh. Do you have the books that I cited? I do. Look it up. Do your homework. So please instead of wasting time trying to defend what is in black and white, again, spend enough time to look up the pages, assuming you have the books. If you do not, do what I did. Go to betterworldbooks or Amazon, and look for those exact books and buy them. (Assuming you refuse to accept carefully documented proof). Other than that, short of hearing it from him, many will continue to defend without doing one iota of their own work to search to see if these things are true. I hope you will, I have spent a lot of time to do so, and it’s up to you whether you search or not, or continue to defend a teacher/author over God’s Word.

    • John McBride
      3 years ago

      I must retire for the night. Thanks for the spirited and kind replies.

    • On the Trinitarian Nature of God..

      The church teaches that God the Father Almighty who created the heavens and the earth, the one Lord Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit the giver of life, are distinguished as three Persons within one divine Being and nature; that the Father was begotten by no one, the Son by the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (removed by admins), which is the greatest mystery in heaven and earth (removed by admins). This is the trinitarian God revealed to us man in Jesus Christ, so that the entire Holy Trinity points to Christ as to the Book of Life (removed by admins) The Scriptures testify that no one comes to the Father except through Christ (John 14:6); no one comes to the Son unless drawn by the Father (John 6:44); no one can say that Christ is Lord except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3); the Holy Spirit is sent out from the Father and the Son (John 15:16, 14:26). So the trinitarian God is recognized by faith as Father through the Son, as Son through the Father, as Father and Son through the Holy Spirit, as Holy Spirit through the Father and Son. No power of human reason is able to solve this mystery of God’s self-revelation as the Trinity.

      We reject any attempt to dismember the revelation of the trinitarian God, to claim to understand the creation or reconciliation or redemption as a concept on its own. Instead, we have in Christ alone the whole revelation of God as Three in One, Creator, Reconciler and Redeemer.

      • Thank you for coming and commenting Walter, we removed citations and left the Scriptures. Not ‘quite’ sure your point, unless you are agreeing that Bonhoeffer was a heretic who denied the literal resurrection and also the Deity of Jesus Christ.

        You said, //The Scriptures testify that no one comes to the Father except through Christ// (John 14:6);

          (True – who is the way, the truth, and the life)

        You said, //no one comes to the Son unless drawn by the Father (John 6:44)//

          (True, the way we are drawn is seen in many ways, but John 12:32 answers that He drew all when we was lifted up on the cross, of course you are likely sure on the admins position here, we believe all means everyone, not all ‘people groups’)

        You said, //No one can say that Christ is Lord except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3)//

          I am assuming you think because Bonhoeffer could say that he was born again? I know Mormons, Roman Catholics and Jehovah’s witnesses who say this, so this does not mean they are born again. We know many can say it who will not enter His Kingdom because they never knew Him. So this is not some of a test (as some think), one must believe this, and believe who Jesus is (God, the Messiah), as their Savior.

        You said, //No power of human reason is able to solve this mystery of God’s self-revelation as the Trinity//.

          I don’t believe even with the Spirit we understand the Trinity fully, right now, we know in part, we see through a glass darkly, although we believe the truth of God’s Word on the matter.

        Anyways, if you like, clarify the point you were trying to make regarding the article.

        Thank You, In Jesus Christ, who is my Lord and Savior. Holly

    • John Keller
      3 years ago

      Bonhoeffer is a “hero” solely because he is a (false) prophet of the New World Order’s secular religion, with “The Holocaust” as the new apex of history, replacing the Advent / Resurrection of Christ, and Hitler replacing Lucifer as the devil (they don’t believe in a real Satan, so they had to make one).

      I don’t question anyone’s salvation, as that is the sole prerogative of Yahweh Almighty, but Bonhoeffer surely had some “explaining” to do.

    • Wow. Bonhoeffer is greatly admired by the Lordship Salvationists, yet he is a much bigger heretic than I thought. I was appalled at what I read about Him. Lordship Salvation is definitely an antrichrist system, no doubt about it….

      • Ben, yes, Bonhoeffer, like a lot of the heroes of Christendom, was doctrinally aberrant.

      • Ben, it just goes to show what happens when someone puts the focus on men’s works rather than Christ’s work on the cross. Christ and Him crucified, not a man and him martyred.

    • There was an article out yesterday, written by Paul R. House, entitled “‘Yours is the Day, Yours Also the Night’: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Daily Worship.”

      Following is it’s conclusion:

      “Recapturing Bonhoeffer’s vision of daily worship could instruct, inform, inspire and unite seminary communities as they prepare ministers for the visible, unified body of Christ.”

      My comment: Daily worship by those who corrupt the gospel is nothing but spiritual wickedness in high places.

    • Eric Metaxas was featured in “Jim’s Daily Blog,” today (May 17, 2016) in the “Focus on the Family” website. Metaxas spoke of the “nobility” of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well the faith of Mother Theresa.

      Focus on the Family does not seem to have a good grip on the gospel. See link below:

      https://expreacherman.com/2015/05/13/stemming-fruit-inspection/#comment-64814

    • No, Focus on the Family is very ecumenical, along with having a lot of reformed teachings, they also have men who hold the truth in unrighteousness. I told Metaxas to his face in public at Scottsdale Bible church, that Bonhoeffer denied the literal physical resurrection of Jesus, he acted as if he had never heard it, and when I insisted, he said it was an ‘internet rumor’. There is no way he could not have known. Thanks for the info on the Focus on the Family post.

      • John McBride
        2 years ago

        You folks are being uncharitable to Christians who simply read the Bible differently than you — including Bonhoeffer. You seem far too confident in your OWN UNDERSTANDING of what God is saying to us.

        • John, that is kind of a vague and generalized comment.

          Is Jesus Christ God come in the flesh?
          Did He rise again from the dead?
          Was He born of a virgin birth?

          Hint: the answers are yes, yes and yes.

          If Christ is not risen, the Bible says your belief is in vain. Bonhoeffer didn’t believe in any of the above, therefore is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I don’t have any business loving a wolf. Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth (1 Cor 13:6).

          So I will obey the Word in this. I will warn day and night in tears as our brother Paul did (Acts 20:25-32) so I am not guilty of the blood of any men, I will tell the WHOLE COUNSEL of God and mark and avoid (Rom 16:17-18) these false teachers. Our brother John before us told us in 1 John 4:1-4 to test the spirits, and those who did not declare Jesus was God come in the flesh, they are antichrists. 2 John 1:7-11 says if we even so much as wish them godspeed, we are partaking in their evil deeds.

          Do you wish to ignore Bonhoeffer’s denial of these things? I don’t, so I will have to continue and hope that somehow their opportunity to deceive another is cut off (2 Cor 11:1-15).

    • Nice reply Holly. Preach! ( : I go out and try to tell the stump preaching Calvinists that I see every weekend that it’s absurd for them to tell everybody that Jesus loves them and that He died for them, because they don’t really believe that. They believe you must be “elected” to be saved. I go back the next weekend and there they are preaching a lie again. I don’t get it. How can they be so blind to common sense logic? Again, they are LYING when they tell people Jesus loves them and that He died for them, because they DO NOT believe that Jesus died for all people. Jesus didn’t tell us to lie to the majority for the sake of the “elect.” Again, common sense.

      • They deny the obvious. Calvinism is I believe, a device of the enemy to keep people from sharing the true good news. Calvinism’s gospel would not be good news for ‘all people’.

          And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Luke 2:10
        • John McBride
          2 years ago

          Well, I was raised Methodist, who are all about free will, but am now an elder in a Presbyterian Church (PCA) and so officially a Calvinist. You might say I have chosen to be a Calvinist. (That’s a joke, son.) But you could attend our services for years and never hear a word about election. In officer training we are told that while of course God has chosen his Elect, we have no way of telling who they are and so we should just treat everyone as though they chosen. And the doctrine of election is no part of the requirement to be a member, though it is to be an officer. And it certainly isn’t a requirement for salvation, though of course we believe it is a description of salvation. What you WILL hear a lot about in our church is God’s sovereignty, as well as regular and fervent pleas to come to the cross. Pray for the grace of the faith that will save you.

          I’m afraid that you folks are misunderstanding Calvin as you are also misunderstanding Bonhoeffer. Then you label your own misunderstandings as heresy. There are points of doctrine we have been arguing over for 2000 years, and if you exclude from the body of believers everyone who differs from you on some point, yours will be a very small church. But THE ELECT, I suppose?

          • John – Thank you for sharing, (I got your joke), but I hope that prayerfully you might consider your lack of using His Word, to the extent you are actually contending against it. It’s not really about “differing on ‘some point’”, but it is about ‘taking heed to the doctrine’ as the Word tells us to do, ‘saving both ourselves and the hearers’. All Scripture is useful for doctrine, not men’s writings, but the Word of God. Are you possibly thinking of men beyond what is written? (1 Cor 4:6)

            You didn’t answer a very direct question. I’ll shorten it for you to consider actually answering. I do not misunderstand Bonhoeffer’s written words.

            Here, once again are my questions:

            ► Is the resurrection crucial to the gospel?
            ► Is the fact that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh, crucial to sound doctrine?

            You speak of the “doctrine of election” and I assume you speak to the ‘U’ of Tulip, Unconditional election, which is not a Biblical doctrine. Otherwise it would concern me if you had not discussed a Biblical truth such as election for years in your church. I don’t suppose you’ve considered taking Unconditional Election and really considering the implication of “fervent pleas to come to the cross” being useless and without power?

            God’s ‘sovereignty’ as taught by the reformed tradition of man is not about His omnipotence, but a dualistic teaching of good god/evil god. What irony for you to say “Pray for the grace of the faith that will save me”.

            Why?

            If I believed in your religion, the election according to pre-selection would stand no matter what I did, no matter your ‘fervent pleas’, no matter the repetitive teaching of the reformed definition of Sovereignty.

            I don’t plan to commend myself to you, that is unwise Scriptures say. But I suppose you have somehow read every bit of Calvin’s institutes? It is a tedious task reading a puffed up man who was tortured in his thinking, (as well as a torturer). A man who idolized Augustine (a former Manichaeist who brought a lot of his gnostic thinking into the two branches of religion he spawned; Calvinism and Catholicism). Of course if Calvin were alive today, for saying this, I would be put to death for ‘speaking against his institutes’ (which was why so many others were burned at the stake, beheaded, tortured…). Calvin held his institutes equal to God’s Word (or above), no different than his Augustinian disciples, the Popes.

            I pray that you might understand and come to believe the truth that it is the gospel of Jesus Christ that is the power of God unto salvation. Being pre-regenerated isn’t mentioned in His Word as the power. Being regenerated by the Spirit happens after we have heard His Word and believed (Eph 1:13).

            I hope somehow you see you are only speaking of what your religion ‘requires’ to be saved, vs. what the Bible clearly tells us what we must do to be saved, (and that, over and over and over again). (Acts 16:31; John 3:14-18, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:47, etc.). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

            In Christ, and by His truth alone. Holly

            • John McBride
              2 years ago

              Holly, thanks for the long and thoughtful response. As to your two questions, the answer is yes, of course, the resurrection is crucial to the gospel as is
              the fact that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh. But the fact that you feel it necessary to raise those points shows me how totally we are failing to communicate. And I would not consider anyone — Bonhoeffer, Calvin, or anyone else — to be a Christian — or certainly not an orthodox one — who denied either the Incarnation or the resurrection. I just do not see that either one has done so.

              I see you don’t care for Augustine, nor for Catholicism? Nor, I suppose, for Lutherans? I have to ask, what church DOES meet your approval? You seem to be excluding the majority of Christians from fellowship (while, ironically, bemoaning the exclusiveness of the predestiners). Do you think YOUR interpretation of scripture is the only correct one?

              My own church (PCA) holds to Sola Scriptura and considers the scriptures inerrant in their original Hebrew and Greek; no translation is inerrant. All of our preaching and teaching is directly derived from the Bible and we would not reject any of the verses you cite. And I imagine we understand them pretty much the same way you do.

              However, I’m not a scholar of Hebrew or NT Greek, nor trained as a theologian, so must rely on others to help me understand scripture. No theologian is inerrant, though I think many of them, including Augustine and Aquinas and Luther and Calvin and Bonhoeffer, were to some extent and in some respects used by God (and so “inspired”) to elucidate Biblical truth. And of course they all no doubt made mistakes and misunderstood some things. As do you and I.

              You know, you didn’t quote Eph 1:13 exactly (I’m using ESV which is our preferred translation). It is not the news of Christ that saves: it is Christ Himself, working now primarily through the Holy Spirit and (often) secondarily through scripture. It is not mere belief that saves (the devils believe, as James reminds us); it is faith given by the grace of God. You must know as well as I that merely hearing or reading the Gospels does not inevitably result in salvation.

              I’ve never before heard the term “pre-regenerated” though I suppose it might be a shorthand way of saying what Paul writes in Eph 1:11.

              Again, I simply think that you are too confident that your own understanding of scripture is not only best but the only one permissible. It is likely enough that NONE of us have it all correct in every respect, which is why it is good to read (and test) what teachers and theologians say against scripture. But I think Christian love entails some openness to the possibility that men who are (as far as we can determine from the outside) as devout believers (and also as much sinners) as we ourselves may have some insights into God’s truth that we may have missed.

            • John, thank you for answering. Since your post is so long, I will try to break up in shorter sound bytes.

              I raised those two points John (resurrection and Deity) because Bonhoeffer denies the literal physical resurrection. He also did not believe in the Deity of Christ. I provided the books and cited the page numbers, did you actually read my article before you decided I didn’t have the proper judgment in respect to these two things? I have at least a dozen Bonhoeffer books, tagged and earmarked, have you yourself looked to see if what I said was true before you stated you “just do not see that either one has done so.” (I didn’t say Calvin denied the resurrection — although there is plenty wrong with him, this article is about Bonhoeffer).

              This will answer the two part questions above on why Bonhoeffer is a heretic.

            • John, (continued)

              You said (about me), you can “see you don’t care for Augustine, nor for Catholicism? Nor, I suppose, for Lutherans? I have to ask, what church DOES meet your approval?”

              The church is the body of Christ, not the aforementioned religions. Augustine did not preach the gospel as the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16-17, 1 Cor 1:17-18), he preached another gospel and another Jesus. Have you ever heard how he was ‘converted’? It was not by the gospel.

              Have you done your homework first? I personally can exclude no one, the Word of God is the judge alone (John 12:48) and will judge us all in the end. One can state they are ‘Sola Scriptura’ but on the other side of their mouth continually uphold their idols in the reformation movement above or equal to the Word. Or we see the same conversely on the Arminian side. Either side is load-ship, placing Loads on they people that they themselves cannot bear. The one who denies Jesus has come in the flesh (Deity) is an antichrist. The one that denies that Jesus rose again has not believed the gospel laid out in 1 Cor 15.

              I don’t “bemoan the exclusiveness of the predestiners”, :). But what I do is continue to mark and avoid that which is a doctrine contrary to the one I have learned His Word. (Rom 16:17-18( And I will continue to do so (Lord willing) in order to cut off their opportunity to be considered as God’s ministers (2 Cor 11:12-15).

              He has made it clear in His Word, He has died for all men (Titus 2:11, 1 Tim 4:10), he even died for the false prophets who would deny Him (2 Pet 2:1-3). Jesus was a ransom for all (1 Tim 2:1-6), His propititiation not only for us, but for the whole world (1 Jn 2:2), and it is not just the elect He died for but for every man (Heb 2:9). The judgment for sin was laid upon Him for ALL MEN (Isaiah 53:6). As I said in an earlier comment, the good news was for ALL PEOPLE (not all people groups).

              https://redeemingmoments.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/luke2-10-11all-people.jpg

              Do you see the lost as only the elect? So God lost the elect and will find them?

            • John, You asked, “Do you think YOUR interpretation of scripture is the only correct one?”

              I’ll let the Word answer:

                We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Pet 1:19-20

              I also consider the Scriptures inerrant in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and yet I have done my research on the ESV and choose not to use it as a good literal translation. Oddly one of the translators of the ESV, Leland Ryken, it was his books who were instrumental in my own choices of translation, not the ESV for sure, but that of course is your choice, hopefully you’ll base it on some prayer and your own research.

              I think I’ve given you a broad enough overview on Augustine and my conclusion he too is a heretic. Take it or leave it, we all have to figure out whether or not we are bringing an unfounded accusation against another. I have done much research on him over the years, hoping again, Lord willing, to do an article on him as well. I can only present the evidence I find, and hold it up to the light of God’s Word (1 Thess 5:21; Acts 17:11), I cannot make someone read it, nor am I responsible if they reject clear evidence. The final outcome belongs to the Lord, may I do my part.

              On Bonhoeffer, it’s laughable to think of him as inspired to ‘elucidate Biblical truth’. God is not a man that He should lie. He would not use one who denied His Son’s Deity (antichrist) and didn’t believe His Son’s literal physical resurrection, (denying the gospel) to ‘elucidate Biblical truth’. Do you even know Bonhoeffer called much of the Bible ‘myth’? Read the article please!

              These aren’t just ‘mistakes and misunderstandings’ and if you believe this then you are compromising God’s truth for the sake of excusing wolves who have been held in high regard by your preference of religion. Luke 6:26 comes to mind with these men.

              1. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Eph 1:13

              It is the by believing of Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:1-5), the gospel, the foolish message that saves. Faith comes by hearing the Word (Rom 10:17). Eph 1:13 is clear, it is ‘whom’ (Christ) we have believed, the ‘word of truth, the gospel of our salvation’ (Christ and Him crucified), the ‘hearing and believing’ whereby we are sealed and translated into His Kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13).

              You said: “It is not mere belief that saves (the devils believe, as James reminds us); it is faith given by the grace of God. You must know as well as I that merely hearing or reading the Gospels does not inevitably result in salvation”.

              The Bible states the opposite. It is absolutely by ‘mere belief’ we are given the free gift of eternal life. The demons do not believe upon Jesus Christ as their Savior, they do well to believe that there is one God, for He is Lord of even them. They are not offered salvation. But oddly, the people you defend do not believe on the truths they are required to believe, in order to be saved. I can’t have any more defending of Bonhoeffer (you have offered no facts, just opinions). I have offered you facts that you can actually verify should you be interested in the truth. So you will have to accept that and leave it there unless you actually have any proof of something other than just personal remarks.

              Bonhoeffer does not believe what Christ said.

                And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. John 8:23-24
    • John McBride
      2 years ago

      Yes, I am afraid we are talking past one another. God be with you.

      • I pray the Lord will be with you John. I do hope you’ll be willing to continue to look for the truth in His Word, not through mens. I do also pray you’ll examine the evidence if you are recommending any of these teachers. In Jesus Christ, Holly

      • John, I am afraid I can’t print your link, although I will look at it. If Bonhoeffer once believed in the Deity of Christ, he didn’t later on in life. Unlike you, I will look at your evidence, to see if it’s something I haven’t read before.

    • John, you said: “In officer training we are told that while of course God has chosen his Elect, we have no way of telling who they are and so we should just treat everyone as though they chosen. ” However, 1 John 5:13 tells us that we can KNOW that we are the “elect” simply because we believed.
      1 John 5:13: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life,” God doesn’t play guessing games with His elect, and He doesn’t expect us to either. You don’t go out and tell people to come to the cross if it might be pointless to some. That would be lying to the majority or the”non elected.” To tell everybody that they have a choice for salvation by coming to the cross but all along knowing not everybody can come because they are not the “elect” is a lie plain and simple. Jesus didn’t say “Come to me all” “but… most of you don’t really have a chance… but come anyway” (sic) But, that is in fact what your church is doing if they believe in election but tell everybody to come to the cross anyway. Your church is lying to people.

      You also stated: “If you exclude from the body of believers everyone who differs from you on some point, yours will be a very small church. But THE ELECT, I suppose?”
      Well, you do know Matt 7:14 don’t you?
      “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it.”

      If you believe in any form of faith plus works for salvation, and you have never believed that Jesus paid it ALL without even one ounce of your help, then you are not saved, because any form of faith plus works is NOT the gospel.

      But, if you ever believed that Jesus paid it all without even one ounce of your help even for a split second, then you were saved that split second and always will be even though you are obviously being deceived now. I say this in love, because it scares me that some can be so close to the truth but just refuse to believe it. It’s called PRIDE, and people want to be their own saving god. They will be the very people in Matt 7:22 pointing to their “wonderful works” that they thought were helping with their salvation, but they didn’t help one iota.

      Matt 7:22: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many WONDERFUL WORKS.?” And, what does God say to them PLAINLY? “I never knew you.”

      God made it so simple and EASY, but churches mock “Easy believism” now days because they want to make salvation a HARD work for their OWN glory. They want to feel like they’ve earned it at least to some degree. It IS easy to believe unto salvation, and that’s exactly what God’s word says in Romans 4:5: “But to him that worketh NOT, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” If something is NOT a work, than it IS easy… Period. Quit trying to make it hard. That is mocking what Jesus did on the cross. It is dangerous and extremely prideful. In Christ.

      • John McBride
        2 years ago

        I know I am saved, which I suppose makes me one of the elect. I know that to be so as a result of having felt God’s presence and work within me, both generally and in a number of specific circumstances.

        As to works, sure: we are saved so that we can do the works already prepared for us. But look at Matthew 25, the judging of the nations: totally based on works of mercy towards “the least of these.” Of course we assume the works are the fruits of faith. And James tells us to be doers and not just hearers of the Word. Faith without works is dead and saves no one.

        In general you and Holly keep preaching to me things I know and believe. That you misread ME so badly makes me dubious of your ability or willingness to read others clearly. You seem to me to be eager to find points with which to disagree.

        • John – I will allow this last comment of yours, with a reply from another admin. Here it is.

          First, our feelings are not a reliable indicator of anything. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that one can know he has eternal life based either on his feelings, or in feeling God’s presence and work within him. Some people think that Romans 8:16 can be interpreted to mean that the Holy Spirit bears witness TO our spirit that we are saved. The text actually say the Holy Spirit bears witness WITH our spirit.

          Romans 8:16 should not be interpreted to mean that we can know we are saved based on our feelings. Our feelings can come and go. I interpret Romans 8:16 to mean that the Holy Spirit bears witness, along with our human spirit bearing witness, that we are children of God – that is, we (both us and the Holy Spirit) were there when we believed in Jesus as Savior. There are two witnesses to God that we have believed.

          So, how can you know OBJECTIVELY, that you have received eternal life? You can know based on God’s promises. That is the only reasonable basis for assurance.

            John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

          Second, the judgment of the nations, depicted in Matthew 25, has nothing to do with church-age believers. It cannot be used to prove that all believers will have good works.

          The Tribulation believers are recognized by Jesus as having aided Him by aiding His messengers. However, this is not the basis of their salvation, and there is nothing in this passage to suggest that works are required for salvation.

          Contrast this judgement to the judgement seat of Christ (for church age believers) described in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, in which some believers’ work is burned, they suffer loss (I think of rewards), and are still saved.

          Also, think about this: the people in Matthew 25:37-39 express surprise that they have good works that are commended by Jesus. Lorship “salvationists”, and others who think that good works are required for salvation, would not be surprised. If Jesus were to commend them for good works, they would say “duh”! (See Matthew 7:22-23).

          Third, we are saved by grace, through, faith, without works. Grace and works cannot be mixed as the basis of salvation. James is written to believers to exhort them to an active faith. If good works were automatic in the lives of believers, much of the book of James would not need to have been written.

          I don’t think we misunderstand your positions.

    • John McBride, I can’t judge whether or not your feelings are true or not. That is not up to me to judge. I only know what scripture says about how to be saved, and believing faith plus works in any form does not get anybody saved. So, if you have never believed Jesus paid it all without one ounce of your works, then your feelings are false based on scripture alone. You still stand condemned, because you refuse to believe Gospel. Brad

    • Also John, James was speaking to already saved believers. Faith can become dead or “useless” it didn’t mean they were not saved. Have you ever told somebody you were “dead tired?” Same thing. And, I’m sure the people in Matt 7 21-23 felt that the Lord was working in them as well when they did all their miracles and “Wonderful works.” Brad

    • There is so much there, it’s disturbing to me, that men who are more learned, and quote this man, have not done their own ‘proving of all things’, because we do not want to introduce the sheep to the wolves, dead or alive, the words still deceive.

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