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NEW FOREWORD BY ERIC METAXAS Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the most important theologians of the twentieth century, illuminates the relationship between ourselves and the teachings of Jesus in this classic book on living as a Christian. What can the call to discipleship, the adherence to the word of Jesus, mean today to the businessman, the soldier, the laborer, or the government worker? What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us today? Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers these timeless questions by providing a seminal reading of the dichotomy between "cheap grace" and "costly grace." "Cheap grace," Bonhoeffer wrote, "is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without discipleship....Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the girl which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know....It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life." The Cost of Discipleship is a compelling statement of the demands of sacrifice and ethical consistency from a man whose life and thought were exemplary articulations of a new type of leadership inspired by the Gospel, and imbued with the spirit of Christian humanism and a creative sense of civic duty.
What is a Christian? At the most basic level, a Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ. And yet many Christians today couldn't tell you what a disciple of Jesus Christ is, or would even think of themselves as disciples. And yet in the Great Commission, Jesus specifically called us to make disciples. Everything else is secondary. The Cost of Cheap Grace is an extended, sweeping, bold, and bracing call to repentance for where we've let secondary things subvert our commitment to discipleship, and a compelling vision for discipleship as the basis of the gospel in all its world-changing, subversive power.
In 1937, on the threshold of Nazi Germany's war on the world, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote what turned out to be one of the most influential books of the century, The Cost of Discipleship. In it, he challenged the flabby faith and compromises of German Christians, famously writing, "When Christ calls a man he bids him come and die." Now, seventy-three years after the book was first published, Jon Walker writes Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. Walker brings to a new generation the timeless message of Bonhoeffer against the background of today's political upheaval and societal change and what it means to those who claim to follow Christ's teachings.
Freshly translated from the German critical edition, Discipleship provides a more accurate rendering of the text and extensive aids and commentary to clarify the meaning, context, and reception of this work and its attempt to resist the Nazi ideology then infecting German Christian churches.