Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

There remains an experience of incomparable value. We have for once learnt to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled – in short, from the perspective of those who suffer. The important thing is neither that bitterness nor envy should have gnawed at the heart during this time, that we should have come to look with new eyes at matters great and small, sorrow and joy, strength and weakness, that our perception of generosity, humanity, justice and mercy should have become clearer, freer, less corruptible. We have to learn that personal suffering is a more effective key, a more rewarding principle for exploring the world in thought and action than personal good fortune. This perspective from below must not become the partisan possession of those who are eternally dissatisfied; rather, we must do justice to life in all its dimensions from a higher satisfaction, whose foundation is beyond any talk of ‘from below’ or ‘from above’. This is the way in which we may affirm it.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0211-316, Dietrich Bonhoeffer mit Schülern

  • one

    I really liked Bonhoeffer’s writings until he became a plotter of murdering Hitler. That’s why he died – not because of his faith. And I can’t honestly see that faith ever leads one to plotting murder – particularly Christian faith. His death has become romanticized but the truth is that he was condemned to death for his conspiracy to commit murder of which he actually was guilty. Our Christian faith precludes plotting murder even of one’s enemies. Granted his time in prison he returned to his original faith in Christian values. But still he is not a Christian martyr. Many Christians were killed as enemies of the state during Hitler’s regime but only due to resistance against the regime, nothing more.

  • Jordan Ballor

    Psalm 62:9-10 (ESV):  

    9  Those of low estate are but a breath;
    those of high estate are a delusion;
    in the balances they go up;
    they are together lighter than a breath.
    10  Put no trust in extortion;
    set no vain hopes on robbery;
    if riches increase, set not your heart on them.