"What is bothering me incessantly is the question of what Christianity really is, or indeed who Christ really is, for us today... We are moving toward a completely religionless time; people as they are now simply cannot be religious any more. Even those who honestly describe themselves as 'religious' do not in the least act up to it, and so they presumably mean something quite different by 'religious'. How can Christ become the Lord of the religionless as well? Are there religionless Christians? If religion is only a garment of Christianity - and even this garment has looked very different at different times - then what is a religionless Christianity... What do a church, a community, a sermon, a liturgy, a Christian life mean in a religionless world? How do we speak of God?..."Bonhoeffer was right. In many ways, Europe adopted a "post-Christian" society after WWII. I sit within my own culture, watching the gods of Self, Entertainment, and Affluence displace reverence. Because my Christ continues to change lives in this context, Bonhoeffer's questions ring true: What do a church, a community, a sermon, a liturgy, a Christian life mean in a religionless world? How do we speak of God?
"Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Letters and Papers from Prison" Edited by Eberhard Bethge
June 19, 2009
How Do We Speak of God?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer watched as hundreds of years of church tradition crumbled. The German church had become an arm of Hitler. Few within the church even dared voice questions. Imprisoned in Tegel military prison, he penned these words,