A book critique on "The Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Essay by scottieboy4University, Bachelor'sA+, December 2002

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The Cost of Discipleship

Before Bonhoeffer could challenge his readers, he had to convince them to "get on his bandwagon". He begins by writing about grace. Bonhoeffer categorizes grace into two groups: one is cheap grace and the other is costly grace. To Bonhoeffer, cheap grace is the denial of the living Word of God and the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. He goes so far as to say, "Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession" (p. 44). Bonhoeffer even goes as far as to say that cheap grace is another word for damnation. Obviously, he isn't advocating this type of grace. The grace Bonhoeffer longs for Christians to have is costly grace. This type of grace requires action of the Christian. "Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again..."

(p. 45). Bonhoeffer states that since we are called to follow it, it is costly, and because we are called to follow Christ, it is grace. "Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son..." (p.45). Any Christian with any conviction to follow Christ is almost forced to agree with Bonhoeffer, and that is exactly what he wanted. Now that you're "on the bandwagon", he can hit you with his radical ideas of what it means to follow Christ.

Now that Bonhoeffer has you, he says to just obey God, don't rationalize. We should not question God; we should just do as He says. He also points out that following God isn't a cakewalk. Discipleship means suffering, and we should not kid ourselves by believing otherwise.

Bonhoeffer then shifts to show us how we should follow Christ. He does so by thoroughly covering...