The Cost Of Discipleship

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Cost of Discipleship, book cover
Dietrich Bonhoeffer died for his convictions. He was executed in 1945 because he actively opposed an evil system, the Nazi government in Germany.

We don’t often have the opportunity to look into the mind of a Christian martyr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer has given us that opportunity in his book The Cost of Discipleship (translated from Nachfolge, published in 1937.)

He wrote, “The cross means sharing the suffering of Christ to the last and to the fullest. Only a man thus totally committed in discipleship can experience the meaning of the cross. The cross is there, right from the beginning, he has only got to pick it up: there is no need for him to go out and look for a cross for himself, no need for him deliberately to run after suffering. Jesus says that every Christian has his own cross waiting for him, a cross destined and appointed by God. Each must endure his allotted share of suffering and rejection. But each has a different share; some God deems worthy of the highest form of suffering, and gives them the grace of martyrdom, while others he does not allow to be tempted above that which they are able to bear. But it is the one and the same cross in every case.”

He is the theologian who wrote, “Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace.”

The Touchstone edition first published in 1995 includes a Foreword and Memoir that will give the reader the background of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and describes the time in which he lived.

The writing style is difficult to read. Be prepared for long, wordy speeches, complicated reasoning, and circular theological arguments based at least as much on church dogma as Scripture. Yet, for the reader who is willing to put in the effort, the book is worth reading for its historical value and thought provoking exhortation to costly discipleship.
Book Review
By Scarlett Stough
Title: The Cost Of Discipleship
Author: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc; Touchstone; Rockefeller Center; 1230 Avenue of the Americas; New York, NY 10020
ISBN: 0-684-81500-1