Last week we read an excerpt from Bonhoeffer's "Life Together," where he puts forth his picture of the Christian community.
Ironically enough, within it, he argues that we should not have an ideal of what we're looking for. We should not be always pushing for something greater, but rather we should be content with what we have. I say ironic, because, it's pretty obvious he wrote the thing to spur us onto an ideal community.
I think what he wanted to say was that we should be giving up our human and personal ideals (like wanting the right music, or a specific persona behind the pulpit) and be seeking divine ideals instead (spirit vs. human). That's a good encouragement, but he isn't really clear on that, and if it is what he meant, I think some biblical principles on what is a spiritual ideal would have been nice.
All in all, he was spot on with regards to the blessings of Christian brotherhood. I pointed this out before, but I think the reason why we aren't so blessed usually is because all we do is do non-Christian things with Christian friends. We've turned our partnership for the Gospel into an ice cream social. We've turned our rewards from heaven into free movie passes. That's to our shame.
All in all, while I thought he did a much better job of using Scripture in the last reading, his terminology and language left a lot to be desired. I think we would be far better served with a Scriptural examination of "fellowship" or a treatment on ecclesiology instead of exhortations to repent of our ideals... because what if they are Christian ideals? And if we are to repent of them... then what? The Biblical model is always "don't do this, then do this instead." And no where in the Bible does Paul exhort his followers to repent of their ideals, instead, he rebukes them for not matching up to God's ideals. 1 Corinthians 11 comes to mind again with Paul's rebuke of their abuse of the Lord's table.
Labels: Discipleship Class