“If you danced with the devil for a very good reason, have you still not danced with the devil?”
I think this is a great way to look at the rationalizations we make when we think that the ends might justify the means.
“Parents aren’t the people you come from. They’re the people you want to be when you grow up.”
— One of the side stories in this book helps reinforce the fact that you must be careful what you wish for.
In a letter to Rossler, Bonhoeffer pushed the idea further:
I have long thought that sermons had a center that, if you hit it, would move anyone or confront them with a decision. I no longer believe that. First of all, a sermon can never grasp the center, but can only itself be grasped by it, by Christ. And then Christ becomes flesh as much in the word of the pietists as in that of the clerics or of the religious socialists, and these empirical connections actually pose difficulties for preaching that are absolute, not merely relative.
This was a very radical and dramatic thing to say, but it is the perfectly logical conclusion to the idea that apart from God’s grace, one can do nothing worthwhile. Anything good must come from God, so even in a sermon that was poorly written and delivered, God might manifest himself and touch the congregation. Conversely in a sermon wonderfully written and delivered, God might refuse to manifest himself. The “success” of the sermon is utterly dependent on the God who breaks through and “grasps” us, or we cannot be “grasped.”
— In crisis, God’s sovereignty is a wonderful comfort.
On Going Camping with the Family
“No, I’m gonna stay home. You can take a family vacation, and I’ll take a vacation from the family. Trust me, it’ll make both of our time more enjoyable.”
— Oh, but is it mom or dad that needs to take the vacation from family?