“The time of grace is the final time in the sense that one can never reckon with a further, future word beyond the word of God that confronts me now. There is a time of God’s permission, waiting, and preparation; and there is an ultimate time that judges and breaks off the penultimate. In order to hear the ultimate word, Luther had to go through the monastery; Paul had to go through his piety toward the law; even the thief ‘had’ to go through conviction and the cross. They had to travel a road, to walk the full length of the way through penultimate things; they had to sink to their knees under the burden of these things. And yet the ultimate word was not a crowning but a complete break with the penultimate.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethic (DBW6), 151.