“[T]he struggle regarding the church government is actually the question necessarily emerging from church history regarding the possibility of a Protestant church for us. It is the question whether, following the separation from papal and worldly authority in the church, an ecclesial authority can be erected that is grounded in word and confession alone. If such an authority is not possible, then the final possibility of a Protestant church is gone; then there truly remains only a return to Rome or a state church or the way of isolation, into the ‘protest’ of true Protestantism against false authorities.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letter to Eberhard Bethge, 23 January 1940, in Conspiracy and Imprisonment, 1940–1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 16, trans. Lisa E. Dahill (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2006), 78.
H/T: Barry Harvey for pointing this quote out on Facebook