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Prayer and action

Our church has been fighting during these years only for its own self-preservation, as if that were an end in itself. It has become incapable of bringing the word of reconciliation and redemption to humankind and to the world. So the words we used before must lose their power, be silenced, and we can be Christians today in only two ways, through prayer and in doing justice among human beings. All Christian thinking, talking, and organizing must be born anew, out of that prayer and action. . . . It is not for us to predict the day—but the day will come—when people will once more be called to speak the word of God in such a way that the world is changed and renewed. It will be in a new language, perhaps quite nonreligious language. but liberating and redeeming like Jesus’s language, so that people will be alarmed and yet overcome by its power—the language of a new righteousness and truth, a language proclaiming that God makes peace with humankind and that God’s kingdom is drawing near. “They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for them” (Jer. 33:9). Until then, the Christian cause will be a quiet and hidden one, but there will be people who pray and do justice and wait for God’s own time.

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Thoughts on the Day of Baptism of Dietrich Wilhelm Rüdiger Bethge,” in Letters and Papers from Prison, 145:389-90.


  1. Brad E. wrote:

    What an extraordinary quote.

    (P.S. I see you’ve discovered Beck’s blog — glad you’re enjoying it!)

    Monday, June 28, 2010 at 7:09 am | Permalink
  2. Halden wrote:

    I actually copyedited a book of his we’re publishing. Good times.

    Monday, June 28, 2010 at 7:10 am | Permalink
  3. Brad E. wrote:

    What book? And when? Is this public knowledge?

    Monday, June 28, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink
  4. Halden wrote:

    Actually, I misspoke. It hasn’t yet been copyedited, I just format checked it and scheduled it for copyediting. I sent you a little more info about it.

    Monday, June 28, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
  5. Brad E. wrote:

    Thanks; I also emailed Beck and he gave me an update as well. Glad to know he’s getting published, and with y’all. Good news all around.

    Monday, June 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

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