The Adult Forum Bible Study continues for the spring session!
The topic will center on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his 1937 book, “Life Together.” The schedule continues on March 3, 24 and 31, and April 7 and 14.
Our Adult Forum class for the spring of 2019 will focus on the book Life Together – The Classic Exploration of Christian Community, written by German Lutheran Dietrich Bonhoeffer and published in 1939, at the beginning of World War II. Bonhoeffer was hanged on orders from Adolf Hitler in April 1945, shortly before the end of the war. His writings sere as an important part of Lutheran theology as we know it today. Bonhoeffer wrote Life Together after the Gestapo shut down his Preacher’s Seminary at Finkenwalde in Germany. The book summarizes his thoughts on the communal life, and achieving Christian solidarity and freedom at a time of great oppression. It is a short book – 122 pages of fairly large print in the edition we are using – and represents Bonhoeffer’s practical formula for what it means to be a community “at all times ready for the service of the Church.” As our congregation explores its own identity, Life Together offers us an opportunity to explore who we are, why we exist as a Christian community, and what it means to be the Church in our time.
The class will meet for 8 sessions as follows (Classes 2 – 6 relate to each of 5 chapters in the book:
- February 10 – The Life of Bonhoeffer
- February 17 – Community
- February 24 – The Day with Others
- March 3 – The Day Alone
- (no class on March 10 and March 17)
- March 24 – Ministry
- March 31 – Confession and Communion
- April 7 – A Church of the World, or a Church of the Word? (Bonhoeffer’s sermon of May 28, 1933, at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin)
- April 14 – Peter and the Church Struggle (Bonhoeffer’s sermon of July 23, 1933, in Berlin)
I encourage you to read Bonhoeffer’s book, Life Together, if you can. I also encourage you to learn more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer in preparation for and during the running of the class. If you like to read biography, a classic is Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography, (1st Fortress Press, 2000) by Eberhard Bethge, who was a friend of Bonhoeffer. A more recent Bonhoeffer biography is Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, by Eric Metaxas (Thomas Nelson, 2010). If you would like to read important portions of Bonhoeffer’s many writings, including his sermons, a very good resource is A Testament to Freedom – The Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (HarperOne, 1995). And, there are at least two movies about Bonhoeffer that you may want to see. I look forward to seeing you. As always, if you can’t attend every class, please come when you can. The more reading you do, the easier it will be to participate, but your participation is more important than your reading. ~ David Moore