I briefly quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) on Sunday morning. If you don’t know him, he’s worth getting to know. Currently popular Christian books like Radical by David Platt and Crazy Love by Francis Chan probably owe a fair bit to Bonhoeffer, who in his most famous book The Cost of Discipleship called for the church to give up “cheap grace” – the easy promise of forgiveness and salvation but with no cross to bear – in favour of “costly grace”: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

I would highly recommend reading Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together, a little manual about Christian community that we could all take to heart. It is very accessible, but equally challenging. If we’ve ever thought the church was something we could take or leave, or that the Bible and prayer are things that exist primarily for our own personal inspiration, this book is a healthy jolt. Here’s a random sample:

“A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for who Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner. This is a happy discovery for the Christian who begins to pray for others.”