Jon Walker engages Bonhoeffer's classic work on Christian life in community, presenting its rich and vital themes for Christians in the twenty-first century. Christians were never meant to live life alone. Only ''in visible fellowship'' do we learn to love one another and to live like Jesus is real.Can you go it alone in this world and live out the Christian mission and life? Can you possibly live out the full life Christ promised with all of its power and wonder without the love of the family of God?
In his first book on Bonhoeffer's writings, Costly Grace, Jon Walker gave a contemporary view of The Cost of Discipleship. In this second book In Visible Fellowship focusing on Bonheoffer's follow-up book, Life Together, Walker searches deeply into Bonheoffer's classic work to bring us a contemporary view of life in the body of Christ.
In our individualistic culture, Christians learn how to live in communities of love. God is relentless in his command to ''love each other in the same way that I have loved you''--personal and up-close, meeting the needs of the undeserving, not attacking their faults.
Walker brings a clear voice and powerful teaching to Bonheoffer's classic work on the church enabling you to understand the great importance of the Body of Christ. Through life together we grow into authentic spiritual maturity. As we live out the life of faith together, the love, forgiveness, and power of Christ literally and visibly comes alive for the world.
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Customer Reviews for In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work Life Together
Review 1 for In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work Life Together
Bonhoeffer in bite size chunks for today's readers
Walker provides a contemporary view of Bonhoeffer's work, Life Together. We were never meant to live life alone. God designed us to need the help of others to be who He wants us to be. “God created us to live together in community, so thoroughly and unconditionally interdependent on each other that we operate as if we are parts of a Body moving together for one purpose.” (15) It is God's love that makes genuine community possible. It is a community based solely and wholly on our relationship to Jesus. It is a spiritual community, not a social or human one. In this fellowship, we help each other mature into Christians full of truth and grace. We strengthen and challenge each other. We learn to unconditionally love one another through commitment. Following Bonhoeffer's direction, Walker says our day should begin with morning praise, communal prayer and reading God's Word. Then there is to be fellowship at the table. The daytime work is used by God to strip away our self-centeredness, forcing us to focus on tasks beyond ourselves. In the midst of the day we pause and remember the day belongs to God. The day is ended as it began, praying the Psalms, singing hymns, and sharing common prayer. As Walker notes, “Jesus isn't just part of our lives; he is our Life...” (81) Jesus should get the last word. We are to be in community not to avoid loneliness but to be in deep relationship with God and in deep commitment to one another. Bonhoeffer also said Christians needed to set aside some time every morning in solitude and silence, for Scripture meditation, prayer, and intercession. “We need to spend time with God in order to remain intimate with God.” (90) We will be tested during the day, to see if our time with God sticks or slips away. Walker explores the ministry to be experienced in community, such as speaking the truth to one another, meekness, service, and listening, for example. “We must allow one another the freedom to be sinners, rather than hiding behind masks of piety.” (143) Walker has included an emphasis on Jesus at the end of each chapter, a Scripture and questions for pondering. This book would be great for a small group and for congregational study. Walker has created a book that takes Bonhoeffer's concepts and presents them in bite size chunks. As one who has read Bonhoeffer and gotten a bit bogged down, I really appreciate Walker's work.
I received a copy of this book from Leafwood Publishers for the purpose of this review.