Book Review: The Cost Of Discipleship

costDietrich Bonhoeffer was a theologian, martyr, pastor, political dissident and author. He was known for his deeply intellectual theological writings and thought. Bohoeffer was arrested and imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp and executed at the age of 39.

This book is considered by many to be a classic of modern Christian thought. It was published in 1937 under the backdrop of the Nazi rise to power in Germany. The book is focused on the Sermon on the Mount. Simply, Bonhoeffer outlines what it takes to be a Christian.

Bonhoeffer’s book unswervingly challenges those who call themselves Disciples of Christ. Discipleship is very simple and clear, yet discipleship is expensive and should cost us dearly. Those who declare Bonhoeffers theology unrealistic or unobtainable don’t understand the Scriptures. Christ did not ask for Sunday-only Christians, he called us to sacrifice all. This book is a gut punch and unbelievably informative.

In one of the most quoted sections of this book Bonhoeffer explains that cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

This book is one of the most thorough explanations of what it means to be a Christian. Bonohoeffer does not tell us that a Christian must simply pray a prayer, put a fish on his car or attend a conference. Bonohoeffer details the life altering, radical obedience and unwavering dedication that is required of a Christian. Longtime theologians and new believers alike should read this book. Check your modern views of Christianity at the door.

About Mike

Mike, 48, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written two books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2008 to 2016 Mike served as a fulltime missionary with MTW's church planting team in La Ceiba, Honduras. Mike launched that ministry and served as the Team Leader most of his time in Honduras. Mike and his wife currently live in Central Africa where they launched yet another new missions ministry for MTW in Equatorial Guinea.
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