Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer.”

Life Together is the quintessential work on Christian community. Whether you have been part of a church, small group, youth group, or Christian residence hall, you have probably heard of this book. Author Dietrich Bonhoeffer is an icon of modern Christianity. Under the terrible Nazi regime, Bonhoeffer relates what he has learned living in a secret underground seminary in Germany.

“Christian community is a community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ. No Christian community is more or less than this.” Community can never be our goal. Our love for Christ should be the goal and from that community will effortlessly emerge. And from our community, our differences will recede and the purity of Christ’s love will become more and more vital to us.

Bonhoeffer then adds that a community that excludes “the weak and insignificant, the seemingly useless people...may actually mean the exclusion of Christ.”

This is a great, concise book on the instrument of God we know as community. I recommend this book to anyone who works in a Christian environment. Bonhoeffer challenges our ideas of community and solitude, their benefits and inherent dangers.

“The basis upon which Christians can speak to one another is that each knows the other as a sinner, who, with all this human dignity, is lonely and lost if he is not given help.”