Friday, May 3, 2013

Bonhoeffer's cross-cultural experience

My wife enjoyed watching a documentary about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
A few things I found striking.

His life was so driven by theology, and distinctly Christian (i.e., focussed on the person, works, and teachings of Jesus Christ).

The film footage of Hitler appearing before massive fawning crowds was haunting and scary. I struggle to engage with this as historical reality, particularly that it was only 70-80 years ago.

Pictures of church leaders saluting Hitler was even scarier!

Bonhoeffer's theology and life was distinctly shaped by experiences while a student in New York. In particular his friendship with an African-American student Frank Fisher led to involvement at a church in Harlem. Here he encountered a lively and emotionally engaged Christian faith, concern for social justice, and a model for the church as a community that was the visible presence of Christ in the world. The academic theology he learned in Germany (heavily influenced by Karl Barth) became alive.

Christians can learn so much from other Christians with different cultural backgrounds. Christ transcends culture.

No comments:

Post a Comment