I have been listening to this audio book in my car on the way to and from work for the last six months or so. Here is what I have learned:
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer was incredibly smart
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer was incredibly passionate about Christ
– I am not a audial learner
Not only did I find that I retain far less information by hearing it than by reading it (and making notes), but the 5 minute drive to and from work is not enough to saturate in the information. This is a book that requires much mental chewing and spiritual digestion. Bonhoeffer is very philosophical in his approach and this left me lost very often and a few times wondering if his philosophical conclusions were scripturally solid, although I wasn’t able to keep pace with his reasoning most of the time so to question the conclusion without following the path may not be wise.
The few nuggets I did retain however made it all worthwhile. The large portion of the book that is an exposition of the Sermon on the Mount I appreciated as Bonhoeffer forces the reader to take seriously the demands of Jesus to live out the values of His Kingdom. Bonhoeffer stresses the “spontaneous obedience” that Christ expects of His followers. We are not to question, debate, or ignore Christ’s commands. We are to obey them immediately. Simple and clear, but so often I (and most of us) quickly find excuses not to immediately and literally obey Christ’s clear commands – and yet still have the nerve to call myself a faithful disciple.
In many aspects the book reminded me of David Platt’s Radical – except for German PH.D students.
For these reasons and more (especially the extraordinary life of Bonhoeffer) I am compelled to dig into the hard copy in the future.