Saturday, December 02, 2006

Bonhoeffer's Ethics returns

“Only by the call of grace heard in Jesus Christ, by which I am claimed, may I live justified before God as slave or free, married or single. From Christ’s perspective this life is now my vocation; from my own perspective it is my responsibility.

“This rules out two disastrous misunderstandings, that of cultural Protestantism and that of monasticism. People do not fulfill the responsibility laid on them by faithfully performing their earthly vocational obligations as citizens, workers, and parents, but by hearing the call of Jesus Christ that, although it leads them also into earthly obligations, is never synonymous with these, but instead always transcends them as a reality standing before and behind them. Vocation in the New Testament sense is never a sanctioning of the worldly orders as such. Its Yes always includes at the same time the sharpest No, the sharpest protest against the world…Vocation is the place at which one responds to the call of Christ and thus lives responsibly. The task given to me by my vocation is thus limited; but my responsibility to the call of Jesus Christ knows no bounds.”—Bonhoeffer, Ethics, pages 290-291

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