...I'm still discovering right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith.... One must completely abandon any attempt to make something of oneself, whether it be a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman (a so-called priestly type!), a righteous man or an unrighteous one, a sick man or a healthy one. By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life's duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences, and perplexities. In doing so we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world — watching with Christ in Gethsemane. That, I think is faith, . . And that is how one becomes a man and a Christian (cf. Jer. 45!). How can success make us arrogant, or failure lead us astray, when we share in God's sufferings through a life of this kind?... May God in his mercy lead us through these times, but above all, may he lead us to himself. (pp. 484-5)
Christine Muir Shahan is recently retired from her executive search consulting firm, SHAHAN AND ASSOCIATES, after having served in the Wisconsin schools as a teacher, counselor and administrator. She is married to the JLE book review editor.
1. In August, 2010 the biography Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906–1945: Martyr, Thinker, Man of Resistance was published by T & T Clark International. I did not have access to this book prior to writing this review.
© March 2012
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 12, Issue 2