A Jagged Contention: Taking the Church’s Temperature

“Christian community is like the Christian’s sanctification. It is a gift of God which we cannot claim. Only God knows the real state of our fellowship, of our sanctification. What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God. Just as the Christian should not be constantly feeling his spiritual pulse, so too, the Christian community has not been given to us by God for us to be constantly taking it temperature. The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grow from day to day as it pleases God.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, pg. 30


It would seem that much activity and talk in the church is busy with taking the church’s temperature. In fact, contra Bonhoeffer, entire industries are built around diagnosing the problems in the church. How would things look different if we heeded the advice Bonhoeffer gives in the church and thankfully receive the brothers and sisters Christ has given us? What are some concrete examples of this sort of thing happening?

Share your thoughts in the comments below


One thought on “A Jagged Contention: Taking the Church’s Temperature

  1. In my experience, trying to read God’s mind is not very productive. I’ve noticed that since we’ve been doing that in all futility – for decades, really – our concerns have become greater, not less because of “success.” It’s hard, but I’ve tried to content myself with faithfulness, and letting God tend to his work among us. I suppose lots of folks would call that slacking off, and to be sure it is not easy to let that pass without again straining at the bit, but I am trying anyway. Isn’t success ultimately measured by God’s mind anyway, along with supplying talents and equipment for faithful people to take up as the task lies before us? God forbid we should trust him. I think I’m probably with Bonhoeffer on this.


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