Tag Archives: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Where Action is Needed, Merely Thinking About it is Inadequate

Bonhoeffer's cell at Tegel prison, a 7' x 10' room where he spent 18 months.

Bonhoeffer’s cell at Tegel prison, a 7′ x 10′ room where he spent 18 months.

“We have learned a bit too late in the day that action springs not from thought but from a readiness for responsibility.”

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer,  Letters and Papers from Prison


Every night for a week I have sat in a darkened room and watched dramatized events from the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in our theatre company‘s production of The Beams are Creaking. For the past two months I’ve been judging each inflection, movement, gesture, costume piece, prop, stick of furniture, lighting and sound cue. I have heard the words but I have not had leisure to really listen and contemplate.

But tonight, relaxing into our second public performance, I had more brain room to soak in the theatrical experience of watching–through the eyes of one family–the disintegration of the country they love, and the radical steps they ultimately take to try to save it.

Continue reading

Building a Mighty Fortress of Faith

“And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us: / WE WILL NOT FEAR, for God has willed His Truth to triumph through us!”

The classic hymn, “A Mighty Fortress,” has been in my head quite a bit lately. It figures prominently in the play I’m directing about Lutheran pastor and resistance leader Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Certainly that man in Nazi Germany must have faced a world filled with devils.

Perhaps partly because of that, I programmed the hymn to follow today’s sermon at my church. And as I look around our congregation I see those for whom the words of this hymn ring so profoundly true: Continue reading

Faith and Action

“We have learned a bit too late in the day that action springs not from thought but from a readiness for responsibility.”    —Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison


I suspect that there are many believers who, like me, wonder just how long evil will have to persist before the righteous rise up to renounce it. We may know what we think personally about some issues, but we either don’t know or don’t seek to know what to do. Continue reading