while i was on vacation, one of the books i read was “bonhoeffer: pastor, martyr, prophet, spy” by eric metazas. while this book was a great read, i found myself unsettled (the church word is “convicted”) by the obvious parallels between the german church of the 30’s, and the contemporary american church.
for example, the following quote by dietrich bonhoeffer is a denunciation of the culture in which he found himself. does it seem to you like he could be talking about our day?
In a world where success is the measure and justification of all things the figure of Him who was sentenced and crucified remains a stranger and is at best the object of pity. The world will allow itself to be subdued only by success. It is not ideas or opinions which decide, but deeds. Success alone justifies wrongs done…With frankness and off-handedness which no other earthly power could permit itself, history appeals in its own cause to the dictum that the end justifies the means…The figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought which takes success for its standard.
we talk often in this space about the objective nature of our various definitions of success. no matter how you define success, however, it a sobering thought to consider that “the figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought which takes success for its standard.”
weigh in, insightful readers. do you agree that we live in a world which “will allow itself to be subdued only by success?” and, if so, what are the implications?