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Bonhoeffer on Fear

5 Minutes in Church History with Stephen Nichols

Ligonier Ministries

Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, History

4.81.6K Ratings

🗓️ 7 February 2024

⏱️ 5 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Only weeks before the Nazi party gained power over Germany in the 20th century, Dietrich Bonhoeffer preached a sermon titled "Overcoming Fear." Today, Stephen Nichols takes us back to this poignant moment in church history.

Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/bonhoeffer-on-fear/

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Welcome back to another episode of five minutes in church history. On this episode we're talking


about a sermon preached by Dietrich Bonifer. on January 15, 13,


15, 1933 in Trinity Church in Berlin.


This church was built in 1739. It has a fascinating history. In 1806, after Napoleon conquered Berlin, the church was used as a barracks for Napoleon's troops. As we move into the


the 20th century in 1932 and 33 it was the pulpit from which Bonifer


regularly preached and this date in German history was very important


January 15th 1933. In fact on January 30th 1933 just two weeks after this sermon Hitler would take over


the German government and the Nazi party would be in power in Germany.


It was a time as we could all imagine of fear, of anxiety,


and so Bonifur preaches this sermon overcoming fear. He uses as


his text Matthew chapter 8, V. suddenly comes upon the sea of Galilee and the disciples, some of them very seasoned


fishermen were overcome by fear and they turned to Christ for his help whose Christ is sleeping in the boat, as we all know from this very familiar story, and they cry out, we are perishing, we are dying, Lord save us.


And of course, Christ turns to his disciples and he rebukes them.


Why are you afraid, you of little faith?


He simply speaks to the wind, speaks to the sea, and all is calm.


Well, it's a dramatic text and it was also a dramatic moment and as Bonifer reflects on that text he speaks


of fear as being crippling how it takes away our strength how it breaks us down, how it leaves us without hope.


He says at one point, fear is in the boat, referencing the text there in Matthew.


All arms are frozen and they drop their oars.


All hope is lost.


Fear is in the boat.


Bonifer is going to go on to say that fear can be found among us in various


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