Prayer, Spiritual Formation, and Ministry


A leading man in the Confessing Church recently said to me: “We have no time for meditation now, the ordinands should learn how to preach and to catechize.” That seems to me either a complete misunderstanding of what young theologians are like today or a culpable ignorance of how preaching and catechism come to life. The questions that are seriously put to us today by young theologians are : How do I learn to pray? How do I learn to read the Bible? If we cannot help them there we cannot help them at all. And there is really nothing obvious about it. To say, “If someone does not know that, then he should not be a minister” would be to exclude most of us from our profession. It is quite clear to me that all these things are only justified when alongside them and with them – at just the same time!-there is really serious and sober theological, exegetical and dogmatic work going on. Otherwise all these questions are given the wrong emphasis. 

From a letter that Bonhoeffer wrote to Barth. Quoted from the Mataxas biography on Bonhoeffer

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