Eschatology

Eschatology

Eschatology

Eschatology

Excerpt

“This is the end — for me the beginning of life.” These are the last words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–45), handed down to us before he was executed by the Nazis during the last days of World War II. Bonhoeffer was not an otherworldly person. If he were, he would not have been accused by the Nazis of being part of the resistance movement. As we can glean from the letters he wrote when he realized the Nazis were not going to release him from prison, he had a passion for this life and agonized about wasting it behind bars. His last words show us, however, that this life was not everything for him. There was something else to come, something to long for, to trust and to rejoice in. In this way he stands in strong contrast to many people today.

In many European countries such as France, Great Britain, and Germany, the majority of people do not believe in life after death and even fewer believe in a final judgment. The USA is different in this respect, because people there are believers. Surveys show that most Americans believe in the Bible as the inspired word of God; they believe in the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth and in eternal life. Yet the appalling fact is that most of these so-called believers are very ignorant when it comes to content. Most cannot even enumerate four of the ten commandments. They seem to follow one of the great American heroes of World War II, and later president, Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969),

1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, ed. Eberhard Bethge, rev. ed.
(New York: Macmillan, 1967), 225.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.