All Blogs

Not To Act Is Indeed To Act



Why do we still quote this long-departed German? In short, because seventy years ago Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s response to great evil continues be an inspiration to those of us today similarly responding to great evil.


Bonhoeffer was a decorated scholar who in 1931 became a lecturer in theology at the University of Berlin. While academically brilliant, he was also a man of deep personal faith. One expression of his convictions was public resistance to Hitler’s persecution of Jews, pronouncing that churches were irresponsible to not simply “bandage the victims under the wheel, but jam the spoke in the wheel itself.”


What would Bonhoeffer say today about our responses to some of the world’s most pressing tragedies: Syria, South Sudan, HIV, malaria, trafficking? Would that you and I not simply intervene by supplying relief, but rather treat the heart of these issues and “jam the spoke in the wheel itself.”

Scroll to Top