Bonhoeffer and decision making

Pictured above is Dietrich Bonhoeffer working it for the camera. Dietrich brought sexy back before Justin did.

I’m reading Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. From time to time I may post little thoughts of mine and interesting excerpts from Metaxas’ work.

Early on, Metaxas cites an interesting account of how Bonhoeffer came to make important decisions. This is a discussion I’m very interested in as for years I’ve followed the debate on if and how God specifically guides his people. Gary Friesen thinks that God gives us guidance in His Word, that’s it. Dallas Willard (and most evangelicals for that matter) think God gives personal communication through ‘the voice.’

Here’s Bonhoeffer’s thought process from 1928 when he had to decide to move to Barcelona or not to pastor a church:

I myself find the way such a decision comes about to be problematic. One things is clear to me, however, that one personally — that is, consciously — has very little control over the yes or no, but rather that time decides everything. Maybe not with everybody, but in any event with me. Recently I have noticed again and again that all the decision I had made were not really my own decisions. Whenever there was a dilemma, I just left it in abeyance and — without really consciously dealing with it intensively — let it grow toward the clarity of a decision. But this clarity is not so much intellectual as it is instinctive. The decision is made; whether one can adequately justify it retrospectively is another question. ‘Thus’ it happened that I went.