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Dietrich Bonhoeffer through the lens of Erik Erikson's 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development

An EdD Assignment


This paper will examine the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer focusing specifically on analyzing the review of Eric Metaxas’s biography of Bonhoeffer entitled, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, through the lens of Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a unique individual, born in Germany at the start of the twentieth century, experiencing both World War I and World War II.  His father was a scientist and his mother originated from a line of pastor-theologians.  This combination would prove formative for Bonhoeffer in regard to his worldview and approach to understanding things.  Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor, theologian, and founding member of the Confessing Church.  He is most known for his theological writings, most notably The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together.  Bonhoeffer is also known for being resistant to the Nazi dictatorship and their persecution of Jews, which eventually led to him being arrested by the Nazi’s in April of 1943 and executed by hanging in April of 1945...

Health, Wealth & Happiness: Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ?

By: David W. Jones & Russell S. Woodbridge


The thesis of Health, Wealth & Happiness is "to address the failings of the prosperity gospel as well as give direction to disillusioned followers of prosperity theology" (p. 9)  The book is divided into two major sections.  The first portion provided a critique of the prosperity gospel by: establishing its origin in a history of the New Thought movement; defining the parameters of prosperity ministries; and exposing the erros of the prosperity gospel.  The second portion provided a correction to the prosperity gospel by: discussing the Biblical teaching on suffering; wealth and poverty; and giving by way of a Scriptural defense.


Health, Wealth & Happiness supported its thesis by detailing the flaws of the prosperity gospel, and also assisted to identify a solution for "disillusioned followers."  The work is adequately filled with facts and evidence to introduce a churchgoer, or "disillusioned follower," of the error of the prosperity gospel...



Those Who Must Give an Account

By: John Hammett and Benjamin Merkle


Those Who Must Give Account, edited by John S. Hammett and Benjamin L. Merkle, focuses on developing a healthy definition of church membership and a healthy understanding on the significance of church discipline.  Their goal in developing Those Who Must Give Account is that as a result, there “will be churches that are closer to the goal of being radiant churches, without spot or wrinkle or blemish, churches that will bring glory to God.” (4).

            The purpose of this book is to give church leaders, “guidance on how they should receive and minister to those for whom they will have to give an account.” (1) The title of the book is based on Hebrews 13:17 where church leaders are to give an account.  As the book develops, it focuses on the importance of church membership as a boundary for a leader’s responsibility and inevitably as a form of accountability to the member.  Church discipline is set in place as a measure of defining that accountability in the hope of restoration and repentance...

Sticky Church

By: Larry Osborne


One challenge to church membership and attendance in the twenty-first century is keeping people once they have attended a church.  There have been many books and theories written on how to close the back door and help retain the members of a church.  Larry Osborne offered his experience and formula for closing the back door in his book, Sticky Church.

Osborne's philosophy on retaining membership is driven by a stron small group ministry.  He believes that in order to be effective at keeping people, "our churches need to be stickier" (2008, p. 13).  This stickiness will lead to healthier churches by having members that will "not only draw in spiritual window-shoppers and lead them to Christ; they also grow them up to maturity" (2008, p. 13).  This method originated for Osborne through examinig the Great Commission passage, which calls Christians to make disciples.  Osborne reminds his readers that this task includes "baptizing people and teaching them to obey everything he commanded (2008, p. 13)...

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