A few days ago, I was accused of blasphemy after posting the following on Facebook:
As much as I love Lewis, I must admit that the first chapter of Bonhoeffer’s Life Together is better than anything from The Four Loves.
I can hardly believe I said it myself. Nevertheless, I can’t help but cheer when I come across passages like this. It fits in very well with Girard’s model.
Without Christ we should not know God, we could not call upon Him, nor come to Him. But without Christ we also would not know our brother, nor could we come to him. The way is blocked by our own ego. Christ opened up the way to God and to our brother. Now Christians can live with one another in peace; they can love and serve one another; they can become one. But they can continue to do so only by way of Jesus Christ are we one, only through him are we bound together. To eternity he remains the one Mediator.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, p.23
Girard’s theory states that Jesus is not just a substitutionary sacrifice taking place in some heavenly temple, but unique and clean model of living as a non-rival with our brothers and sisters. He is completely free of the envy that divides us from our fellow human beings 100% of the time. What Bonhoeffer is saying here is the same thing. Christ is not just the mediator between us and God, but between us and everyone around us too. This is really the key to us getting along with each other in spiritual community – real community. It is the foundation of brotherly love, of love within the church. It is not that Christ’s work simply sanctifies us such that we are able to sustain being nice to each other for extended periods of time. No, he is THE mediator between us – the glue that holds us together.