Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Provocative question...

Jacques Ellul in The Subversion of Christianity framed the challenge we face in the 21st century quite well and no one seems to want to address it. Are you up for the challenge?

"The question that I want to sketch in this work is one that troubles me most deeply. As I now see it, it seems to be insoluble and assumes a serious character of historical oddness. It may be put very simply: How has it come about that the development of Christianity and the church has given birth to a society, a civilization, a culture that are completely opposite to what we read in the Bible..."

A. I.


Susie said...

Hmmm... yes, provocative. My little tiny brain can't even begin to respond about such deep issues at the moment. I just wanted to write and say HI! I miss you guys. Tell Freida hey from Susie and I will talk to you soon.

stvp68 said...

I think Ellul's book is one of the most important books of the past 30 years -- it certainly has radically changed the way I understand our task as Christians.

The change will have to come from the way we, as individual believers, make decisions about how we participate in the world -- not just politics, but the way we design our own lives to reflect God's glory AND to downplay the world's methods....

dave said...

Could it be the problem of the Church, and not the believer? Seems to me, and Eric Hoffer, author of "the True Believer" as well as Max Weber, would concur that the "Church" is nothing but a bureaucracy and that, in and of itself completely removes the "human" from the equation.
Weber said this;
"When fully developed, bureaucracy stands . . . under the principle of sine ira ac studio (without scorn and bias). Its specific nature which is welcomed by capitalism develops the more perfectly the more bureaucracy is 'dehumanized,' the more completely it succeeds in eliminating from offcial business love, hatred, and all purely personal, irrational and emotional elements which escape calculation. This is the specific nature of bureaucracy and it is appraised as its special virtue"

Look at those key things the church is "all about" that are absent or driven form a bureaucracy, especially Love.
I think the believer can do nothing to change the Church, the change must be internal and,frankly, will likely be more effective and Godly if done outside a bureaucracy (the church) whose sole motive is self propagation.