John's Reviews > Violence: Reflections from a Christian Perspective

Violence by Jacques Ellul
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's review
Dec 10, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009
Read in December, 2009

This is the most thoughtful treatise on violence that I've ever read, which honestly isn't saying much. But Ellul looks carefully at violence from a Christian perspective and rejects its use outright. He rejects it because it is part of the world of necessity--something that Christians, who are free in Christ, must reject, as they reject entirely the world of necessity. We are free in Christ and to be slaves to nothing, including the necessary use of violence as a means of purging society of injustice.

This is a radical call, one that traditional Christianity has chosen to reject in the name of realism. I am not wholly persuaded yet, but nothing I have read, heard, or taught quite prepared me for the challenge that Ellul gives to the Christian. I wish Ellul's ideas were more prevalent in Christian circles, as I believe they are worthy of a more thorough discussion and at the very least will challenge the precepts of most Christians and give greater resolve in their beliefs.

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