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Money and Power

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Tracing attitudes toward wealth from the Old Testament to the New Testament, Jacques Ellul discusses both societal and individual responsibilities related to the use of money and power.
Paperback, 173 pages
Published January 1st 1984 by InterVarsity Press (first published 1954)
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Tim
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ellul's Money and Power is just as powerful as I remembered it to be. He calls for individual action (against socialist corporate action and capitalist resignation to the market), despite the contempt in society for those who try to live by personal standards. "Truth resides in the masses, and as long as the problem is not solved everywhere for everybody, nothing has been done." "The reason for this inactivity is the extreme difficulty of incarnating truth." The world will not be changed by our ...more
Rex
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
L'homme et l'argent may not be Jacques Ellul's most mature work, but it is a valuable one nevertheless, full of his usual ardor and insight; his words may smolder in my mind for a long time to come. There is something here for each (and probably every) reader to disagree with—the interpretation of this passage or the rejection of that political system—but it is held together by prophetic clarity of vision and conscience. One of the striking things about Ellul is his unflinching commitment to tru ...more
John
Dec 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Ellul's writing always provokes the reader to reexamine one's beliefs. He is a radical in two different directions--he is radically committed to the implications of the incarnated Christ, yet he is also a universalist and a product of Marxist philosophy. He's very much a critic of Marx, but it is obvious that his worldview has been deeply impacted by Marx.

Ellul argues that money should be a neutral thing--a tool, but human desire has made money into Mammon--a rival God, an idol that our world se
...more
Shawn
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jacques Ellul was a French philosopher that lived from 1912 until 1994. He was employed as a Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Bordeaux. Like a Louis L’ Amour of deep theology and sociology, Ellul has produced more than 58 books and thousands of articles. But Ellul’s writing is far more profound . This particular work is a deep exploration of the powerful hold money has on human society.

Money Worshippers

Many people today see money as an object of veneration, as something f
...more
Leandro Dutra
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cinque étoiles peut paraître trop pour un texte à la fin anarchiste — mais ce que c’est surprenant dans Ellul c’est que sont côté réformé, rigoreux dans ses critiques, lui pousse beaucoup plus loin que on pourrait attendre de sa néoorthodoxie.

Contre le communisme, contre le capitalisme, contre toutes les idolatries contre & pour l’argent — pour & par la Parole de Dieu.
...more
Karen
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Antonia
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Must read. A great start on understanding more about Money, the Bible definitely doesn't mince words.
Ryan
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cuts to the heart of how money controls our decisions; and how Christians can strip money of its sacredness to preach the gospel of forgiveness and grace.
leighcia
Apr 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
From the title, I thought this book would be about people with money and power. However, the book could be more appropriately named the power of money. Ellul first explores wealth in the Old Testament. He examines instances when God used wealth as a reward or blessing, emphasizing that the riches were a gift and a material demonstration of God’s power. Ellul then elaborates on how Jesus completely transforms our relationship to money, especially as He becomes the “Poor One”. Why are the poor amo ...more
Paul Jeon
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
For those in the reformed tradition a fascinating quote: "The poor are the true representatives of God on earth. This emphasis fades away during the Reformation ... and tends to disappear with the rise if the middle class. But it takes humility to put oneself under the tutelage of the Middle Ages rather than to pride oneself on having such a lovely hermeneutic."

Fantastic insights into how we think/define the poor and why this is the case. It appears our understanding of the "poor" is different--
...more
Alan
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Key insights: 1) the poor are not the "poor" (hopeless and powerless) of scripture when they are being politically mobilized/agitated (in those cases, they have resources and are not left hopeless to cry out to God) 2) when the "poor" cry out having reached bottom and lost all hope, their inchoate cries are, by their nature, to God 3) discussion of money as not neutral, but a power (Mammon).
Bryan
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the easiest Ellul book I ever read, since I actually completed it. Actually I couldn't put it down. A great book that is very provocative and still relevant over a half century from when it was written. A good starting point for studying the subject of wealth & mammon. ...more
Sam
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
"The mark of the world of money (where everything is bought, where selling with all its consequences is the normal way to act) is the exact opposite of the mark of God's world where everything is free, where giving is the normal way to act."
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Baptised Catholic, Ellul became an atheist and Marxist at 19, and a Christian of the Reformed Church at 22. During his Marxist days, he was a member of the French Communist Party. During World War II, he fought with the French Underground against the Nazi occupation of France.

Educated at the Universities of Bordeaux and Paris, he taught Sociology and the History of Law at the Universities of Strau
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Karen M. McManus, the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us Is Next, doesn’t shy away from secrets and...
55 likes · 4 comments
“The ultimate expression of this Christian attitude toward the power of money is what we will call profanation. To profane money, like all other powers, is to take away its sacred character.... Giving to God is the act of profanation par excellence.... We need to regain an appreciation of gifts that are not utilitarian. We should meditate on the story in the Gospel of John where Mary wastes precious ointment on Jesus. The one who protests against this free gift is Judas. He would have preferred it to be used for good works, for the poor. He wanted such an enormous sum of money to be spent usefully. Giving to God introduces the useless into the world of efficiency, and this is an essential witness to faith in today's world.” 1 likes
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