Zachary's Reviews > The Presence of the Kingdom

The Presence of the Kingdom by Jacques Ellul
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it was amazing
bookshelves: phd-class, culture

Writing this book around the midpoint of the 20th century, Ellul would seem at first glance to be largely out of date. In his time he did not know the Internet (at all), cell phones, the proliferation of information and ease of access to news. Nor is he aware of the modern political movements, such as Black Lives Matter and even the modern Pro-Life movement. And yet his words flash forward through time and parse our modern geopolitical situation in a way which seems almost preternatural.

He likes to refer to "technics," which seems to be his shortened version of technology and it's technicians (or scientists). And he raises issues with the impact of technics upon means and ends. This theme threads throughout the book, and it is a charge which still stands today. It could even be argued that man is starting to see the fruits of the dangers Ellul warned about in this book.

 Man's relationship with facts and means and a failure to rightly parse the end towards which man moves is one of the underlying themes of Ellul's book. His engagement with these is insightful and convicting. And yet he argues, throughout, for the perseverence of the Kingdom of God and the need for the preservation of the world through the realization of that Kingdom in the hearts and communities of men. This work seems to, more than anything else, point toward the need for greater work ("research" in his mind) towards this end by the people of God.

 I highly recommend this book for those who want to try and dive deeper and think better about what it means to be a Christian in a world such as ours. It's a commentary on culture while it is also an exploration of the purpose and point of all that we do.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June, 2017 – Finished Reading
June 26, 2017 – Shelved
June 26, 2017 – Shelved as: phd-class
June 26, 2017 – Shelved as: culture

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