Saturday, February 23, 2008

EVERYONE IS PLAYING DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THE SAME GAME...UNLESS


I am letting Ellul do the work around here much lately. I know it might look a bit lazy, but hey, all this blog is about is simply what is inspiring and challenging me at this moment...some of my own pondering and some thinking being done by others. I share it here with this thought in mind: if sharing it openly is a help to someone else...all the better. So it's really just an act of making my confession in public. So here is something I read tonight from Ellul's book, Perspectives on Our Age.

"We need a transcendence. When I say this, I am not being apologetic, I am not seeking to defend Christianity: that doesn't matter to me in the least. Nor does this need to prove the existence of God. I simply mean to say that only one of two things is possible.

One possibility is that technique becomes our destiny, a kind of growing fate that grows and takes over all human realities. No culture will escape as we have seen in the Third World. And parenthetically, when I said technique could trigger crisis, I meant that there are determinisms during crisis just as there are determinisms during a time of equilibrium. Thus, the first possibility is that technique can become fate in the old and religious sense of the term by introducing an absolute determinism into society and our world.

The other possibility is that something exists that technique cannot assimilate, something it will not be able to eliminate. But this can only be something transcendent, something that is absolutely not included in our world."

8 comments:

Jennifer said...

This is very complimentary to the speech from Gandhi I just added to my blog tonight. He says just about the same thing.

Kent said...

Jennifer, there have been so many things shifting in my life over the past few years and a lot of it revolves around Jesus saying "That they would be in the world but not of it."

Too often (sadly the overwhelming majority of the time) I think religion has got this totally wrong. The way so often it has been approached has had to do with, in practice, seperating one's self from people that are different. Religious people shouldn't hang with the "sinners".

And yet this religious club continues on it's merry way playing the same game offered by the world having become just like it.

Ellul is one of the greatest thinkers I have read when it comes to understanding the mess humanity has created as it has marched on attempting to "fix" things and bring "order" to the chaos and how we get caught up in that process and in most cases are living totally blind to it.

This transcendence comes from God and not the God of religion but the God that was revealed to the world through Jesus. This is what makes embracing people (all people) in love possible...free of agenda, manipulation and control. God's freedom is the only thing that makes possible, living free from the game the world plays. The game that continues to seperate us from the "other".

This technique that Ellul speaks of is what perpetuates discord. Harmony in relationships...living justly with each other cannot happen unless we transcend it.

Jennifer said...

Ellul is one of the greatest thinkers I have read when it comes to understanding the mess humanity has created as it has marched on attempting to "fix" things and bring "order" to the chaos and how we get caught up in that process and in most cases are living totally blind to it.

This reminds me of one of the comments Gandhi makes. He tells some friends that "an eye for an eye" makes the whole world blind.
In the context of the movie it fits with what Ellul seems to be saying...if I understand right. That no matter what techniques we devise to manage each other, there is a reality which transcends every form of control and sets us free.

This is the part of what Ellul wrote that stuck out to me:
"..something that is absolutely not included in our world."

Even though he said this does not need to prove the existence of God, it seems to be only those who DO believe in God who adopt this transcendence and find that reality.

Jennifer said...

I'm dying to know it you're watching Gandhi. ;)

Kent said...

I haven't got to it yet. I'm doing taxes.

Jennifer said...

Yuck...no pressure, I was just curious. :)

Kent said...

Yep Jennifer, it's not fun but it is one of those necessities one would be wise to abide by.

Jennifer said...

Absolutely :)