A word from Jacques Ellul

I believe in God’s secret presence in the world. God sometimes leaves us in silence, but he always tells us to remember. That is, he recalls us to the word which he has spoken and which is always new if we rebuild the path from the word written to the word lived out and actualized.  He is a God incognito who does not manifest himself in great organ music or sublime ceremonies, but who hides himself in the surprising face of the poor, in suffering (as in Jesus Christ), in the neighbor I meet in fragility. (from What I Believe, 1989, p.148)

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6 Responses to “A word from Jacques Ellul”

  1. The Liberal Rite Says:

    The philosopher Roger Scruton tells an interesting story in his memoir “Gentle Regrets” which was originally told by the late Mgr. Alfred Gilbey. It goes something like this.

    Apparently, Leonardo painted each figure in his Last Supper from life, and spent many years scouring the streets for suitable models. Eventually, he had completed everyone in the picture except Judas Iscariot. Then one day, out in the darkness of the Milanese boondocks, engaged in a whispered deal, he saw a furtive, anguished man whose shiftiness seemed to sum up everything Leonardo saw in Judas’ character.

    After offering him the necessary inducement, Leonardo brought the man back to his studio to begin the sitting. Standing before the canvas, his visitor said to him, “But you have painted me before.” Leonardo looked at him in incomprehension.

    The man pointed at the figure of Christ. “There I am,” he said.

  2. John Says:

    Great story, John!

    BTW, If you scroll way down on Pete Rollins’ blog:
    http://www.ignite.cd/blogs/Pete/index.cfm – off on the right sidebar, you will see a note describing his work in progress: The Fidelity of Betrayal: What Would Judas Do?

  3. Phantom Director Says:

    I notice a lot of folks rediscovering Jacques Ellul. He had an American Student, who in 1962(?) at Univ. of Chicago said was the greatest living theologian in America. It was a man I used to work for in the 60’s–his name was William Stringfellow. If you like Ellul, you would enjoy the many books that Bill published prior to his untimely death.

    Cheerfully, Phantom Director

  4. Phantom Director Says:

    Excuse me should read:

    I notice a lot of folks rediscovering Jacques Ellul. He had an American Student, who in 1962(?) at Univ. of Chicago Karl Barth in a meeting,said was the greatest living theologian in America. It was a man I used to work for in the 60’s–his name was William Stringfellow. If you like Ellul, you would enjoy the many books that Bill published prior to his untimely death.

    Cheerfully, RK The Phantom Director

  5. John Says:

    Hey Phantom Director – Wow! You knew Stringfellow? I would love to hear about that sometime, as I am a huge fan of his. Marva Dawn is also very influenced by Ellul. I don’t always agree with her take on things, but she is a truly wonderful person. Best, jp

  6. Mother Laura Says:

    You know Marva Dawn too, John? Is there anyone you don’t know? 🙂

    She probably wouldn’t remember me, as she was quite senior when I started my doctoral study at ND, but I remember seeing her comment in colloquia and have read some of her stuff, though not in a while.

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