I’m getting ready to report on Jacques Ellul’s Money & Power, but before that I have a few observations on Ellul’s writing style. Ellul writes in enormous Universals about the nature of money, societal influence, political power, and then he moves to the painful particular of individual responsibility. Sometimes he seems downright contradictory—making one universal point and then an opposite one. I wouldn’t say that makes him difficult to follow, just disturbing to read.
However, this disturbance is not a bad one. The stark contrasts, the dangerous cliffs, the heavy weights he imposes are not imagined, but very real. There is nothing in this book that I can disprove. This book is biblical, devotional, intellectual, inspirational, discordant, frustrating, and sometimes just downright disheartening. But I would use all those adjectives to describe the financial, social, and political situation of life in the Bible. I trust Ellul because he offers no easy answers. He describes what a lifestyle that embodies Christ’s victory over mammon can look like. He gives us biblical means to desacrilize money’s power over us. He demystifies Paul’s “whether abased or abound” into a simple life of apprenticeship—but I’m getting ahead of myself. Its a powerful read.