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Reason for Being [Paperback]

By Mr. Jacques Ellul (Author)
Our Price $ 25.50  
Retail Value $ 30.00  
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Item Number 144302  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   314
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.52" Width: 5.58" Height: 0.81"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 1990
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802804055  
EAN  9780802804051  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Reason for Being by Mr. Jacques Ellul

Buy Reason for Being by Mr. Jacques Ellul from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780802804051 & 0802804055

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More About Mr. Jacques Ellul

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jacques Ellul was a professor at the University of Bordeaux. He is the author of Propaganda, The Subversion of Christianity, and The Technological Society. William H. Vanderburg is the director of the Center for Technology and Social Development at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Growth of Minds and Cultures and The Labyrinth of Technology.

Jacques Ellul was born in 1912 and died in 1994.

Jacques Ellul has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Jacques Ellul Legacy

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( E ) > Ellul, Jacques   [14  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > Old Testament   [1338  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Old Testament   [2074  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testa   [1604  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General   [10297  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Incomparable Reflections on Qoheleth  May 30, 2008
I've read several books on Ecclesiastes, and this theological reflection on that simple-yet-complex little book of the Bible blows the formal commentaries away. Ellul admits to not being a biblical scholar, but the depth, breadth, and insight he offers were of far greater value to me. He actually made Ecclesiastes meaningful for my life. And he weaves scholarship into his book throughout, so if you can't read a commentary on Qoheleth without wanting references to von Rad, you won't be disappointed (though Ellul does disagree with von Rad in places). I can't believe it took me this long to discover Ellul. I hope this book, which is the first I've read by him, won't be the last.
Reasons and seasons  Nov 7, 2007
I read this book every 5 or so years. It is a tough read. Ellul didnt write comics. He draws closer to the difference between vanity and the creative awareness of God than most.
I will read it again in a couple of years time.
One of the best works available for understanding Eccl.  Dec 8, 1998
Jacques Ellul, professor emeritus of law at the University of Bordeau, France, has writen more than forty books, including "The Technological Bluff" and "Jesus and Marx". For over 50 years he prayed over and meditated on Ecclesiastes and desired to make Reason for Being his conclusion to his lifework. He approaches his interpretation and contemporary exegesis of Ecclesiastes topically; whereby he looks at the "themes of vanity" and interacts with these themes from his contemporary social analysis (power, money, work, happiness, goodness, justice and wisdom). Of the dozen or so commentaries on Ecclesiastes that I have recently read, I found Ellul's work to be one of the best for bringing balance and contemporary application. Many critics have label Ecclesiastes an incoherent collection of a skeptical and cynical writer, but Ellul sees the Ecclesiastes refreshingly different. He sees the writer as a teacher that faces the crude reality of life and demolishes values and illusions that many hold. Everything is question by the teacher but the presence and action of God. For Ellul the teacher is realistic and pragmatic, a spokesman of the actual reality of human life who tells it like it is.

Ellul does a brilliant job delineating the contradictions that permeates the writing of Ecclesiastes. He notes that contradictions are "an essential principle of Ecclesiastes " and that truth in life and about life can not be found without realizing that life itself is contradictory. For Ellul Ecclesiastes affirms the true character of human existence, which itself is essentially contradictory. He states, "Qohelet, the teacher, is a skilled surgeon who opens wounds, including the one wound that dominates human life, and reveals the incredible confusion in our beliefs and assertions, our absolutes and our occupations. Unresolvable contractions forms one of the guidelines of this book." For example, regarding happiness, Ecclesiastes calls it worthless, yet he maintains that the only thing that a person can expect in this life is to take joy and pleasure and live as happily as possible - a contraction.

The two predominant and overriding strengths of Jacques Ellul's work are his topical treatment of the key issues that the Qohelet brings up and how he show that Qohelet's words are for us today contemporary and cosmopolitan. Ellul underlines how today "there is nothing new under the sun" regarding the nature of humankind. We still face a crisis of morality and philosophy, of human customs and grandeur, of the foundations of our collective life - a political crisis. He and Qohelet see a crisis of both the individual and society, a crisis of both the immediate and the chronic. The topical treatment that Ellul uses to illuminate the mind of the Q is refreshingly alive with current day application. He integrates the disorder and contractions inherent in our society today, into the word's and wisdom of the Q's day - over 2000 years ago.

His concluding chapter "God" removes Ellul from the radical harbinger that he is and places him back into the fold of orthodox Christianity. He fails to indite God, as Ecclesiastes did, for breach of covenant, but he does leave evil and injustice at the feet of God when he says "everything is made by God, but you can in no way explain or understand it.... God does everything including all the things that we just criticized." He retains a monotheistic "Christ Only" theology, whereby Christ is the "only one" person that God incarnated.

Without reservation I would recommend Reason for Being: A Meditation on Ecclesiastes for any student of the Old Testament. This book stands out as one of the most probing writings on the Qohelet today. What sets it apart from other commentaries on Ecclesiastes is the contemporary application to today's society that Jacques Ellul brings.


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