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By Jacques Ellul

Jacques Ellul blends politics, theology, historical past, and exposition during this research of the connection among political anarchy and biblical religion. at the one hand, indicates Ellul, anarchists have to remember that a lot in their feedback of Christianity applies purely to the shape of faith that built, to not biblical religion. Christians, nevertheless, have to examine the biblical texts and never reject anarchy as a political alternative, for it sort of feels closest to biblical pondering. Ellul right here defines anarchy because the nonviolent repudiation of authority. He seems to be on the Bible because the resource of anarchy (in the experience of nondomination, now not disorder), operating during the outdated testomony historical past, Jesus' ministry, and at last the early church's view of energy as mirrored within the New testomony writings. "With the verve and the reward of trenchant simplification to which we have now been accustomed, Ellul lays naked the fallacy that Christianity should still commonly be the best friend of civil authority." -John Howard Yoder

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The first event that Matthew's Gospel records concerning him is not without interest. Herod the Great was still in power. He learned that a child had been born in Bethelehem and that reports were circulating that this child would be Israel's Messiah. He realized at once what trouble this might cause him and he thus ordered that all the children of two years and under in Bethlehem and vicinity should be killed. The accuracy of this account is irrelevant for my purpose. The important thing is that we have the story, that it was abroad among the people, and that the first Christians accepted it (we must not forget that they were Jews) and put it in a text which they regarded as divinely inspired.

76 75 Now the Parthians, for their part, were governed by a king. Some think that prayers were being said for the king, that is, the Parthian king, and that they were forbidden. If we grant this, and some historians, of course, dispute it, the text in I Peter is seen in a new light. There can be no question of honoring the emperor under the name of king, or of praying for the king of Rome! But Peter twice refers to the king. Why, then, should he not have had the Parthian king in view? If so, the passage is a totally subversive one.

They defined law as the art of the good and the equitable, and I can guarantee that in hundreds of concrete cases they rendered decisions which showed that they were in effect dispensing justice. The Romans were not in the first instance ferocious fighters and conquerors, as they are often described. Their chief achievement was Roman law. A little problem which virtually no one considers is that their army, strictly speaking, was never large. At the most it seems to have had 120 legions, and these were nearly all stationed on the frontiers of the empire.

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