Jacques Ellul (1912-1994)

“Am I a pessimist? Not at all. I am convinced that the history of the human race, no matter how tragic, will ultimately lead to the Kingdom of God.” – Jacques Ellul (1912-1994)

Jacques Ellul (1912 – 1994) was a French philosopher, law professor, sociologist, lay theologian, and Christian anarchist. Ellul was a longtime Professor of History and the Sociology of Institutions on the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences at the University of Bordeaux.

In his book What I Believe, Jacques Ellul writes:

Jacques Ellul (1912-1994) Professor at the University of Bordeaux

“I am convinced that all the works of humankind will be reintegrated in the work of God, and that each of us, no matter how sinful, will ultimately be saved. Salvation is universal because the love of God encompasses all. If God is God and if God is love, nothing is outside the love of God.

A place like hell is thus inconceivable. The difference between the Christian and the non-Christian is not one of salvation. Salvation is given by grace to everyone. Christians are simply those charged by God with a special mission. The meaning of being a Christian is not working at your own little salvation, but changing human history.

It is inconceivable that the God who gives Himself in His Son to save us, should have created some people ordained to evil and damnation. There can only be one predestination to salvation. In and through Jesus Christ all people are predestined to be saved.

Our free choice is ruled out in this regard. God wants free people, except in relation to this last and definitive decision. We are not free to decide and choose to be damned. […] Being saved or lost does not depend on our own free decision. An explicit confession of Jesus Christ is not the condition for salvation. Salvation is always for everyone, by grace. All people are included in the grace of God. A theology of grace implies universal salvation.”  (Jacques Ellul, What I Believe 1989)

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