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The decline of the western Church seems fortunate to me in the sense that those who drift away from the church never really belonged to it. There was a crisis in this church. But it was a crisis dating back to the eighteenth century whose results appeared only in the nineteen-fifties. And it had to happen to purify the situation: now the truth of God can again be proclaimed, free from political and social compromises, from class distinctions, and above all, from the illegitimate use of the Christianity. By God’s grace, it is no longer useful to be a Christian or to make reference to the church and the Bible.

FROM: Jacques Ellul, In Season Out of Season: An Introduction to the Thought of Jacques Ellul (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1982), 210–211.

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