“The Elementary Principles of the World ~ The Sacralization of the Secular”

A New & Living Way

A Collection of Essays

Investigating New Covenant Worship in Spirit & Truth

“The Elementary Principles of the World ~ Sacralization of the Secular”

© 2018

W.D. Furioso

Edited by Frances Furioso

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List of Essays 

  • “Now you are the Body of Christ”
  • Elemental Principles of Worship
  • Another Look at Worship
  • Jewish Roots in Christianity
  • Led by the Spirit
  • Elementary Principles of the World ~ Sacralization of the Spiritual
  • Elementary Principles of the World ~ Sacralization of the Secular
  • Elementary Principles of the World & the Worship Praxes of the Contemporary Professing Church
  • The New Covenant
  • Bodily Functions in Spirit
  • Bodily Functions in Truth

Sacralization of the Secular 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Sacralization of the Secular             4 

A Review                                                   8 

“Technique”                                          18 

Postscript                                                25

 

Sacralization of the Secular

When we Christians view the world, one of the things we see is the secularization of the spiritual. That is to say: “Secular Materialism”[1], the majority worldview in western societies, has relentlessly sought to eliminate the spiritual from life. The idea that all that exists can be explained in solely physical terms and natural causes. Secularists have written much towards this end; and Christians have written much bemoaning the fact that the Biblical worldview has lost ground in recent times.

Secular Materialism not only created a “spiritual vacuum” by displacing the spiritual in life, its agenda progressed forward by placing the secular in those places which had belonged to the spiritual. It has made the secular the “new spiritual”. It has sacralized the secular. Paul’s words couldn’t be more appropriate: “Professing to be wise, they became fools…. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature  rather than the Creator….”[2]I think the most useful question we could ask about this phenomenon is this: “What is the cause of such idolatry?” The answer would be this: Fallen Humanity has a propensity for self-aggrandizement – AND – there exist “world forces of darkness” and “spiritual forces of wickedness” which exploit that propensity.

Now, we have been speaking of fallen Humanity – society at large. What if we observe the same phenomenon within that which professes to be the household of God? How can such idolatry exist in the professing church? The answer is the same: The professing church has a propensity for self-aggrandizement – AND – “world forces of darkness” and “spiritual forces of wickedness” are at work in the midst of professing churches to exploit that propensity. Thus, we see that the professing church has adopted some of the gods of Secular Materialism and enshrined them in the worship of the church, thus sacralizing the secular.

Many Christians have recognized this and have proposed “bindingthe powers and principalities”. When Jesus spoke about “binding”, He was referring to “forbidding what is already forbidden in heaven”.[3]But, Christians cannot forbid what they themselves have willed to employin their worship practices. I use the word “employ” advisedly, as I dare say that much of the budget of conventional local churches literally does go to “employ” people and programs which (I hope to convince you) are “the elementary principles of the world”, the very tools of the powers and principalities.

As I have pointed out, the “Sacralization of the Secular” has led to a form of idolatry –an idolatry of human organization. And, this same idolatry has invaded the professing Church. In this essay, I am suggesting that this phenomenon of the sacralization of secular – in both society at large and in the professing church – is clearly described in the various writings of Jacques Ellul (although he doesn’t use any of the labels I have used). I am specifically referring to his concept of “technique”. I am also proposing that the concept he labels, “technique”, equates with “the elementary principles of the world”. So, I think somewhat investigating Ellul’s concept of “technique” will benefit our investigation of “the elementary principles of the world”.

I believe that we will see that the practice and pursuit of “technique” has resulted in the Secularization of the Secular and the Idolatry of Human Organization. The adoption of “technique” in worship practices has resulted in the Sacralization of the Secular – that is, the professing church has come under the trance of “the elementary principles of the world”.

All of this has resulted in, not an unveiling, but a “re-veiling” of the New Covenant. The New Covenant was established 2000 years ago by Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. But while some Christians have appropriated this for personal salvation, by and large, the “powers and principalities” have succeeded in blinding and binding the Christians as a collective in appropriating the New Covenant in worship – that is, living a life of surrender and service according to “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”.

I think it would be helpful at this point to review of what we have discussed in previous essays regarding “The Powers”, “The Elementary Principles of the World”, and “Worship Praxes”.

A Review

“The Powers”

As I stated in the previous essay, “The Elementary Principles of the World: The Sacralization of the Spiritual”, scholars hold various views with regards to the identification of “the powers”. Some see them as impersonal systemic forces for good or evil existing in the realm of human society, yet having a kind of spiritual existence given to them by fallen humanity – not beings, per se, but in some way, socio-politico-economic forces. Others, like myself, understand them to be distinct spiritual beings over human society, fallen from their original estate of serving the purpose of God, now both adversarial towards God and oppressive towards humanity – spiritual beings and forces at work in and through human socio-politico-economic systems.

But, it is not the purpose of these essays to fully discuss the definition of “powers and principalities” – I have done that in another series entitled, “The Cross & The Powers of Darkness”, as well as in the previous essay in this series, “The Elementary Principles of the World: Sacralization of the Spiritual”(p. 10).[4]The purpose of this essay is to further our identification of the elementary principles of the world. Suffice for our present purpose to say: The elementary principles of the world are unquestionably related to the powers and principalities, but are not one and the same. My view is thatthe elementary principles of the worldare the “tools” of the powers and principalities.

“The Elementary Principles of the World”

In the previous essay, I offered two definitions of the elementary principles of the world: A scriptural definition: “strongholds (consisting of) sophisticated arguments and exalted opinions raised up in disobedience against the true knowledge of God”[5];anda working definition: The “elementary principles of the world” are religious principles apart from or outside of Christ.[6]     

It is not in the scope of these essays to discuss the operation of  “the elementary principles of the world” in the socio-politico-economic realm. I am specifically dealing with the manifestation of these “elementary principles of the world” in the worship practices of the professing church. Having said that, the interconnection between the two spheres cannot be denied, because, whether in society at large or in the professing church, the common origin of these “elementary principles” is the same – namely, the world. But with regards to their manifestations in the professing church, when employed in worship practices, there is an inevitable tendency to make the observance of these external praxes[7]the means of expressing spirituality and they become the primary focus of the Christian life.

“Worship Praxes”

I’d also like to recap what we have already discussed regarding “the elementary principles of the world” operational in the worship practices of the professing church throughout its history. To begin, I will share an excerpt from Wolfgang Simson’s book, “Houses that Change the World”:

“I trace today’s Christian worship patterns back to the Jewish synagogue. The synagogue was a Jewish survival structure invented in a corrective facility called Babylon, motivated by religious and nationalistic selfpreservation. It was never born out of a direct command of God that said, “Build synagogues!” The synagogue was a symbol of national defiance and rebellion against God. Prayer replaced the temple sacrifices and religious rituals became the center of Jewishness. The synagogue gave the Jewish nation a religious toy, a smokescreen that allowed them to convince themselves of their own piety, while they essentially remained disobedient to God’s laws, statutes and decrees. The liturgy in a synagogue had five elements: a call to worship, singing, reading of a portion of scripture, a sermon, blessings and farewell. Think of it! Does this structure sound familiar? It is, because this has become the pattern of “worship” in most Christian churches today. And who, other than the very enemy of God, would have an interest in installing a faulty operating system into the bones and marrows of all those that wish to follow Christ? Is it a coincidence that Christ himself mentions the “Synagogue of Satan,” of those that say they are Jews, but are not, as a mysterious player in the apocalyptic scenario (Revelation 2:9 and 3:9)?”

I’d like to say two things regarding what Simson had to say in this quote about “the Synagogue Church”: 1) This specific quote is not meant to be in reference to the house churches Simson is promoting in his book – just the opposite. 2) While I agree with what Simson says in this quote, and agree with much of what he has to say in his book – and agree with much of what “Organic” church and “House” church spokesmen have to say – I do not agree with the perception (assumption) that the New Testament church was totally different from the synagogue: I would venture to say that almost all “Organic” church and “House” church spokesmen would say that the churches from the time of Constantine up to the present are based on the synagogue model, and we need to return to the New Testament model. I would agree with this, except that I see the synagogue model also in use in the New Testament church, particularly in the Book of Acts. Therefore, according to my perspective, the full expression of the New Covenant in and through church is not seen in the New Testament, but remains yet to be expressed by the Church Jesus is building.

In previous essays, I have discussed in detail how the first century church continued to practice Old Testament rituals, customs and traditions, mixing these with the New Covenant. I’m referring to attendance at synagogue and the temple, keeping the Sabbath and the various Jewish feasts (sacred days and times), as well as, taking various vows, etc. This was true of BOTH Jewish and Gentile Christians. There is nothing in the New Testament that clearly indicates that Peter, James and John, nor any Jewish Christians stopped keeping the Mosaic Law in the first century. Personally, when in the Didache[8]the rituals associated with first century baptisms and eucharist services, I see an order and tradition not unlike that of the Jewish synagogue or traditional Christian churches throughout history.[9]Church historians agree that Judaism and Christianity did not become completely separate entities until the time of Constantine in 312 A.D.

While it is true that in 48 A.D. (15 years after Jesus ascended) the apostles told the Gentile Christians to “abstain from things contaminated by idols”[10](concerning which Paul had a lenient view)[11], it is also true that the apostles did not discouraged them from being circumcised – the apostles did not requirecircumcision of Gentiles, but neither did they discourage circumcision.[12]In fact, the apostles did not discourage the Gentiles from keeping any of the other Old Testament laws –  at least, not until 56 A.D. that is, when Paul wrote his Letter to the Galatians (23 years after Jesus ascended).[13]

Because of his Jewish heritage,[14]even the apostle Paul practiced the Old Testament laws for a few decades after his conversion to Christ. This is clearly documented throughout the Book of Acts.[15]However, this ritualism was later clearly denounced by Paul in his epistles – particularly in Galatians and Colossians, somewhat in 2 Corinthians, Romans, and Philippians, as well as by the writer to the Hebrews. These epistles were written 23 – 25 years after Christ’s ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.[16]In these letters, Paul most certainly did warn against these practices, but, contrary to the assertions of almost all “organic church” and “house church” spokesmen, it is merely an assumption to think that all the first century churches embraced and obeyed Paul’s teaching and operated totally free of the aforementioned ritualistic influence of “the elementary principles of the world”. For evidence of Old Testament worship practices continuing in the first century church, I refer you to the following articles: When Did the Disciples of Jesus Stop Observing the Old Testament Laws and How the Apostles Were Expelled from Christianity by Ron Ammundsen, Worship in the Early Churchby Sue Bracefield, A History of Christian Artby Bernard Dick, and the following books: Worship in the Early Church by Ralph P. Martin and In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity by Oskar Skarsaune.

I have also previously mentioned that church historians verify that these practices continued on into the Patristic Period. And for the Gentile Christians, these Old Testament practices morphed into Christian rituals, customs and traditions, including the addition of other “man-made” worship practices like the setting apart of Sunday as the day of gathering for “worship”, the establishment of certain “feast days” with prescribed services, set times for prayer, nascent “orders of worship”, recitation of set prayers and hymns, and the creation of a vocabulary of Christian symbols . For evidences of this, I refer you to The Early Christians: A Sourcebook on the Witness of the Early Church byEberhard Arnold, and The First Rites: Worship in the Early Churchby Kenneth Stevenson.

When we come to the Catholic and Orthodox periods, it becomes appropriate to add the label “liturgies” to these “man-made” rituals, customs and traditions. And as church history progressed, more and different “man-made” worship practices emerged in the various Protestant traditions as well, like the concept of “sacred space”, established “Orders of Worship”, the “Common Lectionary” and the “Liturgical Calendar”, and “Sacramentalism”, et. al. It should be noted that, on the one hand, these practices reflected various aspects of a given culture at given times in history, thus being “contemporary” in their time. But on the other hand, at times there were also “retrograde movements” dedicated to recapturing and restoring the worship practices of earliertimes. Very recent examples of the latter are the so-called Ancient-Futuremovement[17]and the Hebraic Rootsmovement[18], which are both very much in vogue at the present time.

Hopefully, in these essays, I have been able to make plain that a direct connection exists between “the elementary principles of the world” and these said “man-made” worship practices of the “New Testament Church” – from the first century on through church history, and up through today. For evidence of the theological promotion and applied practice of these “man-made” worship practices in the churches of our day I refer you to the writings of Robert E. Webber[19], Thomas Howard[20]and Mark Galli[21], along with a number of important articles which were published in opposition to this negative spiritual phenomenon.[22]

In using the adjective, “man-made”, I DO mean that these practices are of human devising. But, I also must add that I believe the inspiration, or muse if you will, of these formulations come from powers and principalities playing upon the fallen human nature. This perspective will be discussed in this essay.

The term, “praxes” is the plural of “praxis”. The noun praxis comes from the Latin and Greek words of the same spelling, based on the Greek word prattein, which means “to do”. Praxes are established customs and practices.[23]In previous essays, I have been labeling these praxes with terms like “sacralization”, “ritualism”, “objectification”, “sacramentalism” and “symbolism”.  These terms, along with the words “customs”, “traditions” and “rituals”, probably carry connotations which associate them with religious practices only in the past. But in this essay, I hope to convince the reader that these external praxes are also present in worship practices today. And, in referring to modern-day practices, we may better refer to them using words like “methodologies”, “procedures”, “routines”, etc. Or, we may use a term coined by Jacques Ellul: “technique”.

Technique”

Jacques Ellul

I would like to propose that starting even in the first century, and then continuing throughout all church history, the professing church has chosen to employ human organizationrather than looking to the life organism of the Holy Spirit. And in modern times this propensity for human organization has reached a point of what could be called an idolatrous obsessionwith methodologies, procedures, and routines which have been adopted from the world system. Today, we not only have “the elementary principles of the world” at work in the professing church through the “Ancient-Future” movement and the “Hebraic Roots” movement, but also through a plethora of methodologies, procedures androutinesemployed in church ministry and mission.

I would like to propose further that, from a spiritual perspective, the source of these methodologies, procedures, and routines are none other than “the elementary principles of the world”, the very tools of the powers and principalities. I am convinced that this is the major blockage in the flow of the Spirit’s life through the Body of Christ and the manifestation of the New Covenant.

I believe a discussion on the basics of Jacques Ellul’s term, “technique”,[24]would help to identify the professing church’s obsession with human organizationmethodologies, procedures, and routines. Ellul’s term, “technique”, is just one way of labeling this phenomenon. In his writing, Ellul did make reference to the “powers and principalities”; but to my knowledge, he did not specifically refer to “the elementary principles of the world”.[25]Still, I believe his thoughts are an insightful peek into these things. So, I will be briefly discussing Ellul’s concept of “technique” and connecting it with the “humanly structured” worship practices of the professing church.

“The Society of Efficient Techniques”

In 1964, Ellul’s seminal work was released in the USA under the title, “The Technological Society”. The book was translated from the French, and the title was an adaptation of another title in French. Possibly a more descriptive title in English would have been, “The Society of Efficient Techniques”. On page xxv of his book, this is how Ellul defines his term, “technique”: “Technique is the totality of methods rationally arrived at and having absolute efficiency (for a given stage of development) in every field of human activity.”

The equivalent in contemporary terms might be the term, “Best Practices”, which Technopediadefines in this way: “Agreement that standardizes the most efficient and effective way to accomplish a desired outcome. A best practicegenerally consists of a technique, method, or process. The concept implies that if an organization follows best practices, a delivered outcome with minimal problems or complications will be ensured.”[26]

“Technique” is the standardized means for attaining predetermined results. It is a fascination with resultswhich esteems “know-how” as the ultimate value. On page 79 of his book, Ellul states: “Technique has only one principle, efficient ordering.” Ellul argues that efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity.

Let’s summarize the concept of “technique” with the phrase “technological expertise”. And, let’s introduce another term – “technocracy”, which can be defined as governance by technocrats managing society according to trusted methodologies. I believe it would be accurate to say that Ellul’s term, “technique”, equates with the term, “technocracy”, as he sees “technique”as having a managing, controlling, and governing character and power.

To make the assumption that Ellul is disparaging “technology” in a typically Luddite[27]manner, would be to largely misunderstand him and miss the essential point of what he has to offer. What Ellul means by “technique”is more about the nature of “technocracy”, that is, asking the question whysociety increasing desires to have “technique” govern every area of life– health care, education, entertainment, religion, etc. The key word is “why”. The fact that “technique” doesgovern every area of modern life, I think, should be obvious. What is of interest – and importance – is “why”. My answer: We desire to be governed by what we trust. And we will serve (i.e. worship)[28]what we trustto govern our lives. Now, “why”fallen Humanity serves (worships) “technique” is fairly obvious: In the beginning, Humanity made the choice to live independently of the Creator. Being independent of God, it is therefore utterly dependent upon its own ingenuity and ability for governance. Without God, it has no other option – no other “source” in which to place its trust. Therefore, it will naturally serve (worship) its own ingenuity and ability (technique). What is not so obvious is “why”the professing church has come to trust and serve (worship) “technique”.

Vernard Eller

Vernard Eller, an authority on Jacques Ellul, wrote a piece, entitled “Technique or Kindly Light”which was published by House Church Central.[29]In this piece he references Jacques Ellul and his term, “technique”.

In his essay, which cites the old hymn and poem, “Lead, Kindly Light”[30], Eller contrasts the two very different approaches for the Church: either employing “technique”or following the “Kindly Light”. Eller equates “following the Kindly Light” with being led by the Holy Spirit, which is the essence of the New Covenant. Here are a few quotes which I think may be helpful:

“By “technique” he (Jacques Ellul) intends the pervasive modern mindset that gives primal value to the human skills of “problem-solving” – that is, our quite impressive ability in setting goals, reducing them to manageable objectives, and then devising the most efficient steps and methods for getting things into the shape we have in mind for them.”

“And in our day, the practice of technique-efficiency is the only ‘doing’ worth doing at all – just as ‘problem solving’ is the only ‘doing’ that has any significance at all. You haven’t done anything if it doesn’t show ‘results’ in terms of measurable objectives. Ellul observes that, with us, technique has become totalitarian – that is, we take it as being the only means for solving whatever problem we face.”

Concerning the term “programming”: “(This) is perhaps the prime requisite and ultimate symbol of TECHNIQUE.”

Concerning the phrase “congregational renewal”: “ … a wording as completely indigenous to technique-efficiency as it is foreign to anything the New Testament ever talks about. And from the biblical standpoint, I would argue that whatever our comprehensive strategy might produce, it could be nothing scripture would recognize as “congregational renewal.” That one either happens by the Spirt of God or it doesn’t happen at all. And the Spirit of God is perhaps the last thing in the world that will conform itself to human technique.”

“Ellul speaks mainly of the totalitarianism of technique-efficiency in the world; my concern here is with how it has taken over the church… (as body of Christ) where human technique must be firmly prevented from displacing the primacy of God’s will and way for his people. In those things in which our call is to be faithful, it is idolatrous for us to bow down before technique-efficiency out of our love of success.”

Postscript

I trust that the reader has begun to see that the “techniques” taken in hand by Ellul and Eller, as well as, the various human philosophies upon which the “techniques” are based, are present-day examples of “the elementary principles of the world” which the apostle Paul referred to in his epistles. In these essays, I have discussed in considerable detail examples of “the elementary principles of the world” as they were manifested in the worship practices of the first century church. And I have made mention of the fact that, by morphing from Jewish to Christian in fashion, these religious, but worldly, practices have continued throughout all of the history of the Church into the present. I have intentionally moved slowly, attempting to build a case – “line upon line, precept upon precept”, as it were, with care to support the argument with scriptural and historical facts.

The main goal of these essays is to investigate New Covenant Worship in Spirit and Truth. The secondary goal is to uncover “the elementary principles of the world” in worship practices, not so much in church history, but more so in the contemporary professing church – including most “Organic” and “House” churches.  I have come to see that most of the worship practices of the contemporary professing church are fashioned according to “the elementary principles of the world”. In fact, our worship practices are actually built upon “the elementary principles of the world”. And so, here at the end of this particular essay, I would like to make a list of the specific contemporary worship practicesI am referring to. These are separated, set apart, specified places and times and activities for what we have called “worship”:

  • Separating, setting apart & specifying PLACES for “worship”
  • Separating, setting apart & specifying TIMES for “worship”
  • Separating, setting apart & specifying PLACES & TIMES for
    • “A Worship Service”
    • “The Lord’s Supper”
    • “The Collection”
    • “A Bible Study”
    • “Fellowship”
    • “A Prayer Meeting”
    • “The Assembling of Yourselves Together”
    • “Each One to have a Psalm, a Teaching, a Revelation, a Tongue, an Interpretation”

Please understand that I am not saying that there is anything wrong with any of these activities, but rather our perspective regarding their being separated, set apart and specified. For in so doing, we are operating according to “the elementary principles of the world”, ignoring the Holy Spirit; and therefore, are living under the shadow of the Old Covenant and failing to manifest the New Covenant which Jesus has already established with His death, burial and resurrection.

This is idolatryin that we insist on putting humanly created things in the place that belongs only to God, and putting humanly organized things in the place of the life organism of the Holy Spirit. This contradicts the Word of God and grieves the Spirit of God. It is antichrist in that it, in practice, denies Jesus as the Author and Perfecter of the New Covenant. The insidious thing is we ask God to accept and bless these practices which actually arise from our fallen human nature and have been instigated by “world forces of darkness”[31].

If clearly understood, the implications of moving beyond separated, set apart, specified places and times and activities will be extremely radical– that is, a laying of the axe at the root[32]of these worship practices. What I am indicating can be very easily misunderstood and therefore off-handedly rejected. So, I would like to make an appeal to the reader to find within himself or herself the desire to study the New Testament scriptures objectively for what they actually do and do not say, being willing to let go of certain assumptions and cherished conventions. Please read my next essay where I will attempt to “make an explanation”[33]for these things by looking at them in light of:

  • What is “descriptive” and what is “prescriptive” in the New Testament scriptures.
  • What is “of the Letter” and what is “of the Spirit”.
  • What is means to say that the New Testament Pattern is Jesus.

[1]Or “Naturalism”

[2]Romans 1:18-25, Cf. vv. 22 & 25.

[3]Matthew 16:19; 18:18. The syntax of the Greek text makes the meaning clear: “Whatever thou mayest bind upon the earth shall be having been bound in the heavens, and whatever thou mayest loose upon the earth shall be having been loosed in the heavens”. (Young’s Literal Translation). Amplified Bible: “Whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have [already] been loosed in heaven.”

[4]A complimentary .pdf or print copy of “The Cross & The Powers of Darkness”, as well as, any of the essays in this series, can be obtained by emailing: AtChristsTable@gmail.com

[5]This is my translation of 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 drawn from James Strong’s Dictionary of Greek Words. The Greek word, logismos (Strong’s # 3053), can also be translated “imaginations”; but, “reasonings” would be more accurate. Both are figurative. The more literal translation of the word would be “computations”, as the root word, logizomai (Strong’s # 3049), means “to take an account of” or “to take an inventory of”.

[6]My phrase, “apart from or outside of Christ” will probably need more detailed definition in each given instance, but it will always mean that which detracts from or undermines authentic Christ-centeredness and preeminence. Colossians 1:18.

[7]i.e. customs, traditions, methods, procedures, routines, rituals.

[8]An anonymous first-century treatise also known as “The teaching of the Twelve Apostles”.

[9]I am aware of the emphasis the “Organic” and “House” church spokesmen place on 1 Corinthians 14:26 which seems to indicate the opposite, and plan to address that in these essays.

[10]Acts 15:20 & 29

[11]1 Corinthians 8:1-13 & 10:23-30; Cf. Romans 14:1-23.

[12]Cf. Acts 15:19-21, 28-29

[13]There are two major theories on the destination and dating of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians – the South Galatia Theory with earlier dating, and the North Galatia Theory with later dating. I subscribe to the latter.

[14]Acts 22:3 & 26:5; Philippians 3:5-6

[15]See “Jewish Roots in Christianity”, essay # 4 in this series.

[16]See “Led By the Spirit”, essay # 5 in this series.

[17]Cf. https://www.ancientfuturefaithnetwork.org

[18]Cf.  https://www.gotquestions.org/Hebrew-roots.html

[19]“Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals are Attracted to the Liturgical Church”, “Common Roots”, as well as the whole of his “Ancient-Future” series of books.

[20]“Evangelical Is Not Enough: Worship of God in Liturgy and Sacrament”.

[21]“Beyond Bells and Smells”, and “Ancient-Future People”, an article in Christianity Today (February 2008).

[22]“Ancient-Future Heresies” by T.A. McMahon, The Berean Call(February 28, 2008); “ Why We Should be Wary of Adding Extrabiblical Rituals to our Worship” by Philippe Sterling, originally published as “Return to Ritual, Part 2”,Grace in Focus (Jan/Feb 2010); “From Ritualism to a Personal Relationship with God” by Gary DeLashmutt (www.Xenos.org)

[23]https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/praxis

[24]

[25]It should be noted that Ellul’s understanding of “the powers” at some point changed from seeing them as actual spiritual entities in and of themselves to later referring to them as a more “impersonal” type of spiritual forces which were empowered, not in and of themselves, but were rather given this power by human societies and cultures. Yet, I believe that Ellul attributed sin, the fallen state of Humanity, to be at the root of this human condition. While, unlike Ellul, I DO understand the powers to be actual spiritual entities working in and through the world system and human organizations, I still find Ellul’s observations on “technique” insightful and worthwhile for this study.

[26]https://www.techopedia.com/definition/14269/best-practiceThat is the goal of all human organization – to help prevent problems, and when problems do arise, to eliminate them in the most efficient way.

[27]Technopediagives the modern definition of a “Luddite” to be a term “used to describe a person who is afraid of using modern technology and avoids it as much as possible, commonly because it is seen as an invasion of privacy.”https://www.techopedia.com/definition/14456/luddite

[28]My working definition of “worship”, combining both Greek words, proskueneoand latreia, is: A life lived in surrender and service.

[29]http://www.hccentral.com/eller1/technique.html

[30]Lead, Kindly Light is a hymn with words written in 1833 by John Henry Newman as a poem entitled “The Pillar and the Cloud”.

[31]Ephesians 6:12

[32]Our English word, radical, comes from the Latin word, radix, which means root.

[33]1 Peter 3:15, an apologia, Strong’s # 627.

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