By Jacques Ellul
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Additional info for To Will and To Do
12 On the other hand, the author of the letter to the Hebrews shows us that the conscience is also a consciousness of man's sin (Hebrews 10:2), in pointing out that if the sacrifices of the Old Testament had really purified man he would no longer have any consciousness of sin. Moreover, we must stop and look at this letter, for it contains quite a remarkable teaching. It teaches us, on the one hand, that the worship prescribed in the law, in the sacrifices, cannot render perfect in respect to the conscience.
This attracts or assumes several serious errors. In all the formulations of natural morality it is not a question of Jesus Christ. It is hard to see what purpose the work of God fulfilled in Jesus Christ can have in this construct. Neither the incarnation, nor the death, nor the resurrection have anything to do with the theory of natural morality. So one is confronted 52 To Will and to Do with a Christianity without Jesus Christ; for if man is able to compensate naturally for sin by his good conduct, if the fall is merely a "weakening," then there is in fact no need for Jesus Christ.
Symbolism, p. 146). To become one's own court of justice for oneself is to be alienated indeed (p. 139; cf. Symbolism, p. 145). 60 4 Morality Is of the Order of Necessity Brought about by the fall, necessity is introduced into the world. Determinism, mechanism of history, scientific law, destiny, ananke, whatever name is used to cover it up, whatever be the form in which man accepts it, necessity is always the same. There is no great difference between the profound meaning of the implacable fate which hung over the family of the Atridae, the type of all mankind, which ran its inevitable course through the ignorances, the repeated unawareness, of the supposedly free decisions of each of its members; and the law of large numbers hanging over modern throngs, which is fulfilled by man in his seemingly free decisions, and which in his spontaneity reduces him to the common model.
To Will and To Do by Jacques Ellul