This was one of the most challenging books I’ve ever read. It is difficult to summarize a book so full of ideas, particularly ideas that are not discussed widely within the church. Ellul argues that man is not free in his natural state. Freedom is illusion, and though man seeks to attain it, he is unable to bear it and turns back to enslavement. Man may only be free through Christ—but even this is difficult, as it pits man and Christ against the natural order.This idea is not necessarily a novel one in Christian theology, but the implications of the argument as expressed by Ellul are novel and compelling. Ellul does not view Christian faith as the personal devotional faith that is so rampant through American evangelicalism, but instead it is a challenge to live in freedom and to boldly evangelize, reject the power structures inherent in the fallen order—what he calls the ‘order of necessity.’ This is a remarkably challenging and insightful book, one I'll think about years out.