The End of Religion

Bruxy Cavey's book, The End of Religion, is the best book I've read so far this year. And, while I know it's still January, I expect it to rank among the best I read all year. Also, while I know it's hard to put aside the question, "What kind of a name is Bruxy?," let's do our best to do that and answer instead the question, "What kind of a book is The End of Religion?"

It is a Biblical book. Cavey makes his case from Scripture, even as he shows how fundamentalism and evangelicalism have chosen bibliolatry--worshiping the Bible and exalting what is supposedly "biblical"--over following Jesus.

It is an irreligious book. Early on, Cavey states, "Much of what Jesus did and taught only makes sense when we realize that his stated goal of offering salvation to the world (see Luke 19:10) also include the abolition of religion as a competing system" (pp. 24-25). The author doesn't advocate (because Jesus didn't) the eradication of religious forms, but ruthlessly insists on seeing them as forms, or helps, and not as the substance of what it means to love God and follow Jesus.

It is a thought-provoking book. I highlighted this book more than most I have read. Cavey makes such delicious statements as:
Anyone who holds too tightly to his or her religious preconceptions will sooner or later become offended at Jesus (p. 35).

Jesus always--ALWAYS--puts the emphasis of his teaching on heart issues, not behavioral routines (p. 51).

Many Christian fundamentalists do not follow Christ, but have replaced his teachings with the prevailing conservative ethos of the day masquerading as religious dogma (p. 74).

Jesus critiques the Jewish leaders because they are religious, not because they are Jewish. And if we grab hold of that, we can see how his rebukes are transferable for all religions at all times (p. 82).

Transcend rules with love, and you are beginning to live like Jesus (p. 85).

In Christian circles, legalism is usually the result of human tradition being added to the Bible and passed off as scriptural teaching. I find the original teachings of Jesus completely freeing. Why would anyone want to deviate from that? (pp. 94-95).

The more admirable our religious roots, the more we will want to simply invite Jesus to join our religion (p. 127).

When sinful, broken, hurting people are pleasantly surprised at how accepting we are, and religious people are outraged at how accepting we are, there is a good chance we're starting to live like Jesus (p. 179).

The problem with organized religion is not that it is organized. The problem with organized religion is that it is religious....the antidote to organized religion is not disorganized religion, but organized irreligion (p. 187).
It is a well-written, interesting book. Once I started it (and I wish I had started it a long time ago), it was quickly and enjoyably read all the way to the end.

You can find out more at the "End of Religion" website. But read the book. It will be one of the best you read all year.

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