June 14th, 2012 08:47 EST
BOOK REVIEW: The End of Religion, by Bruxy Cavey
MY RATING: * * * ½ (out of * * * *)
BRIEF SYNOPSIS (spoiler free): A daring exploration and explanation in how the true message of Jesus and the Bible is the denunciation and abolition of religion.
As the author says: The real problem Christians need to face is not the exaggerated criticisms of secular people, but the mind-blowing extent of the Church`s failure to follow Jesus.
PROS: This book is more and better than I expected it would be. Rather than an atheistic rejection of religion, it offers irreverent and irreligious clarification of what religion is, and its hazardous folly. But the neat trick and treat of this approach is that the author believes in Jesus--without being religious. "Religion" is commonly considered a loaded word-- full of assumptions, and the author cleverly reveals how empty it really is.
A thoughtful and intelligent examination of the subversive spirituality & philosophy of Jesus, presenting extraordinary and revelatory insights. The Bible of Christianity actually is meant to teach and encourage us to have NO RELIGION! Christ challenged the dominion of, and our dependence on, religion. Very educational, clever and entertaining.
A few summary highlights=
Religion is not the same as having faith or belief in God. Indeed, Jesus was not a Christian. The author boldly asserts that no one understands Jesus less than Christians! He distinguishes between Jesus followers and Christians.
Like Jesus, Cavey uses many allegorical examples to illustrate his points. One example is how religious people tend to focus on the cup over the nourishing, thirst quenching liquid inside. They argue and preach and kill over which cup is best, and forget to drink from any.
By claiming to be God, Jesus was telling us to connect directly to God without using churches or temples or religion as mediator or conduit. And Jesus also advised that the kingdom of God is within us, on Earth as it is in heaven.
Cavey mentions the hazard of allowing rigidity and oppression in word of law at the expense of the intent of law; turning law from beneficial to detrimental. Dangers of elevating imposed tradition over anti-religious teachings of Jesus. Irreligious people free to be more loving.
CONS: Author fails to account for what imbued Jesus` authority and immunity from prosecution for so long. Because if the people of his time really believed he was the actual son of God, they would have obeyed him implicitly, without question. Most people did not accept his godhood.
In my interpretation, Cavey makes the same mistake he criticizes-- by not realizing the God Jesus intended was metaphor, not literal. But this does not diminish the book`s immense power and epistemological relevance.
RECOMMENDATION: If you enjoy deconstructing and reconstructing religious subjects, or studying religious/ Christian history, this book is great fun. Everyone who wants a better understanding of what Jesus actually says in the Bible should read this. Especially so-called Christians, I say.