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Aug11Fri"Reunion" encourages readers to ditch the religious rituals and rediscover the good news. August 11, 2017 by Captain Mark Braye
Are Christians today still people of the good news? Or have we reduced the gospel message to include only those who look and think like us? These are questions the church needs to wrestle with, and in doing so, we can find a helpful guide in Bruxy Cavey’s new book, Reunion: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints and Sinners.
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- Opinion & Critical Thought
Cavey is the author of the bestselling book The End of Religion and the teaching pastor at The Meeting House in Oakville, Ont., a church for people who aren’t into church. Similar to his church, Reunion could be described as a book about Jesus for people who aren’t normally into books about Jesus.
Reunion is split into two sections, the first of which introduces readers to Jesus and the gospel message. It is aimed at people who may be hesitant or even hostile toward the gospel, but followers of Jesus would also benefit greatly from reading it, being reminded of important elements of our faith and seeing those elements in a new light.
The book and Cavey’s philosophy are encapsulated in the story behind his tattoo, which reads “Leviticus 19:28”—the verse that says to not get a tattoo. Writing about it, Cavey states: “I wanted a Bible verse that summed up the good news message of Jesus in a tattoo, and Leviticus 19:28 seemed like the obvious choice.” For Cavey, it illustrates that people are not reconciled with God through religious formulas, theological frameworks or following biblical rules; they are reconciled through the salvific ministry of Jesus.
The church and followers of Jesus have tried to distill the gospel message into easy to remember and explain formulas or outlines. Cavey touches on the “Four Spiritual Laws,” “The Bridge to Life,” “Steps to Peace with God” and “The Roman Road.” He writes about the pros and cons of each and then offers a fresh take on these frameworks with the gospel in one word, “Jesus”; the gospel in three words, “Jesus is Lord”; and the gospel in 30 words (see graphic above). The third framework is the focus of the second part of Reunion as the author unpacks each element of the 30-word gospel outline. The epilogue, titled “Now What?”, offers next steps to help readers turn their faith into action.
I enjoyed this book immensely. Reunion is well written and thoroughly readable. Cavey’s scriptural and theological knowledge is clear to see, as is his pastoral compassion for people. Reunion would be a great read for a book club or small group and could be used as a framework for a Bible study series. As the subtitle suggests, Reunion is a book for anyone and everyone: seekers, saints and sinners.
Captain Mark Braye is the corps officer at Sarnia Community Church, Ont.