Tuesday, July 22, 2008


When I became aware that Bruxy Cavey was going to be one of the speakers at Gathering 2008, the 89th convention of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches in Montreal July 10-12, and that he was also posting a transcript of a round-table discussion called "Enjoy the Silence" which explores contemplative spirituality in a positive light on his website, I decided I needed to read his book, "Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus: The End of Religion" to get a better understanding of his teachings. Searching through the web for book reviews, I did come across one by Gary Gilley, which I found to be extremely brief but quite accurate. I decided to purchase the book myself and read it in-depth in all fairness to Cavey. I found the book disturbing in a way that is difficult to describe (although I am determined to try). Like all things emergent, it is like trying to nail jello to a wall. I want to be clear that I have no personal vendetta against Cavey himself. He appears to be both warm and likable, and sincere about his faith. I don't think he is intentionally deceptive and will do my utmost not to judge his motives. It does appear, however, that he is being led down the emergent contemplative pathway whether he is willing to acknowledge it or not. This is evidenced by the fact that he is described freely as an emergent pastor on the web, positively references other emergents in the book, and by his promotion of mystical spirituality on his own website. It troubles me to have to say this, but this is just more evidence that the MB Conference is on a dangerous spiritual path.

I am not writing this book review after a quick skim through it. I have read and reread the book, making notes as I went through it. I will reread each chapter again before writing a review on it so that I can provide an in-depth review. I do want to say that I found some of Cavey's illustrations very enlightening, and appreciate his effort to bring people to an understanding of the importance of a relationship with Christ. However, I reject the underlying premise of the book and his method of trying to convince his audience. I will get into more detail about this as I write the review, chapter by chapter, in coming posts. The accolades, publishing details, preface, introduction and first chapter is available online HERE if you would like to have a look at them yourself.

As the librarian of a small Mennonite Brethren Church (of which I am now no longer a member), I want to state that my job has become a lot harder in the last five years due to the fact that there is so much false doctrine being presented these days. Many Christian book distributors show little or no discretion when it comes to doctrine, and as a librarian I have had to exercise extreme caution while choosing books for the church library. It seems there are more heretical books available under the label "Christian" than there are good solid ones. Although I do not generally write book reviews on those I purchase for the church library, I do scrutinize them carefully. I consider it both a privilege and a great responsibility to be allowed to continue to do so, and I write this review with the same attitude. The church is described as both the pillar and ground of truth. May we rise to the standard given us in God's Word and be considered faithful to that calling by God Himself as we stand before Him on that great day.


carla said...

Hi Bonnie,

The tricky thing is that he sounds so good. I watched a two day interview of Bruxy Cavey on It's a New Day and I honestly didn't hear anything that would make any alarm bells go off. In fact, he seems like a very sincere guy, very likeable, and even has some very good things to say. I think what we have to be careful of though is what these teachers are not saying, and what they may be promoting on the side. The departure from the whole counsel of the Word of God starts out very subtle and always looks very attractive.

Keep up the good blogging. Some good blogs have been dropping off lately and we need people like you to carry on.

I'm taking a summer blog break for a while, just thought I'd stop by and say hi. My garden is calling me. Hope you're having a good summer.

God bless you.


BONNIE said...

I have been having a hard time getting at it myself lately...problems with my internet connection (can't get onto my main computer), so many saskatoons and raspberries in my garden patch that they seem to be coming out of my ears (I do praise God for His bountiful provision!), and other "summer things" that need to be taken care of (home renos, extra kids home from the summer - all blessings, really).

I really need to get the computer problem fixed though, as it is keeping me from getting to the book report. My occasional use of my daughter's laptop just isn't cutting it.

Hope you're havin' a great summer!