By Joel Black
OK, so here is my first post at Eclectic Christian (other than my self-introduction).
The original interview is posted at Irreligious Life but I am more than happy to share it here because it is SO good. Bruxy is the teaching pastor at The Meeting House and the author of The End of Religion.
I.R.: Let’s begin with a fun question. Tell us in one sentence or less what you have learned from the following people:
N.T. Wright: We must be vigorous to understand Jesus in his Jewish historical context or else we will tend to project our own ideals into his teaching.
Homer Simpson: Somebody other than God really understands me.
Brian McLaren: Gentleness and Respect really do look good on a person.
Your wife Nina : Brains and beauty really can coexist. (And/Or… Good humour needs no secondary justification. It is self-justifying. Laughter is just good.)
Your best friend (Greg): The simple life is the good life.
Modandas Gandhi: Jesus’ teaching should be taken seriously.
The Dalai Lama: Smile!
I.R.: Here are some questions about your book.
What is the book about?
I.R.: Why did you write this book?
Bruxy: I’m not one of those people who have always wanted to write a book. To be plainly honest – I hate writing. But I love Jesus, and I want to do my part to get his message as wide an exposure as possible. At our church, The Meeting House (www.themeetinghouse.ca), we felt together that it could be useful to gather up some of the teaching we’ve been processing over the years and make it available in book form. Some people will learn about Jesus best by being invited to a lecture. Others will learn best in dialogue. Others will read a book. So I was commissioned by my church to write The End of Religion as a tool for our church to use to help better communicate the message of Jesus
I.R.: Who did you write the book for?
Bruxy: There are lots of books written to Christians about how to explain the Good News of Jesus to their non-Christian friends. I wanted a book to function as a bridge-builder between Christians and non-Christians; a book that was addressed directly to non-Christians yet which Christians could also read and be challenged by.
I.R.: What do you hope is the outcome for writing this book?
Bruxy: My hope is that The End of Religion can function as a kind of meeting place for people of diverse spiritual backgrounds to come together and talk about this central figure of history and his radical spirituality. I have already received wonderful feedback about how this is happening in book clubs and other venues and it does my heart good to know the book is being put to such good use.
I.R.: In the book you talk about the “Water and Wine Scandal.” Jesus’ first public miracle at the wedding in Cana is an illustration of how he undermines religion. Can you give us another example from Jesus’ life where he undermines religion?