Reunion: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners
Reviewed by Nathan McCorkindale
What is the subject?
In a word, this book is about Jesus. Radically, wonderfully, beautifully about Jesus. The jacket of the book will tell you that this is a summary of the gospel in 1, 3 and 30 words, but at the end of the day it is a book that does what every book about the gospel should do, it leads to fall in love with Jesus.
Who is the author?
Bruxy Cavey is the teaching pastor at The Meeting House in Oakville, Ont., and is part of the Brethren In Christ denomination. He is also becoming one of the more prominent voices for those of us who call the Anabaptist tradition home. He has given voice to our distinctives in gracious but unapologeticetic ways.
Why this book?
There has been a lot written about “gospel” in recent years, but some of it pushes against some of our more Anabaptist theology. Reunion gives us a truly Anabaptist perspective on this word.
The thing I appreciated the most about it though is the way in which it is designed to help build a gospel fluency in the church. It is most of all a training tool for the church, so that we can speak well and confidently of Jesus in all his fullness.
Comment on the book’s theological perspective in light of the MB Confession of Faith.
The book is sure to ruffle some feathers. Especially for those who have grown up in a more Reformed tradition. Bruxy pulls no punches when it comes to critiquing the inadequacy of evangelism/“gospelling” techniques like Romans Road or the Four Spiritual laws. And this is what makes the book so wonderful. It actually helps us understand why so many churches today are speaking of a discipleship deficit and offers us a constructive solution. MBs should have no trouble embracing the radical call to discipleship and not just conversion.
Some will certainly pick up on Bruxy’s brief comments on hell and his personal point of view on the nature of eternal judgment. Whether or not his own view is in line with our Confession of Faith could be debated, but to do so would be pointless, especially when we consider that none of the Apostles nor early Christians felt it was necessary to speak of hell when they were talking of the gospel. The gospel is about Jesus and the Kingdom of God, not fire insurance.
Who should read it?
This is a the perfect book for your Bible study or Sunday School class to walk through. Jesus is good news, and our friends, neighbours, and enemies all deserve to hear about it. Bruxy has given the church a huge gift with his outstanding contribution to a field full of books on the gospel.
“So according to John 1:18, God reveals himself to us definitively through Christ in the way that makes his nature crystal clear. God somehow gives birth to himself – the God within God, he who is in the ‘bosom’ (literally, the lap or chest cavity) of the Father. It is as though God opened up his chest to show us his heart – and out walked a person! That person is Jesus. What we learn about God’s heart when we look at Jesus is really good news.”
[Nathan McCorkindale is the pastor of discipleship at Philadelphia MB Church, Watrous, Sask. He enjoys spending time with his wife Niki and four children, and when time allows, being outside in God’s creation hunting and fishing.