Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The End of Religion?

Michael Spencer, The Internet Monk, has an interesting review of Bruxy Cavey's new book The End of Religion. While I have not yet read the book, and so cannot comment on it directly, I do find that ideas like "I'm not religious, I have a personal faith" or "It's not about religion, it's about relationship" are both phrases that really rub me the wrong way. Religion as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary is:
  1. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
  2. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
  3. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
  4. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
  5. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

I'm sorry, but trying to say that we are not "religious", just confuses the person with whom we are trying to communicate. Think of "religion" as being either the structure through which your "faith" or "relationship" is able to take expression, or the set of beliefs that guide your expression of your faith.

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