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Posts tagged "Robert Capon"


Hopelessly Devoted: John Twelve Verse Twenty Four

This one comes to us from Luke Roland. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Lately I’ve been meeting with a lot of clergy. They have unanimously said the same thing to me, “you […]

Robert Capon on the Purpose of Confession

Some Lenten wisdom from the boss, via the Prodigal son chapter in Kingdom, Grace and Judgment:

“Confession has nothing to do with getting ourselves forgiven. Confession is not a transaction, not a negotiation in order to secure forgiveness; it is the after-the-last grasp of a corpse that finally can afford to admit it’s dead and accept resurrection. Forgiveness surrounds us, beats upon us all our lives; we confess only to wake ourselves up to what we already have… We are not forgiven, therefore, because we made ourselves forgivable or even because we had faith; we are forgiven solely because there is a Forgiver.”

RFC’s Between Noon and Three contains a pretty amazing zinger on the same subject: “Confession is not the first step on the road to recovery; it is the last step in the displaying of a corpse.”

Of Lice and Life: The Relief of Naming the Mother in the Room

As God’s providence would have it, a few weeks ago one of my fellow suburban moms said to me, “Sarah, you are either a lice family or a butt worm family.” Today, I found out we are the former. And yes, butt worms are a thing. They have a more scientific name. But really, do you […]

Salty Lamb: The Ludicrous Legacy of Robert Farrar Capon

Don’t stop til you get enough! Of our Spring Conference in NYC, that is. Here comes Mr. Richardson, talking about one of our heroes:

Salty Lamb: The Ludicrous Legacy of Robert Farrar Capon – Ethan Richardson from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

A Totally Biased Review of Robert Farrar Capon’s Between Noon and Three

There are precious few books that elicit tears; even fewer books of theology. Walker Percy echoed T.S. Eliot’s “dissociation of sensibility” in saying that the modern person “cannot think and feel at the same time.” Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace, named for the period of darkness just before Christ’s death, comes as close […]

In Loving Memory of Robert Farrar Capon (1925-2013)

A real hero of the faith died yesterday, Robert Farrar Capon. I almost wrote that he “went on to his reward” but I doubt Dr. Capon would have liked that phrase very much.

jamie_capon2Readers of this site will know how deeply indebted we are to Dr. Capon, how inspiring he has been and continues to be. Author, theologian, food critic, Episcopal clergyman, the man was an unwavering advocate for grace in its most radical and Christocentric expression–a prophet if the truth be told–and we will not see his like again.

We’ll run some lengthier tributes next week, but for today, I invite you to take some time and acquaint or re-acquaint yourself with his work. Note the pastoral insight and rhetorical brilliance, the uncontrived playfulness (and occasional snark!), the sheer creativity–it is astounding. Words and turns of phrase leap off the page in Spirit-filled exuberance. The man didn’t just talk about freedom, it dripped from his every sentence.

As anyone who has read Kingdom, Grace, Judgment (or leaned on it, week after week, for sermon and bible study “help”) knows, Dr. Capon was that rare scholar whose love of the Bible was truly contagious. And anyone who has read/experienced Between Noon and Three knows that he was also a provocateur after God’s own heart, unafraid to follow the Good News into every crevice of human experience. I consider it to be one of the true privileges of my life that he granted us that one final interview in 2011 and would like to think, in some small way, that we carry on his work. I pray we might.

We are grateful for the life of Robert Farrar Capon and look forward to the day when we will get to toast him at the heavenly banquet about which he wrote so beautifully. He won’t be hard to find–the life of the party never is.

A few highlights of our Capon coverage over the years:

  1. A Parable of Gracious Infidelity: The Marriage to Merit-Demerit
  2. The Layoff of the Accountants
  3. Junk Bonds, Grace, and the End of Religion
  4. God Is Not Your Mother-In-Law
  5. Divine Lifeguards and Our Fatal Love Affair With the Law

The only footage of Dr. Capon on youtube comes from a retreat he led in 2004 following the release of his final book, Genesis: The Movie. It captures him in all his salty glory:

What I Didn’t Do On My Summer Vacation

It’s official: leisure has gone the way of the leisure suit. At least according to an excellent “long read” by Jenny Diski in The New Statesman, “Learning How to Live”, which explores the question of why we find free time so terrifying. If it sounds like an essay-length rumination on DFW’s brilliant observation about muzak […]

That’s Some Arthur You’ve Got There: Robert Farrar Capon on the Layoff of the Accountants

A particularly vivid unpacking of Christ’s lesson on dinner party etiquette in Luke 14:1-14, this time from pages 282-284 of Father Capon’s Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus: That, I take it, is the point of Jesus’ words against reciprocation and repayment. Jesus is saying, ‘Listen, you are absolutely […]

More 2011 Favorites: Books, Documentaries, Musical Discoveries and Web

Books and Film Favorite Piece of Fiction (Read During 2011): Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. Not just a favorite of the year, but a favorite, period. It’s a rare work of art indeed that can shed light on both The Royal Tenenbaums and the Jesus Prayer. Unbelievably wise, delightfully funny and deeply religious (in […]

Robert Downey Jr, Mel Gibson, and the Idiot Forgiveness of God

No idea how I missed this when it aired a couple weeks ago, but BRAVO! We all know about Mel Gibson’s considerable trespasses of the past few years – vile stuff, to say the least – depending on who you ask, he might have even committed an unforgivable sin (or three). So Downey Jr’s speech […]

Robert Capon Rewards the Rewardable and Improves the Improvable

Psych! Another batch of Gospel bombs from Robert Farrar Capon’s Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus, a few of which may sound familiar: “Forgive us our sins as we forgive every one who is indebted to us.” The Gospel truth is that forgiveness comes to us because God in […]

Birmingham Conference Recordings: Grace, Rest and the End of Scorekeeping

A major thank you to everyone who helped us put on our conference in Birmingham, AL, especially all the good people at Cathedral Church of the Advent. What a delightful and inspiring time it was! Lots of laughter, a few tears, some great food and tons of new connections, we could not be more grateful. […]