Living the Life of Grace – Capon

Trust Him. And when you have done that, you are living the life of grace. No matter what happens to you in the course of that trusting – no matter how many waverings you may have, no matter how many suspicions that you have bought a poke with no pig in it, no matter how much heaviness and sadness your lapses, vices, indispositions, and bratty whining may cause you – you simply believe that Somebody Else, by His death and resurrection, has made it all right, and you just say thank you and shut up. The whole slop closet full of mildewed performances (which is all you have to offer) is simply your death; it is Jesus who is your life. If He refused to condemn you because your works were rotten, He certainly isn’t going to flunk you because your faith isn’t so hot. You can fail utterly, therefore, and still live the life of grace. You can fold up spiritually, morally, or intellectually and still be safe. Because at the very worst, all you can be is dead – and for Him who is the Resurrection and the Life, that just makes you His cup of tea.
– Robert Capon

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One Comment

  1. Capon associates the field bought by the man who found the precious pearl (Matthew 13:44-46) with the slightly archaic colloquialism ‘buying the farm’ as a euphemism for death. On this reading,
    God hides the mystery of the kingdom in the world at its creation (here he is
    thinking of Colossians 3:3), and that mystery is only fully revealed to us—to
    all of us, believer and unbeliever alike—at our deaths (p. 117)! Here Capon’s interpretation strains the limits of credulity not only because of its manifestly ahistorical contextualization but also because it demonstrates Capon’s overarching goal in interpreting the parables: to exclude a priori any interpretation of any particular parable that would assume or produce a division between insiders and outsiders. Capon’s vision is of a God whose grace is so abundant that no one need fear missing it, and that conviction creates the problem that the whole three-book structure seeks to solve: how to read the parables of judgment as parables of grace, and so to come closer to understanding and experiencing the kingdom now. But in order to read the parables of judgment as parables of grace, Capon must take them as an ironic sop tossed to disciples and persecutors alike in order to reveal to them their bloodthirstiness and fondness for exclusion.

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