Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Robert Farrar Capon Is a Genius, Part Four

I recently finished reading Robert Farrar Capon's three volume series on the parables of Jesus, compiled into the one-volume Kingdom, Grace, Judgment published by Eerdmans. Loved it. LOVED. IT. Capon first impressed me with his compare-and-contrast discussion of Superman as the template for the American Jesus in his book The Divine Fox (I quoted it in my book Comic Book Character), and he continues to do so in my encounters with him since. I like him because he's feisty, as in his take on death and salvation in the bit that follows--a nice summary of his work on the parables, his theology of grace, and his personality as a writer. If you like this, you should buy everything he's selling:

We spend our lives invoking upon ourselves imagined necessities, creating God in the image of our own fears--and all the while, he is beating us over the head with the baloon of grace and the styrofoam baseball bat of a vindicating judgment. The history of salvation is slapstick all the way, right up to and including the end. It's the Three Stooges working only for laughs. God isn't trying to hurt anyone; he's not even mad at anyone. There are no lengths to which he won't go to prove there are no restrictions on the joy he wants to share with us. If you were never afraid of Curly, Larry, and Moe, you don't need to be afraid of the Trinity either.

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