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Capon quote from my pastor's FB wall


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‎"The church is not in the morals business. The world is in the morals business, quite rightfully; and it has done a fine job of it, all things considered. The history of the world's moral codes is a monument to the labors of many philosophers, and it is a monument of striking unity and beauty. As C.S. Lewis said, anyone who thinks the moral codes of mankind are all different should be locked up in a library and be made to read three days' worth of them. He would be bored silly by the sheer sameness.

What the world cannot get right, however, is the forgiveness business -- and that, of course, is the church's real job. She is in the world to deal with the Sin which the world can't turn off or escape from. She is not in the business of telling the world what's right and wrong so that it can do good and avoid evil. She is in the business of offering, to a world which knows all about that tiresome subject, forgiveness for its chronic unwillingness to take its own advice. But the minute she even hints that morals, and not forgiveness, is the name of her game, she instantly corrupts the Gospel and runs headlong into blatant nonsense.

The church becomes, not Ms. Forgiven Sinner, but Ms. Right. Christianity becomes the good guys in here versus the bad guys out there. Which, of course, is pure tripe. The church is nothing but the world under the sign of baptism."

-Robert Capon

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We have almost all of Robert Farrar Capon's books. Half are cookbooks, the rest are essays about Jesus and theology. He first wrote a book called "Bed and Board," which is a sort of pre-nuptial book that I'm sad to say paints kind of a glowy, soft-focus picture of traditional marriage and argues against contraception. This guy was a married Anglican priest, and had six children. Unfortunately, he was also a serial adulterer who cheated madly on his wife, while giving sermons about the beauty of marriage. Needless to say, it was kind of shock to Mr. Bolting and me when we found this out. Capon subsequently lost his job and was divorced. He married again, apparently happily and faithfully this time. So he knows what he's talking about when he talks about the need for grace. I can't quite forgive him entirely, though. Holy crap, cheat on the mother of your SIX KIDS? While continuing to get her pregnant? And have the almighty gall to preach and pastor others? I just . . . don't even . . . .

And yet--I find his books very enlightening and the later ones, at least, are the opposite of the patriarchal gospel. They are about the mystery of love and the possibility of grace. So maybe he did learn something. I just think it's too bad the first Mrs. Capon had to suffer because he was still a jerk when married to her. But, anyway, he does have some good ideas about cooking. When we were young and poor, we used to make the potato soup and Cuban bread from "The Supper of the Lamb" all the time.

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