Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Home free fun

"The incentive is that the gospel is's a hoot: it's the only really good news the world will ever hear. it may be mysterious, or absurd, or outrageous; but it will make you gladder than anything the world will ever tell you. As a matter of fact all the world will ever give you is a lifetime's supply of threatening incentives to get your act together, or else. People always assume that the church's primary business is to teach morality. But it isn't; it's to proclaim grace, forgiveness, and the free party for all. It's to announce the reconciling relationship of God to everybody and to invite them simply to believe it and celebrate it. Morality, law, rules, prescriptions-- those are all the world's business. And the world keeps up a steady drumbeat on those subjects: you must do this; you mustn't do that; you're out until you can prove yourself worthy of being let in. But that's just a thinly disguised way of saying that most people aren't going to be in for very long and that none of them can be in for good. Nobody, from Adam to the last person on earth, can pass a test like that. And therefore God simply doesn't risk it: by the Mystery of the Incarnation, he cancels all the tests and gives a blanket hundred percent to everyone. In the Mystery of Christ's death, he drops all the rotten works in the world down the black hole of his own forgetting; and in the Mystery of Christ's resurrection, he makes a new world in which we're all home free."
Robert Capon

Monday, December 5, 2011

Glad tidings: Brownie-point-earning rigmarole cancelled.

I have been having a good old time catching up on some old writings from Robert Farrar Capon. Here is some quotes that stood out from the first chapter of 'The Mystery of Christ & why we don't get it' :

"If even the law of God can't be an instrument of salvation, your own home-brewed laws certainly can't be.......
In Jesus's death and resurrection, the whole test-passing, brownie-point-earning rigmarole of the human race has been cancelled for lack of interest on God's part.... Not only can he handle it, he's already handled it: he has all our messes fixed in Jesus --right now even before we make them.........

In church, when we sing' 'Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,' we don't add, 'except for repeated adultery, multiple rape, persistent child abuse, or the systematic watering of the stock of every widow in town.' For one thing, it would ruin the music. But most of all, it would bury the Good news under a pile of scholastic logic-chopping --not to mention the fact that it would limit the reach of Christ's forgiveness to a smarmy bunch of moral overachievers."

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