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Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace Paperback – December 31, 1996

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With wit, humor and exegesis, Capon evokes a bit of C.S. Lewis as he brushes past centuries of dry theologizing on concepts of grace and freedom, law and sin, and actually makes the questions fun. Describing his method as "theology by way of entertainment," he illustrates the radical nature of grace with a "parable" about an illicit affair between a promiscuous English professor and a graduate student, both married. Capon, an Episcopal priest, is determined to "separate the liquor of grace from the mash of mortality," and some may accuse him of excessive haste in setting aside the latter. His justification: "No mistake can hold a candle to the love that draws us home." Chiding the "grace-fearing spoilsport in every one of us," Capon argues that organized religion too often encourages us "to act more like subjects of a police state than fellow citizens of the saints."

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

Picture a college town in the mid-1970s. An English professor who has become an expert in extramarital dalliances is smitten by one of his graduate students. They meet for lunch around noon, and before three they make declarations of love. Is it possible that their subsequent affair could ultimately teach us something about true forgiveness and the radical meaning of grace? Only Robert Farrar Capon would have the audacity - and the authorial skill - to fashion such a tale. It has taken well over a decade for Between Noon and Three to appear in this, its original form. First published under two separate titles with significant parts excised and an entire section recast, the real Between Noon and Three is actually a trilogy of intertwined tales, each of which exhibits Capon's persistent insistence on the outrageous nature of grace. The original manuscript is here printed in full, including a new introduction by Capon on the work's unusual history.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; UNABRIDGED VERSION edition (December 31, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802842224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802842220
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you thought you knew about the scandal of God's Grace, then read this book and it will turn it all upside-down (as it should be!) Written and published in three separate parts in the 70s, this book is timeless. Its depth and daring surpass anything I have read in recent memory. Capon deliberately uses the parable of a love affair between two already married people just to push you a bit closer to the edge of discomfort. Actually, I think he pushed me over that edge. This book makes you want to raise your finger and say, "Yeah, but..." - then it silences you because you know that he is laying bare the scandal of God's love and grace, resurrecting us from the death of sin. Not "because of..." or "as long as...." not "only if you...."; there are no conditions, no promises of a changed life, no cost to ourselves and even no choice for us to make. Capon is clear that God's grace is entirely "In Spite Of"; no, perhaps thats too weak because you don't resurrect someone "in spite of death"...you just do it and give them life. God gives life out of Love...sin just doesn't come into play beyond the fact that it brought death in the first place. God just doesn't see it anymore. As Capon says, he only sees, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." Wow. There are few books that have made me want to shout to everyone the truth about Grace, the scandal of God's radical Liberation, Resurrection and Love. It is so radical as to be offensive. Yes, this book offends; may I be so offended more often by God's irrational Love for us!
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Format: Paperback
If you thought you knew about the scandal of God's Grace, then read this book and it will turn it all upside-down (as it should be!) Written and published in three separate parts in the 70s, this book is timeless. Its depth and daring surpass anything I have read in recent memory. Capon deliberately uses the parable of a love affair between two already married people just to push you a bit closer to the edge of discomfort. Actually, I think he pushed me over that edge. This book makes you want to raise your finger and say, "Yeah, but..." - then it silences you because you know that he is laying bare the scandal of God's love and grace, resurrecting us from the death of sin. Not "because of..." or "as long as...." not "only if you...."; there are no conditions, no promises of a changed life, no cost to ourselves and even no choice for us to make. Capon is clear that God's grace is entirely "In Spite Of"; no, perhaps thats too weak because you don't resurrect someone "in spite of death"...you just do it and give them life. God gives life out of Love...sin just doesn't come into play beyond the fact that it brought death in the first place. God just doesn't see it anymore. As Capon says, he only sees, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." Wow. There are few books that have made me want to shout to everyone the truth about Grace, the scandal of God's radical Liberation, Resurrection and Love. It is so radical as to be offensive. Yes, this book offends; may I be so offended more often by God's irrational Love for us!
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Format: Paperback
We have clear conceptions of important abstractions that we have heard named, but not defined, since we were children. We live with misconceptions born while we wait to understand when we are able. Unfortunately, these images take on a life of their own, and crowd out any possibility of there ever being any real understanding.
Grace is one of those concepts. We hear the word repeated in sermon and song, we use it ourselves in characature. The image of what we think Grace is limits our access to its reality in our lives.
Enter this annoying book. Capon twists and tweaks and disturbs our sense of what is right and wrong. OUR sense.
Only when the shocking first section is trumped by the final section do we realize what is happening to us. Even though he warns us repeatedly along the way, and taunts us into dialogue.
I admit the central section merely annoyed me without enlightening me ... yet. Maybe I will get it later. Sacred adultary, a mafia hit, and a coffee hour give-and-take seem unlikely parables to expain Grace. It works. With style and grace. Anyone who has tried to live a life of faith honestly in the midst of the contradictions of life will feel this book resonate within their soul.
No wonder it is subtitled "Romance, Law, and the OUTRAGE of Grace."
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Format: Paperback
Capon continues to tantalise, entice and stimulate with this revised edition of Between Noon and Three. Capon captures the incredibly lavish Grace of God through a combination of wit, exegesis, and a carefully crafted story. This book is a real shock to the "grace-fearing spoilsport in every one of us". Capon confronts the menacing ugliness of legalism and drags it screaming into the light of the lavish Grace and Love of God. Capon expounds the Grace of God in such a way that one can't help salivating at the beauty of God made complete in his glorious Son. Throughout the novel one is continuously shouting AMEN (I Love you) to the Father who so loves his children that he does not give grace so that they will feel "much obliged" but rather extends totally free, unconditional, absolutely radical, all encompassing Grace. This is the grace for Dead people, and as Capon eloquently describes: all that is required of a dead body is to stink. I Love my God who makes the little, least, lost, last, losers and the DEAD - ALIVE! FREE and all this is GRATIS!
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