- Paperback: 531 pages
- Publisher: Eerdmans; [Combined ed.] edition (March 11, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802839495
- ISBN-13: 978-0802839497
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 80 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus Paperback – March 11, 2002
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Writing in a casual style, almost as though he were speaking to his dearly beloved congregation from the pulpit, Capon leads me down familiar territory. I smile, I nod my head, I murmur a quiet "yes" here and there, and then he grabs my attention in a new way with an interpretative way of seeing the text that I had not thought of. This is a small quote from his discussion on the Parable of the Sower that caused me to stop and mull over what he said: "It says, first of all, that the Sower is God the Father, not Jesus. What Jesus turns out to be - since he is the Word - is the seed sown." His writing is full of little gems like that which cause me to engage more fully with the text.
I Believe Capon's style is meditative, full of wondering and wonderment. I recommend it to anyone wanting to take a meditative look at Jesus' parables.
Capon does an excellent job at addressing what he considers to be two obstacles in understanding the parables. First, people have an overly familiar and shallow approach to reading them and second, the idea that when it comes to the Scriptures, there is nothing new under the sun. Capon eradicates both of these obstacles by dissecting the parables in the larger context of the gospel-the good news of Jesus. He challenges the reader not to accept the old wine of understanding, but to drink of the new wine, in the full spectrum of colors that Jesus himself brings us.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it. However, I have point of disagreement with Capon. Although he recognizes Jesus as the source of God's unconditional love and forgiveness, he doesn't have anything good to say about the Father or the Holy Spirit. God is love and Father, Son and Holy Spirit are and in complete union and communion.
In John 15, Jesus is the true vine and the Father is the vinedresser.
Jesus also said, "If you have seen me, you've seen the Father," (John 14:9).
"I and the Father are one," (John 10:30).
"The Father abiding in Me does His works," (John14:10.
"I am in the Father and the Father is in me," (John 14:11).
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them (2 Cor. 5:19 NLT).
Jesus is the complete and total revelation of God; which Capon acknowledges in another place in the book.
The book is really three combined into one, the first on the parables of the kingdom is the clearest and most compelling. It is worth the price of admission itself. The other two extend the reading to all of the synoptic gospel parables which Mr. Capon plausibly breaks up into parables of grace and parables of judgment. The dividing lines between the parables are events in the life of Jesus - the feeding of the 5000, and the triumphal entry/Palm Sunday. The author writes in what might best be described as a spoken manner. The prose reads like a very good preacher and bible study leader engaged in an intelligent way but one that avoids all academic jargon and pretension. Mr. Capon is not ignorant to critical studies nor the struggles of his own church (Episcopal) which were just getting roiling at the publication of these books, but deals with them typically as trifles (i.e. almost not at all) compared to the core of the gospel. If you have ears to hear what he says, these are simply the trials of the kingdom. If you don't, they swallow whole churches. Hence, like the parables themselves, Mr. Capon proclaims to those who have ears and to those who don't the same message of the Kingdom.
This book is a great retelling of grace and the odd and wonderful ways it works in the midst of this world.