Over the last couple of days I’ve been sharing some quotes from Robert Farrar Capon’s Kingdom, Grace and Judgment. It is an interesting look at the parables of Jesus from an Episcopal priest. I’ll warn you that the reading isn’t always easy, but there are some real nuggets in this man’s heart.
I love it when people inside the box are thinking and, it would appear, living outside of it. Here are some of his thoughts about how religious thinking has become so embedded in Christianity that it has distorted the reality and power of the Gospel of the Kingdom. The kingdom defies every box we try to smash it into. It invites us to live in the extravagant love of God as he comes into our lives and transforms us.
”Jesus didn’t shy away from sinners, so why should the church? And don’t tell me the church welcomes sinners. I know better. It welcomes only sinners who repent and then never seriously need forgiveness again.” (p. 128)
Hence all the theologies that manage to take the Gospel of grace—of forgiveness freely offered to everyone on the basis of no works at all—and convert it into the bad news of a religion that offers salvation only to the well-behaved.” (p. 153)
“But the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is precisely Good News. It is the announcement, in the death and resurrection of Jesus, that God has simply called off the game—that he has taken all the disasters religion was trying to remedy and, without any recourse to religion at all, set them to rights by himself. How sad, then, when the church acts as if it is in the religion business rather than in the Gospel-proclaiming business. (p. 177)
That’s why it is so important to me that we learn to live in Father’s reality apart from our religious paradigms and thus experience the fullness of his mystery at work in our hearts.