A real hero of the faith died yesterday, Robert Farrar Capon. I almost wrote that he “went on to his reward” but I doubt Dr. Capon would have liked that phrase very much.
Readers of this site will know how deeply indebted we are to Dr. Capon, how inspiring he has been and continues to be. Author, theologian, food critic, Episcopal clergyman, the man was an unwavering advocate for grace in its most radical and Christocentric expression–a prophet if the truth be told–and we will not see his like again.
We’ll run some lengthier tributes next week, but for today, I invite you to take some time and acquaint or re-acquaint yourself with his work. Note the pastoral insight and rhetorical brilliance, the uncontrived playfulness (and occasional snark!), the sheer creativity–it is astounding. Words and turns of phrase leap off the page in Spirit-filled exuberance. The man didn’t just talk about freedom, it dripped from his every sentence.
As anyone who has read Kingdom, Grace, Judgment (or leaned on it, week after week, for sermon and bible study “help”) knows, Dr. Capon was that rare scholar whose love of the Bible was truly contagious. And anyone who has read/experienced Between Noon and Three knows that he was also a provocateur after God’s own heart, unafraid to follow the Good News into every crevice of human experience. I consider it to be one of the true privileges of my life that he granted us that one final interview in 2011 and would like to think, in some small way, that we carry on his work. I pray we might.
We are grateful for the life of Robert Farrar Capon and look forward to the day when we will get to toast him at the heavenly banquet about which he wrote so beautifully. He won’t be hard to find–the life of the party never is.
A few highlights of our Capon coverage over the years:
- A Parable of Gracious Infidelity: The Marriage to Merit-Demerit
- The Layoff of the Accountants
- Junk Bonds, Grace, and the End of Religion
- God Is Not Your Mother-In-Law
- Divine Lifeguards and Our Fatal Love Affair With the Law
The only footage of Dr. Capon on youtube comes from a retreat he led in 2004 following the release of his final book, Genesis: The Movie. It captures him in all his salty glory: