The Parables of Grace

Overview

Robert Farrar Capon has earned a well-deserved reputation as a provocative, insightful, humorous, and highly readable theologian. He communicates the mysteries, nuances, and profundities of the Christian faith in his inimitable style, which is more like a conversation with the reader than a theological lecture.

Having written a previous volume on what he calls the parables of the kingdom, Capon here takes up ...

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Overview

Robert Farrar Capon has earned a well-deserved reputation as a provocative, insightful, humorous, and highly readable theologian. He communicates the mysteries, nuances, and profundities of the Christian faith in his inimitable style, which is more like a conversation with the reader than a theological lecture.

Having written a previous volume on what he calls the parables of the kingdom, Capon here takes up the next series of parables from the Gospels: the generally short stories occurring between the feeding of the five thousand and the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Thus he treats such parables as the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son, but his analysis of these familiar favorites is fresh and provocative, challenging our traditional understanding of them. After reading Capon these parables will still be favorites—though they will not be so familiar, and some of the more puzzling parables (for example, the Friend at Midnight) may become favorites when understood from Capon’s perspective.

Treating each parable individually, Capon sets it in its immediate context and in the wider biblical context and message of grace. His ability to bridge the gap between then and now makes clear the original meaning of the parables and their relevance to modern times. His insistence that the essence of the gospel is grace provides a much-needed corrective to the contemporary version of success-oriented Christianity.

Capon’s ability to apply scholarly method in colloquial terms makes this a volume that laypersons as well as students, pastors, and scholars can benefit from and delight in.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Following up on his Parables of the Kingdom (Zondervan, 1985), Capon turns to Jesus's tales told between the feeding of the 5000 and the triumphal entryall read (not surprisingly) as statements of radical, unmerited grace made possible by his death and resurrection and our own ongoing deaths to all moral bookkeeping, all attempts to live our own way into heaven. As always, Capon sometimes pushes his point to outrageous extremes; yet if he virtually ignores the concept of God's justice, he is surprisingly orthodox in his insistence on dealing with all of Scripture. Most provocative. EC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802803047
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 6/25/1991
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 5.39 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: A Parable of Theology and Faith
  2. Death and Resurrection: The Touchstone of the Parables of Grace
  3. The First Parable of Grace: The Coin in the Fish's Mouth
  4. Losing as the Mechanism of Grace: The Lost Sheep
  5. Death, Resurrection, and Forgiveness: The Unforgiving Servant
  6. Losing as Winning: The Prologue to the Good Samaritan
  7. The First of the Misnamed Parables: The Good Samaritan
  8. Grace More Than Judgment: From the Friend at Midnight to the Rich Fool
  9. Fruitfulness out of Death: The Watchful Servants and the Barren Fig Tree
  10. Interlude on an Objection: Why Not Life Rather Than Death?
  11. Back to Death, Lastness, and Lostness: The Mustard Seed, the Yeast, and the Narrow Door
  12. Death and the Party: The Transition to the Great Banquet
  13. The Party Parables: The Great Banquet and the Prodigal Son
  14. The Hardest Parable: The Unjust Steward
  15. Death and Faith: Lazarus and Dives
  16. The Scandal of the Gospel: The Returning Servant, the Ten Lepers, and the Vultures
  17. God as Anti-hero: The Unjust Judge
  18. Death and Resurrection One Last Time: The Pharisee and the Publican
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