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Here in one volume is Robert Farrar Capon's widely praised trilogy on Jesus' parables — The Parables of the Kingdom, The Parables of Grace, and The Parables of Judgment. These studies offer a fresh, adventurous look at all of Jesus' parables, treated according to their major themes. With the same authorial flair and daring insight that have earned him a wide readership, CaHere in one volume is Robert Farrar Capon's widely praised trilogy on Jesus' parables — The Parables of the Kingdom, The Parables of Grace, and The Parables of Judgment. These studies offer a fresh, adventurous look at all of Jesus' parables, treated according to their major themes. With the same authorial flair and daring insight that have earned him a wide readership, Capon admirably bridges the gap between the biblical world and our own, making clear both the original meaning of the parables and their continuing relevance today....

Title : Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus
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ISBN : 9780802839497
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 531 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus Reviews

  • Douglas Wilson
    2019-05-23 05:11

    Robert Farrar Capon is a cheery old semi-Marcionite, and an unvarnished antinomian. Various times in this book, you find yourself wishing that one of the apostles, preferably Paul, would show up and box his ears for him. He says things in here that are as atrocious as it gets. That said, at the same time, on the self-deceptions of the self-righteous, and on his descriptive abilities in describing the graciousness of grace, there is no one better. Those who want to be preachers of real grace should read it through for some of his staggering illustrations. Ignore his overall arguments though.

  • Abby
    2019-05-29 02:11

    In the past few years, I have lost interest in reading more Christian theology than I already have. The modern, popular Christian theology books were always either too moralistic or too simpering for my taste. So I have stayed away. But I am now pleased to announce that I have found the swaggering antidote to stuffy, badly written theology for laypeople: Robert Farrar Capon. My church’s clergy are constantly raving about and quoting Capon (namely for his perpetual message of the enduring grace of God), and at a recent conference, I decided it was time to give him a whirl, and I bought this large, dense book, in which Capon unpacks the parables of Jesus. On the purely stylistic level, Capon writes with immense intelligence, literary skill, and pitch-perfect humor, setting him light years ahead of the popular Christian authors I’ve read. Here, there is no pandering, no ideological oversimplification, no fussy stories meant to force tears. Capon tells it straight but always with a liberal dose of wit. He has this jokey, old-fashioned tone, making him at times sound like your smart-but-prone-to-punning great uncle (using adjectives like “rockem-sockem,” for instance, while talking about the judgment of the Almighty; also very fond of the form "Yes, Virginia," when answering a eschatological question). Regarding his theology, I warmed to it immediately. It is a life-giving breath of air to me, to read and to know that there are (or, were; Capon died in 2013) Christians out there, like Capon, who are simultaneously full of faith and empty of bullshit. Grace is the only thing that really matters, in Capon’s conception of the Gospel. For me, this perspective of grace, this radical, one-way love, is the only thing that has kept me a Christian.In Capon’s conception, the mystery is at the heart of the Kingdom of God, and it is this never-ending mystery that Jesus alludes to, again and again, in his parables. Grace is at the heart of the Christian movement and yet we have failed to grasp it for centuries. Capon divides and conquers the parables in three books (stories about kingdom, grace, and judgment), which are here joined in one large volume. To a skeptical, literate, doubt-filled Christian, the pleasures of reading Capon are vast. This book brightened my own weak conception of my faith and what matters about it in the end.

  • Hal
    2019-05-26 02:09

    Closer to 3.5 stars- Probably the most fun commentary on Scripture you'll ever read. (Typical sentence: "God is not our mother-in-law, coming to see whether her wedding-present china has been chipped. He is a funny Old Uncle with a salami under one arm and a bottle of wine under the other. We do indeed need to watch for him; but only because it would be such a pity to miss all the fun.")- Pushes to the outermost edge of my theological comfortability. Mostly amens but a few ehhhs from me.- It's a compendium of three Capon books, so it does feel repetitive and long at times. If I could do it over again, I'd just pick up one of the smaller volumes (probably The Parables of Grace), and save the other two to read down the road.

  • Joseph Radosti
    2019-05-31 10:28

    Since Jesus didn’t speak to people except by parables, Capon believes we need to continually study them; always with a virgin approach and with our eyes focused on Jesus. Capon looks at the parables through the prism of Jesus, the Light of the World. According to Capon, if we don’t view the world through Jesus, we will get a distorted view of God, his plan and purpose. He compares Jesus to a prism. The colors in light are hidden except when viewed through a prism. In the same way we can only see the full spectrum of colors in the parables when we view them through Jesus; not only by what he said but more importantly, by what he did – the acted out parables. When we view the parables through the prism of Jesus, we see God as a left-handed, right-brain God of vindication; not a right-handed, left-brain vindictive God of fury. It’s in this way that we can gain a deeper insight to the mystery of the kingdom of God and for Capon this is what the Bible is all about.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.

  • Phil Aud
    2019-05-26 06:12

    This is my second Capon book which I liked more than the first I had read ("The Fingerprints of God"). I've changed my rating from a 3 star to a 4 star and back a few times. There are things about this book that I really enjoyed (hence the 4 star) but a few things that I could have taken or left (hence the 3). I'll try to expound for anyone who might be interested. First, I don't know if anyone would fully agree with everything that Capon says. He takes new approaches to the parables that go against thousands of years of understanding. And yet, much of it leaves you asking "how did I not see that before." While I don't think many would agree with everyone...Yes Virginia, I know that we don't fully agree with everyone, but back to my point...I certainly hope that no one would fully ignore him either. I'm not sure that anyone would reads his work with an open mind can ignore him. That is what I love about his writing and thinking. He makes one think about very serious (some might say dangerous) things, but he makes you laugh in the process. He is an extremely gifted writer. I wrestled with the lower rating for two reasons. First, I wish he would delve more into the historical context occasionally (see Kenneth Bailey's "Poet and Peasant" for this). Second, I found the book a bit longish, by which I mean I was ready to be done with it when I came to the end. In fairness, this is a compilation of three books so the repetitiveness has, I'm sure, a lot to do with that.In the end, I can say that Capon is certainly controversial, but again, his work should not be ignored. I have gained a lot from reading this book on the call to death and resurrection as found in the parables.

  • Pat Falkner
    2019-05-28 10:24

    I got this book from the shelves of my late father-in-law, Gilbert Callaway, without whom I might not ever have found Christianity expressed in intellectually challenging terms. The author of this book (actually a collection of three separately published volumes) is enough of a scholar to be working from about ten different new testament texts, including several in Greek. He is also secure enough to be extremely free in the way he expresses his (orthodox) theses, kind of like G. K. Chesterton, though not as droll. What this book does is to present Jesus' teachings in the parables as a coherent, unified body of work that builds toward a single master message. I have read serious Christian works for fifteen years, but this one taught me more than any of them except Hans Kung's On Being a Christian.

  • Jacqui
    2019-06-04 02:02

    I was surprised to learn that the author was a universalist. But when that was defined on Wikipedia as someone who believes everyone is going to heaven because Jesus died for the sins of the whole world then it made more sense. He is also big on kingdom theology meaning that the church is able to bring God's kingdom to earth by their good works instead of the church being the kingdom of God on earth and waiting for it's complete fulfillment when Christ returns.Anyway, enough background. I think Capon really nails what Jesus is getting at in the parables - that His kingdom will not be an earthly glorious kingdom but one that is yet to come. I think I will have to buy this book because it's taken me too long to read so far and I had to take it back... watch this space.

  • Josh
    2019-06-14 06:27

    One of the most in-depth books I've read, thought provoking and challenging. I've spent two years in these pages, digesting chunks at a time, letting them simmer in the furnace of my mind and heart before moving on. The Greek is difficult, but Mr. Capon does his finest to keep the reader tracking along, while keeping to the original scriptural text. This book has added greatly to my understanding of Christ's parables and overall message and mission. I would highly recommend this book, but not to the casual reader or the faint of heart. However, if you chose to embark, know that you're in for a serious ride.

  • Jon
    2019-06-16 03:18

    This book focuses on the parables of Jesus. Robert Capon provides incredible insight into the meanings of the parables from a perspective that I would have never considered. I read this book in conjunction with the book "Up From the Ashes: A Personal Journey Through A Fallen World," by William Landon. The combination of these two books aided me in making a much stronger connection in my personal relationship with God. I highly recommend this book for those who want a better understanding of Jesus' parables. I recommend the combination of the two books for those who want to understand the God's purpose for us.

  • Josh
    2019-05-21 05:23

    Pure brilliance. I just hope that one day I have the capacity to fully understand the arguments in this book. It's one of those where I was only able to ready a few pages before my mind was overwhelmingly challenged. Then I'd have to process for a few days. This made for a very long read. It turned my world upside-down.If you come from Orthodox Christianity (Evangelicalism) and like challenging the status quo then this is the book for you. A very refreshing look at the parables of Christ.

  • Tom
    2019-06-07 09:21

    Outrageous and excellent. All the parables are about grace, even the ones about the kingdom and judgment. Only sinners qualify for the kingdom. That includes everybody. Everybody will be included unless they willingly exclude themselves. Caveat: no theology of the Christian life, no living by the law of love. All such attempts to articulate a "practice" are condemned as attempts at saving ourselves or "works righteousness."

  • Allen Knight
    2019-06-07 04:02

    While I read this book some time ago, I must say that this writer has reignited the wonderment and mystery of Christ's words. Capon has a God given gift of providing yet another facet of the diamond in Jesus' teaching. Read and you will be challenged. Ponder and you will stand amazed. Consider and you will be overwhelmed by God's grace and readiness to receive you.

  • Justin Sainton
    2019-06-10 08:28

    You won't read a better book this year, certainly be better exegesis of Jesus' parables. Just phenomenal. A brilliant revelation on God's grace. Teeters on the cliff of universalism, as any good lover of mercy should, yet brings us back to the holiness of God and the reality of hell, through the triumph of grace.

  • Tristan Sherwin
    2019-05-24 03:20

    I know I’ve only rated this book 3 stars, which, in hindsight and in comparison to other reviewers, may have been too harsh. But I did enjoy this compilation of Farrar’s three volumes on the Parables of Jesus. There are many wonderful insights in here, and Farrar’s understanding of the Catholicity and the Mystery of the Kingdom of God is spot on (especially as demonstrated under what Farrar has labelled the Parables of Grace, in Volume 1 of the compilation). Additionally, I’m totally on side with Farrar’s understanding of the Kingdom’s and Jesus’ emphasis on the Lost, the Last, the Least, and the Lifeless.However, what’s lacking in these interpretations is cultural and historical context. There’s plenty of great (and important) insights into the Greek wordings of the texts here, but I do feel that the Cultural Hermeneutic provided by Kenneth E. Bailey (see *Jesus Through Middle-Eastern Eyes* or *Poet and Peasant*), and the Historical/Political Contexts provided by N. T. Wright (see his *Christian Origins and the Question of God* volumes), provide a much better setting in which to see the “thrust and the parry” of Jesus’ parables with the social/political/religious ideologies of his own environment.That’s not to say that Farrar’s conclusions are way off. On the contrary, much of what he posits would have been reinforced by Bailey’s and Wright’s work.In summary, I would recommend that this is an essential study on the parables. Personally, I will continue to refer to this, and I anticipate that I will quote from it often. But should this be the only book in your toolkit? No. But that’s not a bad thing. In the same sense, this shouldn’t be the only review you read of this book.—Tristan Sherwin, author of *Love: Expressed*

  • Abram Guerra
    2019-05-26 02:27

    The Most Comprehensive and Challenging Reading of All the Parables of JesusCapon not only accomplishes a life's work in this three volume thesis, he does so with so much conviction—and so much pluck—that it leaves you hungry for more. The exposition follows such a simple but powerful framework: The kingdom is everywhere, is controversial, and demands a response; Grace is so complete as to reject anyone that can't resign from their own merits; Judgment is only understood through the lens of the grace of the invitation to the kingdom to the "last, little, least, lost, and dead."

  • Pastor Ben
    2019-05-28 08:30

    This is a marvelous book (or really 3 books that were republished in one). For a serious, conservative Christian it may well be quite uncomfortable. For a serious, liberal Christian is may well also be uncomfortable. Capon challenges much that we serious Christians think is so. You may end up disagreeing, but you cannot say that he hasn't made his argument based on the scriptures. I highly recommend it.

  • Ron Coulter
    2019-06-09 10:13

    I wish I had read the book years ago. Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus deals with many of the “hard sayings” of Jesus – his most challenging parables. Capon’s interpretations are new to me; especially interesting is his assertion that Jesus’ parables increasingly focused on death as he nears Jerusalem.Capon unrelentingly pushes one theme: Jesus’ concern with the “least, last, lost, littlest,” and dead. He is willing to push his thesis to its logical extremes. Somewhere in my recent reading I came across the hymn line “Lay your deadly doing down.” I’m not sure if it was this book or Tim Keller’s Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters, but it certainly fits in the spirit of KGJ. For Capon, the Pharisee and the publican epitomize the centrality of death in Jesus’ teachings. It is not, as it is usually interpreted, a lesson on the virtue of humility. It is the contrast between the dead man who knows he’s dead and the dead man who insists he’s alive. And the one telling the story knows that he soon will be as dead as both of them. For a few days.Some of Capon’s statements are actually quite shocking – to the point of seeming blasphemous. As one Goodreads reviewer says, “Robert Farrar Capon is a cheery old semi-Marcionite, and an unvarnished antinomian.” To which, Capon would undoubtedly reply, “Guilty as charged” (at least to the antinomian part), and then quote Romans 8:1.KGJ its flaws: for one thing, Capon paraphrases many of the parables in modern language, which gets tiresome after a while. But these are worth the revelations and surprises the book has to offer.

  • Nick Osborne
    2019-05-28 05:26

    One of the best things I can say about this book is that it made me think. There were some "Wow, I never thought of that / saw that before" moments, and some "Hmmm, I'm not sure about his line of thinking here" moments, but it is a seminal book worth reading. Bottom line for Capon is simply that through his death and resurrection Jesus has already drawn all people to himself, and his blood has already covered every sin with God's forgiveness. Both Heaven and hell are populated by forgiven sinners. Heaven is simply for those who have accepted the fact they are already accepted, without having done one thing to make themselves acceptable, and through faith made the one-way relationship (God's love for humanity) a two-way relationship (humanity's responsive love). Hell is for those who refuse to accept the fact that they are already accepted, without having done a thing, and refuse to believe the gift of God's gracious acceptance. In Capon's words, Hell is a courtesy for those who refuse relationship based on trust and faith in Jesus' death, rather than a punishment for bad people (because that would include all of us).It's a book worth reading.

  • Josh Davis
    2019-06-06 03:15

    Capon is incredibly fun to read - this is not a dull, lifeless breakdown of Scripture verses, but a rollicking ride through Jesus' parables. He has a knack (almost Chestertonian) for seeing things in a new light. This leads to a variety of new insights on well-known parables. Capon really shines when he talks about grace - his descriptions of it and insistence on the wild, unbelievable mercy of God are the highlights of this work. But I left the review at 4 stars because as much as I enjoy reading Capon, there are times where I believe he just goes too far in his re-imagining of the parables. In a few places, his interpretation seems to fly in the face of the text (for example, the parable of the unjust judge). He means well, and his ideas always further the cause of grace, but sometimes he tries too hard. Overall, super-fun to read and a challenging perspective on familiar parables.

  • Dustin Bagby
    2019-05-27 10:18

    The first three chapters were a real pleasure to read. He's witty, funny, quirky and enjoyable as a writer. As a theologian on the other hand, I found his work on the parables to be incredibly unfounded, historically inaccurate, and sometimes completely bizarre. Some of the chapters were great illustrations of "Here is what I WANT this parable to mean...really badly." It's truly a mixed bag. Some chapters are well thought out and insightful, other chapters are a HUGE stretch in interpretation and are almost laughable. Reading through this during our series through the parables was only moderately helpful. I found reading Kistemaker or Snodgrass on the parables were far more helpful and faithful to the text.

  • Lee Wilkins
    2019-06-18 10:01

    Yes, it really did take me 6 months to read this book, but in my defense, I was reading other books concurrently AND this is 3 books in one. Not that any of that matters. This book is worth taking time over and savoring and letting its radical message sink in. If you have ever had the notion that Jesus' message is inclusive rather than exclusive, that it is not about someday in the future but NOW, that it is less to do about living according to some code of conduct than just accepting that we're all losers, then this is the book for you! My highlighted, flagged, note-littered copy will be staying on my shelves, and I will most likely seek out more books by this author.

  • Esse
    2019-05-31 06:14

    Groundbreaking!This is pretty much a mind blowingly thorough, intuitive study of the parables of Jesus. I don't think you will find anything like it elsewhere, nor do I think you can or will be the same once you've read it. May you hear God speaking to you as you encounter Jesus Christ afresh through Capon's exegesis of His words. I highly recommend this book to all who love Him, and especially those daring enough to consider that God is even sweeter, better, warmer, and closer than you deemed possible.

  • Pris
    2019-06-18 05:09

    A very good book with a fresh take on Jesus' parables. I rated it 4 stars because Capon advises readers of the parables not to allegorize or analogize them as other theologians and Christians do--yet he does it himself for each and everyone of them. The only difference is that his own "allegories" aren't what is commonly taught in Bible classes or catechism because his own interpretations bring back the focus of these parables to God and His immense love for humanity.

  • Anne Lee
    2019-06-02 10:16

    This is an amazing book. It makes the parables fresh and as if they were being told for the first time. Perhaps "grace" stretches just a little bit, but on second reading I found it easier to take in. Capon has a strong theme of the absolutely outrageousness of God's grace and he finds it in the parables. my main problem is that my copy seems to be always on loan and I miss it!!

  • Jim
    2019-06-13 06:18

    I bought this book to help me prepare and study for a sermon series on the parables. I am really enjoying Capon's writing style. His ideas and the thoughts on the parables are great too. Definitely makes me want to read more of his work.

  • Dan Haley
    2019-05-26 10:13

    I really enjoyed this book! I did not agree with everything Mr. Farrar had to say but it was by far the most interesting book on the parables I have read. The view of the Kingdom parables was especially fresh. I look forward to reading more form this author.

  • Luke
    2019-06-11 10:29

    The book is billed as a fresh, adventurous look at the parables of Jesus, so we'll see how it goes. I don't remember how I came to have this book, but from what I have read, it may be a little too free and adventurous for my taste. Could be a challenge.

  • Sarah Tiu
    2019-06-17 09:08

    I cannot wait to read more of his work! Definitely broke me out of my evangelical box for interpreting the parables of Jesus. Full of grace and some humor.A little on the intellectual side, so it took me a while to get through, but I was blessed!

  • Gage
    2019-06-05 09:05

    Used this book as reference for preparing two sermons in Mark 4. Read about 100 pages of it. Loved what I read. Really appreciated the way Copan writes and how he advocated for his position on the parables. Good stuff. Highly recommend.

  • Bob Koo
    2019-06-11 10:15

    Perhaps my favorite Christian book (and writer) ever. If I can write with one percent of the skill and mirth of Capon, I'd be quite happy. He is brilliant and a master of communicating the precious gospel of grace.