Robert Farrar Capon

He passed away this past weekend. A number of posts about him (here’s a brief round up link). Among the gems are Rob Hays discussion of his theology and recipes (they go together):

The crux of Capon’s argument in favor of real food that requires a real time investment is based on that same shared Creation. He believes – and argues – that the table is where we enjoy the richness of the Creator’s design, and share in His joy at having created things that are not simply nourishing, but good.  In discussing the use of wine in braising the lamb, he goes on an extended poetic lark to prove that wine exists not simply as the result of grapes being expertly wielded by professionals, but because a divine vintner delights to have yeast growing upon the surface of the grape, the hint to earthly creators to take the next step.  “God is an eccentric,” he concludes. “He has loves, not reasons.”

Or here is Alissa Wilkins discussing the Supper of the Lamb:

Part of the reason he gets “distracted” so often is that he is pursuing an argument separately from the recipe, one that he lays out at the beginning of the book and then returns to repeatedly: that the created order is good, that God delights in it, and that we cannot be faithful Christians (or good humans) without also delighting in it. This is important whether Capon is contemplating an onion, or exhorting the reader regarding knives, or scoffing at what he says are the “spooks” we call calories.

It’s been sitting on my shelf. Need to pull it out and actually read it!

Or just some fabulous quotes, like this one:

My life is a witness to vulgar grace–a grace that amazes as it offends. A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the grinning drunk who shows up a ten till five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands or buts. A grace that raises bloodshot eyes to a dying thief’s request–”Please, remember me”–and assures him, “You bet!” A grace that is the pleasure of the Father, fleshed out in the carpenter Messiah, Jesus the Christ, who left His Father’s side not for heaven’s sake but for our sakes, yours and mind.  This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It’s not cheap. It’s free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown-up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough.

I’m ready for more.


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