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Game | BobbyShirley.com

Tag: Robert Capon

Game | BobbyShirley.com

Game or How To Be A Team Player

For, by the disaster of his charity, God plays out at last the Game that began with the dawn of history. In the Garden of Eden – in the paradise of pleasure – where God laid out his court and first served the hint of meaning to humankind – Adam strove with God over the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But God does not accept thrown-down racquets. He refuses, at any cost, to take seriously, our declination of the game; if Adam will not have God’s rules, God will play by Adam’s. In another and darker garden he accepts the tree of our choosing, and with nails through his hands and feet he volleys back meaning for unmeaning. As the darkness descends, at the last foul drive of a desperate day, he turns to the thief on the right and brings off the dazzling backhand return that fetches history home in triumph: Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

God has Gardens to give away! He has cities to spare! He has history he hasn’t even used! The last of all the mercies is that God is lighter than we are, that in the heart of the Passion lies the divine mirth, and that even in the cities of our exile he still calls to Adam only to catch the Glory, to offer the world, and return the service that shapes the City of God.

Robert F. Capon, The Romance of the Word: One Man’s Love Affair With Theology 

Presented without comment.

Smile | BobbyShirley.com

Smile or How to Make Friends and Influence People

The mission of the church is not to be humanity’s bad cook, pushing at it the lumpy mashed potatoes of morality or the thin gruel of spiritual uplift; the mission of the church is to be the Lord’s own conspirator, sneaking to the world the delectability of grace, the solid chocolate Good News that God, in the end, has a sweet tooth. Our joy as the stewards of the mystery is to have been in on the joke that God is just a big, bad boy. He doesn’t really care a fig for teaching the world lessons about what’s good for it; he only wants to make it smile.

Robert Farrar Capon

Reconciliation.
Restoration.

5:18 To now see everything as new is to simply see what God has always known in Christ; we are not debating man’s experience, opinion, or his contribution; this is 100% God’s belief and his doing. In Jesus Christ, God 1exchanged equivalent value to redeem us to himself. This act of reconciliation is the mandate of our ministry. (The word, 1katalasso, translates as reconciliation; a mutual exchange of equal value.)
5:19  Our ministry declares that Jesus did not act independent of God. Christ is proof that God reconciled the total kosmos to himself. Deity and humanity embraced in Christ; the fallen state of mankind was deleted; their trespasses would no longer count against them! God has placed this message within us. He now announces his friendship with every individual from within us!
5:20  The voice God has in Christ he now has in us; we are God’s ambassadors. Our lives exhibit the urgency of God to persuade everyone to realize the reconciliation of their redeemed identity.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Mirror

Our message to the world is called “Good News” for a reason!

Life | BobbyShirley.com

Life

“God’s action in the world takes place entirely in plain old messed-up human nature. He does not kill off sinners; rather, he himself dies a totally human death in order that they may live new a fully human lives in the power of his resurrection.”

– Robert F. Capon , The Mystery of Christ… & Why We Don’t Get It

Human. Covered in skin. Originating from dirt.

It’s a big deal to understand that Jesus was human. He was just as much flesh and blood, sinew and bone, hair and toenails as any of us. But, at the same time He was divine; like Creator of all, Partner in the Divine Dance of Love, and Elder brother of all humanity.

The gospel of John tells us that Jesus became flesh.

The Word became flesh
and made his home among us.
We have seen his glory,
glory like that of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth.

John 1:14 CEB

You need to pay attention to the word that John uses for flesh. He uses the word “sarx” which is the same word that Paul uses for describing the “sin nature”. If John would have said that Jesus became human it could be the same as saying the Jesus was the Goodyear Blimp, here but not on the ground with us. Jesus became “sarx” and got in the trashcan of sin with us.

Jesus got in our trashcan of sin with us and got out as all of us! Now, we can live in His resurrected life!

GOOD NEWS!!!

Stubborn | BobbyShirley.com

Stubborn

“Grace abounds no matter what we do about our ‘sins.’ We can’t make it abound any more than it does, either by committing sins or by not committing them. It simply takes away *all* sins, regardless; the only thing we have to do is trust it.”

Robert Capon
The Mystery of Christ… & Why We Don’t Get It

I’ve talked about sin previously.  I love what Mr. Capon says here. The whole quote is powerful. But, look at it word by word. See if you see what I see.

Ok, I’ll tell you what I see. It’s one word. You might miss it.

Regardless.

Regardless is a bold word. Regardless is a stubborn word. Regardless is a determined word.

The word regardless defined is “without being stopped by difficulty, trouble, etc.”

So, God’s grace takes away our sins, regardless. You can also say that God loves you, regardless.

Structure | BobbyShirley.com

Structure

“The truth that makes us free is always ticking away like a time-bomb in the basement of everybody’s church. And that truth isn’t a bunch of ideas. It’s Jesus. Sooner or later, if we just sit still and listen, he’ll blow the lid off any prison we’ve built.”

– Robert Capon, The Mystery of Christ… & Why We Don’t Get It

Jesus.

All is Jesus.

We can’t escape him. We can’t rule him out. Our only option is give in and accept that all is Jesus. We can’t add anything to him. We can’t take anything from him. Our only option is to accept him as he is.

There’s only one problem with this, we don’t. We like to think we do, but we don’t. We, as humans, need shelter. We need structure. We need barriers and protection.

God doesn’t play well with our structures. He plays well with His structure. He gave mankind a structure that points to Him.

He is a ” jealous God”. He doesn’t play well with others. He loves us too much to allow us to depend on anything less than Him alone. Because believing in anything less than Him is a prison.

Scared

Grace is wildly irreligious stuff. It’s more than enough to get God kicked out of the God union that the theologians have formed to keep him on his divine toes so he won’t let the riffraff off scot-free. Sensible people, of course, should need only about thirty seconds of careful thought to realize that getting off scot-free is the only way any of us is going to get off at all. But if all we can think of is God as the Eternal Bookkeeper putting down black marks against sinners–or God as the Celestial Mother-in-Law giving a crystal vase as a present and then inspecting it for chips every time she comes for a visit…well, any serious doctrine of grace is going to scare the rockers right off our little theological hobbyhorses.

– Robert Capon, The Romance of the Word

Scared. What is it about grace that scares us? Is it the possibility of licentiousness? Is it the chance of abuse? Is the thought that once someone has encountered the true, undiluted, Grace of Jesus that they’ll continue doing the things that caused God to act on our behalf in the first place?

I don’t know why grace is scary. But I do know that to think of my life now without this growing revelation of grace is scary.

Hidden

“…the real job of Christians, as far as the world is concerned, is simply to dance to the hidden music — and to try, by the joy of their dancing, to wake the world up to the party it’s already at, even though it thinks it doesn’t hear any music at all.”

Robert Capon

Dance. What an easy job, unless you have two left feet and no rhythm or you happen to be Elaine Benes! But really, you don’t have to rhythm, skills, or flexibility to do the type of dancing Mr. Capon is referring to. The only thing you have to have the ear to hear the music.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus

I think the main thing that we, as Christians, have is the ability to hear, see, feel, and experience things that those who have yet to awakened can not. I think that is part of the reason that Paul said, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” He goes on to talk about being foolish, and what could be more foolish than dancing to music that no one else but you hears?

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Elaine Benes Dancing

Free

“I am and I am not a universalist. I am one if you are talking about what God in Christ has done to save the world. The Lamb of God has not taken away the sins of some — of only the good, or the cooperative, or the select few who can manage to get their act together and die as perfect peaches. He has taken away the sins of the world — of every last being in it — and he has dropped them down the black hole of Jesus’ death. On the cross, he has shut up forever on the subject of guilt: “There is therefore now no condemnation. . .” All human beings, at all times and places, are home free whether they know it or not, feel it or not, believe it or not.

But I am not a universalist if you are talking about what people may do about accepting that happy-go-lucky gift of God’s grace. I take with utter seriousness everything that Jesus had to say about hell, including the eternal torment that such a foolish non-acceptance of his already-given acceptance must entail. All theologians who hold Scripture to be the Word of God must inevitably include in their work a tractate on hell. But I will not — because Jesus did not — locate hell outside the realm of grace. Grace is forever sovereign, even in Jesus’ parables of judgment. No one is ever kicked out at the end of those parables who wasn’t included in at the beginning.

Robert Capon

Fun

“Watch therefore,” Jesus says at the end of the parable, “for you know neither the day nor the hour.” When all is said and done – when we have scared ourselves silly with the now-or-never urgency of faith and the once-and-always finality of judgment – we need to take a deep breath and let it out with a laugh. Because what we are watching for is a party. And that party is not just down the street making up its mind when to come to us, it is already hiding in our basement, banging on our steam pipes, and laughing its way up our cellar stairs. The unknown day and hour of its finally bursting into the kitchen and roistering its way through the whole house is not dreadful; it is all part of the divine lark of grace. God is not our mother-in-law, coming to see whether her wedding-present china has been chipped. He’s the one coming up the stairs with a bottle of wine under his arm. We do indeed need to watch for him; but only because it would be such a pity to miss all the fun.
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Robert Capon
Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus

I’ve not yet read a Robert Capon book (I know, I know), but the quotes I’ve read of him have challenged me more than any other person. His thoughts on God’s love, God’s grace, and life have been revolutionary for me. Though, I’ve never read a book I would recommend his writings to all!

The Blame Game is Over

Paul says you are dead to the law by the body of Christ. Do you see what that means? It means that it is not only you who are dead and beyond the orbit of blame, but God too, God himself, the Supreme Lawgiver, Blamefixer, and Guiltspreader, has died to the whole sorry business in the death of Jesus. There is therefore no condemnation for two reasons: first, there is nobody left to be condemned; and second, there is nobody around to do the condemning. And likewise, there is therefore now no condemnation for two reasons: you are dead now; and God, as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, has been dead all along. The blame game was over before it started. It really was. All Jesus did was announce that truth and tell you it would make you free.

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