Robert Capon on the “good news”.

“It’s very hard for the human race to accept that cold: “Nothing separates us from the love of God.” We think there must be some breaking point where God would give up on us. “Well, what about if we…?” Sin is not a problem with God. God solved all his problems with sin before the foundation of the world, in the beginning—and it’s done. The iceberg that lies under the surface of history is the Son of God; redemption is the mystery behind all history. Sin is a permanent irrelevancy. And God is the one to say, “Look, I have taken away the handwriting that was against you.”

Read the rest of the interview here. (Thanks Dan S).

  1. paul lubberts said:

    Curious. How would you relate this to Wright’s explication of justification? Not to mention trees and fruit etc… On the one hand it seems that what we do matters and on the other it seems it really doesn’t. Not saying i don’t think it a fits together just fine, just curious how you approach it. Of course he Capon seems to be addressing the whole human race (can we read creation?) so maybe the role of the individual in justification isn’t pertinent to this. (and sorry if I come across as being insidiously arrogant for using both “explicate” and “pertinent”. Maybe its a little too formal, eh? But they work)

  2. jt* said:

    Hey Paul,

    I’m no expert on Wright. When you talk about his explication of justification and hint at the fact that “what we do matters” are you getting at Wright’s point about new creation?

    Assuming that’s what you’re meaning I think what Capon is setting out to do is suggest (along with the scriptures) that sin is already dealt with. God has wiped us clean in Christ Jesus before the foundations of the world. Before creation there was redemption. Capon goes on to suggest that redemption and creation are not two separate acts, but rather, one act.

    But this doesn’t mean that sin simply doesn’t matter. Somewhere else in the interview (I couldn’t find the exact quote, but it’s there if you read it) Capon says something to the extent that sin is a problem, but not for God, for *us*. We’re the one’s covered in muck. And so when we continue in slavery to sin we pay a price right here and now. We come to know the power of death all too well in our lives.

    So I see Capon as acknowledging this and saying something to the extent of, “God has dealt with sin on a cosmic level and on a personal level. Yet we can chose to ignore this and live our life the way we want and reap the consequences of this. But in the end, grace wins, and we can chose to live out of this right here and now and it’s beautiful.” So to me, I hear a bit of Wright in there.

    Was that what you were getting at?

  3. paul lubberts said:

    Um, not exactly, well maybe. We’ll see. From my reading of Wright he seems to indicate that there is a (sort of ) primary and secondary justification. Actually he says that is what Paul says. (New perspective on Paul stuff). The primary justification is that gracious act which calls us into covenant, the second justification is based on the “acts of righteousness” by which we remain in the covenant. The continuing saga of justification as in Israel. Called to covenant, given Torah to remain inside covenant. Given sacrifice for atonement when they would undoubtedly break Torah. In Wright grace always is the grounds which make both senses of justification possible. It scares a ton of evangelical (such a John Piper) but he really isn’t saying much different than them in regards to justification, he just says it better and in greater detail.
    Its kind of like: God lets us in by grace, we behave in such a way that acknowledges our responsibility in abiding within the covenant, God gives us grace to stay in when we act like we aren’t. So ya, sin is dealt with, but…already/not yet. Its an old horse, but a good one. His little book called “Justification” is well worth the read. If you’re ever interested I can lend it to you thought I’m sure you, like me, have a stack of books to deal with first.
    I don’t know a hack of a lot on wright and new creation (though I’m pretty confident I can imagine his stance). I’m finally on “The Resurrection of the Son of God” and I think he’ll get into it here. I’ll have to check out the rest of the interview, I like what he says.

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