Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Capon: the wine of paradox

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
    If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.
    —Deuteronomy 8:19 (NIV)
    Man... cuts the wine of paradox with the water of consistency. The mystery of God and things is tamed to the simplicity of God or things; [man] builds himself a duller, skimpier world.
    If he is a pagan, he abolishes the secular in favor of the sacred. The world becomes filled with gods. To improve his wine, he searches, not for purer strains of yeast, but for better incantations, friendlier gods. He spends his time in shrines and caves, not chemistry. Things, for him, become pawns in the chess game of heaven. Religion devours life.
    On the other hand, if he is a secularist, he insists that God must have no part in the world at all. That God has made Saccharomyces ellipsoideus competent enough to ferment sugar on its own, becomes, for him, a proof that He never made it at all. Poor man! To be so nearly right, and so devastatingly wrong. To hit so close, and yet miss the mark completely. Yeast, without God to give it as a gift, ceases to be good company. It becomes merely useful—a mechanism contributory to other mechanisms. And those, in turn, to the vast mechanism of the whole. And that, at last, to—well, he is hard put to say just what.
    ... Robert Farrar Capon (1925-2013), The Supper of the Lamb, New York: Doubleday, 1969, p. 87 (see the book)
    See also Deut. 8:19; Luke 17:33; John 12:25; Rom. 1:18-23; 2 Cor. 6:4-10; 12:9-10; Phil. 3:7
Quiet time reflection:
    You are the sole answer to life’s mystery, Lord.
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