Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
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Picture a college town in the mid-1970s. An English professor who has become an expert in extramarital dalliances is smitten by one of his graduate students. They meet for lunch around noon, and before three they make declarations of love. Is it possible that their subsequent affair could ultimately teach us something about true forgiveness and the radical meaning of grace? Only Robert Farrar Capon would have the audacity - and the authorial skill - to fashion such a tale. It has taken well over a decade for Between Noon and Three to appear in this, its original form. First published under two separate titles with significant parts excised and an entire section recast, the real Between Noon and Three is actually a trilogy of intertwined tales, each of which exhibits Capon's persistent insistence on the outrageous nature of grace. The original manuscript is here printed in full, including a new introduction by Capon on the work's unusual history.
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About the author

Robert Farrar Capon is the author of numerous books and articles on cooking and theology, a passionate cook, and an Episcopal priest. He lives in Shelter Island, New York with his wife.

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
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Published on
Dec 31, 1997
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Religion / Christian Theology / General
Religion / Christian Theology / Soteriology
Religion / Theology
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Robert Farrar Capon is well known as the author of the modern classic The Supper of the Lamb (“awesomely funny, wise, beautiful, moving, preposterous,” said The New York Times) and other acclaimed books such as Genesis, the Movie. In Light Theology & Heavy Cream: The Culinary Adventures of Pietro & Madeleine, Capon returns to the kitchen to present a spirited collection of pieces he describes as “culinary and theological snack food.” Providing significant nutritive value in terms of both cooking and thinking, Capon offers them “as a lark.” The protagonists of this endeavor are Pietro and Madeleine, a husband and wife with clear resemblances to the author and his wife, Valerie. With Capon's signature wit and precision, Pietro and Madeleine explore such diverse topics as creativity, addiction, televangelism, spirituality, the correct way to slice a leg of lamb, and the virtues of diners.

“Given the irony of a God who saves the world by foolishness and weakness,” Capon writes, “and the hilarity by which he gives us corn, wine, and oil—not to mention his wonderfully two-faced creatures such as butter, salt, tobacco, and pork fat—this is no world in which to land on one side of a paradox.” Nibbling away on Light Theology & Heavy Cream is to encounter an author who has “always been perfectly substantial and perfectly silly at the same time,” but here “propels himself faster and farther in both directions.”

“You challenge me to match the sum total of the world's miseries with a fast, but then you complain that I fall short because I have eaten lobster instead of beetles or something. Why, I could starve myself stone cold to death and still fall short. To use your very own argument, the world's miseries are tractable only to God's grace, not my merits. A lobster, obediently ingested, can remind me of that as well as anything else, eaten or not eaten, on the same principle.”
—from the first chapter
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