In Genesis: The Movie, the inimitable Robert Farrar Capon presented his innovative and always soulful interpretation of the first three chapters of this book in the Bible. In this collection of pieces, the author and his wife Valerie appear as Pietro and Madeleine whose culinary experiences spark discussions and theological observations.
Pietro has no patience for overcooked chicken breasts. But what he cannot abide even more is the way the Christian church has been passing itself off as a "sin-prevention" community that slaps the hands of sinners and gives the world the impression that God spends all His time keeping track of our bad behavior. Although Madeleine complains of Pietro's "monomania for grace," we found it to be quite salutary. Whether discussing creativity, addiction, televangelism, or sins of the flesh, this talkative chap makes a good case for the love of God that will not let us go.
Here's just one of his many salutary observations: "God in Jesus didn't prevent sinners from sinning, he went around forgiving them right and left. If we want to represent him, we shouldn't misrepresent his methods. We should instead busy ourselves with the twin jobs of forgiveness and healing with, in short, the Gospel work of raising the dead by laying down our lives for our friends. The world is not a collection of good listeners waiting for the right advice to come down the track; it's a bunch of corpses totally immune to talk. Its resurrection is not in the least facilitated by a surgeon-general's warning that sin should have been avoided in the first place."
Capon speaks for all of us who are sick and tired of all the gloomy Guses in the Christian community who do little else but fret and fume about sin and degradation. Let Pietro cook them up a little dish of delicious food and perhaps they will be more hospitable to the miracle of grace.