Review on Capon’s Hunting the Divine Fox

Robert Farrar Capon was born in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York in 1925 and passed away on September 5, 2013. During his life time he wrote twenty books, including An Offering of Uncles, The Third Peacock, and Hunting the Divine Fox. While being a successful, Capon’s main profession was a full-time Episcopal priest. He devoted his life to theology, to better understand the gospel, and the help others understand his perspectives. Hunting the Divine Fox was written to explain theological language and how it is not as straight forward as we often assume it to be.

He begins the book like it was a fairy tale, with the words “Once upon a time…” (Capon p. 243) and tells the story of an oyster, a starfish, and a ballerina. What seems to be a silly story is used to explain human’s relationship with God, that is oysters are to ballerinas and humans are to God. There is really no comparison, it is like apples to oranges. Capon explains that oysters know just as much about ballerinas as humans know about God, so we really do know much about God at all.

In the next few chapters, Capon discusses how we must be carful with the kind of language and words we use when talking about God. All theological language is all analogies, nothing is “straight” speech it is all “bent” speech (Capon p. 265). Capon explains this by using love. Our human definition of love is far from Gods definition of love, so we must not use earthly concepts with to try to explain God. If we cannot use earthy concepts to explain God, then we most certainly cannot know the will of God. But we have concluded that God wants us, he desires, thus God’s will is for use to be His.

Not being able to describe God leads us to not humanizing Jesus. We focus too much on the God-side of Jesus and forget that he was “merely human” (Capon p.313). Jesus was not an all-powerful supper human here to save all humanity, He was simply the son of man sent by his farther to pay for our sins. Capon wraps up the book in the last couple of chapters by bringing things back to humans. That there is nothing us humans can do earn Gods grace, that Christianity is not a gift and not a transaction. And finally, there is no magic to Christianity, it is simply how we choose the accept the mystery of God. No questions asked just blind faith.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *