The Astonished Heart: Reclaiming the Good News from the Lost-and-found of Church History

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1996 - Religion - 122 pages
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Where has the church been, and what has it become? According to Robert Farrar Capon, the answers to these questions are in many ways dispiriting. Although the church has done much good, it has also made numerous blunders in its checkered history. Chief among them is that it has lost its astonishment over the Good News of the gospel - the gift of salvation we receive from Christ. By taking readers on an illuminating ramble through the history of the church, Capon shows how we have lost this sense of astonishment by making Christianity into a religion that focuses on requirements and restrictions rather than on the Good News, and by turning the church, which should be a body of believers, into an institution that emphasizes its corporate functions to the detriment of its gospel message. After exploring all the ways in which the church has mis-embodied itself over the centuries, Capon explains how the church today might re-create itself. The key, according to Capon, is recovering the gift of astonishment with which it began. Capon is fully alert to both the tragedy and the comedy of church history, and he covers this uneven ground with great heart and great humor - and genuine hope for the future of the church.

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User Review  - stevenschroeder - LibraryThing

Robert Farrar Capon describes himself as having had, for almost fifty years, a vacation to the priesthood. It is a vacation he has shared in an array of breezy, sometimes flippant, always dependably ... Read full review

Selected pages


An Overview of Church History
A Look at Where We Are Now
The Church before the Church
The Church from Peter through Paul
The Church in the GrecoRoman World
The Christendom Model of the Church
From Christendom to the Corporate Model
The Church in the Marketplace of New Models
The Brighter Future
The Astonished Heart

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About the author (1996)

ROBERT FARRAR CAPON is the author of many works on theology, cooking, and family life. He lives on Shelter Island, New York.

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