Robert Farrar Capon Against the Food Prigs

Robert Capon cannot write much about theology without talking about cooking, and he can’t write much about cooking without talking about theology.  While reading a book of his on preaching, I found this great piece:

One of my many odd callings has been to be a food writer who also happens to do most of the shopping, prepping, cooking, and garbage-hauling in my own home… As a household cook, for example, I’m an apostate from the religions of food and diet that now plague this once-great nation. (I’m not talking about fast food: I happen to think Big Macs and Egg McMuffins are fine.) What bothers me is the late-twentieth-century’s penchant for doctrinaire pronouncements on the subject of cooking and eating. For example: It’s gotten so bad that when people are watching me at the stove—when I’ve turned off the heat and start to stir four tablespoons of cold butter (yes, I said butter!) into my Bolognese sauce to round out the flavor and take up the floating grease (yes, that works!)— I have to chase the true believers out of the kitchen lest their pious consciences be offended. Such people don’t cook or dine; they sniff around for heresies—and have fits when they find them. Does that sound like the trouble religion gives preachers in their congregations, or what?

~The Foolishness of Preaching pg. 57

This entry was posted in Robert Farrar Capon by Steven Wedgeworth. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the associate pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Institute.

3 thoughts on “Robert Farrar Capon Against the Food Prigs

  1. I’ve read only about a teaspoon of Capon, so I really have no idea if his quote on wikipedia is meaningful or even representative of him (“I am and I am not a universalist…”). But, if it is, then likely he faced lots of trouble from “religion”.

  2. Hey Ronnie,

    With Capon you have to understand that he self-identified as a “Liberal” within the Episcopal Church, but was obviously trying to get that segment of the group to move towards the Bible. When I use him, I know that he’s not exactly “one of us” in the church-picture, but then again, I see what he’s trying to do and I think it is noble. In a way, he really is one of us, just on the other side of the room. The people who were giving him trouble were coming at him from the Left. He’s not without his odd points, though.

    As to “universalist,” I think that has to be understood against the backdrop of folks like Barth and Rahner, as well as C S Lewis. All of them had some pretty particular suppositions about the doctrine of God and grace that caused them to use that sort of language from time to time. And though I wouldn’t use the language the way they did, I can see how they got to where they got. I certainly wouldn’t call Barth or Lewis heretics, though I’d be more “careful” with Rahner.

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