Let Me Tell You Why


An excerpt from The Third Peacock, recently republished with Hunting The Divine Fox and A Feast of Uncles in one happy volume titled The Romance of the Word, (Eerdmans 1995 ISBN 0 8028 4084 1).


Let me tell you why God made the world.

One afternoon, before anything was made, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit sat around in the unity of their Godhead discussing one of the Father's fixations.

From all eternity, it seems, he had had this thing about being. He would keep thinking up all kinds of unnecessary things -- new ways of being and new kinds of beings to be.

And as they talked, God the Son suddenly said, "Really, this is absolutely great stuff. Why don't I go out and mix us up a batch?" And God the Holy Spirit said, "Terrific! I'll help you."

So they all pitched in, and after supper that night, the Son and the Holy Spirit put on this tremendous show of being for the Father. It was full of water and light and frogs; pine cones kept dropping all over the place, and crazy fish swam around in the wineglasses.

There were mushrooms and mastodons, grapes and geese, tornadoes and tigers -- and men and women everywhere to taste them, to juggle them, to join them, and to love them.

And God the Father looked at the whole wild party and said, "Wonderful! Just what I had in mind! Tov! Tov! Tov!" And all God the Son and God the Holy Spirit could think of to say was the same thing: "Tov! Tov! Tov!" So they shouted together "Tov meod!" and they laughed for ages and ages, saying things like how great it was for beings to be, and how clever of the Father to think of the idea, and how kind of the Son to go to all that trouble putting it together, and how considerate of the Spirit to spend so much time directing and choreographing.

And for ever and ever they told old jokes, and the Father and the Son drank their wine in unitate Spiritus Sancti, and they all threw ripe olives and pickled mushrooms at each other per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

It is, I grant you, a crass analogy; but crass analogies are the safest. Everybody knows that God is not three old men throwing olives at each other. Not everyone, I'm afraid, is equally clear that God is not a cosmic force or a principle of being or any other dish of celestial blancmange we might choose to call him. Accordingly, I give you the central truth that creation is the result of a trinitarian bash, and leave the details of the analogy to sort themselves out as best they can.

...........Two pages later, Capon writes....

"Just remember that what's sauce for the goose is also sauce for the cancer cell, the liver fluke, the killer whale, and the loan shark--that if God is holding all things in being right now, he's got some explaining to do if he hopes to maintain his reputation as the original Good Guy. Or, more accurately (since God steadfastly refuses to show up and explain anything, except by announcing mysteries and paradoxes), we've got a lot of explaining to do if we are to go on thinking of him in terms of his reputation."

"The point is this: if God seems to be in no hurry to make the problem of evil go away, maybe we shouldn't be, either. Maybe our compulsion to wash God's hands for him is a service he doesn't appreciate. Maybe -- all theodicies and nearly all theologians to the contrary -- evil is where we meet God. Maybe he isn't bothered by showing up dirty for his dates with creation. Maybe -- just maybe -- if we ever solved the problem, we'd have talked ourselves out of a lover."

P.S. His self-described best work is Between Noon and Three, 1997, Eerdmans ISBN 0-8028-4222-4


And from "Chop Wood, Carry Water..."

God and Lucifer were walking together one day. God stopped suddently, bent down, and picked something up off the ground. He held it out in his hand as it glowed and sparked. "What's that?" asked Lucifer. "It's truth," God replied. "Here," said Lucifer, holding out his hand, "let me organize that for you."



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