Capon, Robert Farrar. The Foolishness of Preaching: Proclaiming the Gospel against the Wisdom of the World. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1998. Chapter 2 “A Passion for the Passion” pp. 8-13.
Capon insists that effective and powerful preaching is centered on the cross (Capon 1998, 8). To work, a Christian sermon not only acknowledges death, but it is centered on the death of Christ, not on life change or human success. Capon phrases this in terms of being passionate about the passion (suffering and death) of Christ (Capon 1998, 9).
Capon describes the passion for the passion in terms of his illustration of the lifeguard and the girl from chapter one. If the first scenario, the lifeguard rescues the girl, comes about, nothing in the end is actually changed. In the second scenario it is changed from isnide to out. The story becomes prominent as the miracle of resurrection is shown (Capon 1998, 11). The resurrection doesn’t come about without loss and death. That’s exactly the point of Christian teaching. Salvation is by Christ’s work, not by anything else (Capon 1998, 12). Capon’s concern is that we don’t trust it enough ourselves, so we don’t emphasize it.