Saturday, January 19, 2008

New system / Matt. 21

As this blog is intended to keep random musings on Scripture, I am working about a shift in my posting. I will be doing my own studying throughout the week, and posting various topical or exegetical notes each Saturday, and other things (schedule, etc) will be posted as is needed. Keep in mind that the vast majority of my Scriptural postings will be assuming a certain level of typological interpretation (while not discounting the literal) as well as at least a slight familiarity with Hebrew symbolism (which is found throughout all of Scripture).

Beginning in verse eighteen of the twenty-first chapter of Matthew, we have the story of the withered fig tree. Christ returns to Jerusalem hungry, and sees a fig tree. Upon approach, we find that it is covered only with leaves, no fruit anywhere. Christ curses it (Let no fruit grow on you ever again), and it withers.

The disciples are astonished. Christ responds that through faith they have the power to do not only this, but also to command a mountain to be uprooted and cast into the heart of the sea, and it will obey them.

Interpreting Scripture via Scripture, we find that trees are representative of people, and their fruit representative of their deeds. A tree covered with leaves and only leaves can easily be seen to represent a person with the appearance of godliness (leaves) but no actual godliness (fruit). I do not find it too great a stretch to interpret this tree as symbolic of the pharasaical order as a whole, but that is not implicit in the text. What is implicit, or rather explicit, is the reaction of Christ to the "appearance of godliness that denies its power," all of the promise and none of the delivery. As we are the grandchildren of the Pharisees in both beliefs and self-righteous hypocrisy, let this serve as a warning to us as well.

The prophecy found in the next section is one of the most blood chilling in all of Scripture, and finds its fulfillment in Revelation 8:1-8. The mountain can be narrowly seen as the temple mount, but more realistically as what that temple represented--God's covenant people of Israel. Established upon the Edenic mountain with Adam, then upon Ararat with Noah, then Moriah with Moses, and finally upon Zion with David, the covenant was going to be given to the Gentiles through the destruction of those who possessed it--the mountain of God's covenant was cast into the heart of the sea in two ways: the people of God were swallowed by the gentiles, and the covenant was given to the sea, the gentiles.

And this was done through the crying out of the blood of every prophet from Abel to Zechariah, all of which fell upon Jerusalem. The culmination, the ultimate damnation, indeed the final anathema is found when the people cried "His blood be upon us and our children!" Looking back upon the utter desolation wreaked in 70 A.D. upon all who remained, we can see in awe and chilled horror that God said "Amen."

So be it.

J. Broussard


It is as I supposed. I, and twenty five others, failed math. I passed Latin, in the words of my instructor, by the skin of my teeth. Lordship was decent, with a low final and low paper. But Rhetoric, Rhetoric I was not expecting. No, this one blindsided me. I got a Cum Laude. Usually known as a CL, but as I am one of maybe ten in the class, I am pronouncing every single blessed syllable. This is the second highest grade available, and to get this from Misters Wilson and Grieser is not at all common. So, I can't do anything useful, but I can convince people that I can, which is obviously more important.

I have officially, as of Monday, withdrawn from Latin for this term, though I continue to go to all classes, including the extra study sessions that are offered; I am also going to be receiving enough study material from Magister Griffithius to last me through summer. I have no intention of taking five years to complete a four-year degree, but neither do I want to get the degree by a very narrow margin. I have every hope of acing Latin next year, and hope to graduate with honors, should it be feasible.

Jesse Broussard

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Declamations: Creative Sketch

Jesse Broussard
Chalcedon Rhetoric
249 word Character Sketch


“Here,” I say, smiling, “I’m pretty good with kids.”

I’m at church, trying to impress Holly. She is in the corner, talking quietly. I’ve known her for about two weeks, and she still hasn’t agreed to marry me. I can’t figure it out.

The child I’ve proffered to take, her niece Emma, is four months old, pink, and registering her dissatisfaction with the world in general in a volume heard by a very large portion of the world in particular. The frazzled mother of six hands the wee pink one to me.

When attempting to impress a girl, quieting an infant is a solid move. And this is not actually all that difficult. Just keep moving. In the early stages of rage, a rapid succession of bug, toy, thud, clacking tongue, unsuspecting cat (watch the paws) and contorted face will often distract mewling infant from screaming until you pass it off to some other victim. I start singing quietly and bouncing Emma while walking in a circle. She ignores a toy, and attempts to detach and eat a fistful of my hair.The screaming stops.

Holly looks over curiously.

I see her watching, so I smile and coo at the little brat that’s now discovering that yes, ears are attached. Holly is coming.
I extract Emma's fist from my nostril and pass her off to the nearest female. “Start screaming,” I silently pray. God answers in decibels.

Holly grins at me. “So,” she says, “you’re pretty good with kids?”

Jordan Leithart
Chalcedon Term
January 15, 2008
WC: 256

I first met him after she told me she liked him. The first thing I knew about him? I would have to say I learned that he could grow a full beard in a day. Immediately, the grotesque image of a hairy beast serving coffee at Bucer’s popped into my head. I figured he would have to wear a full body hair net in order to avoid getting hair in the caramel mochas he was so good at making. But, she liked him. “Drat, I thought, “now, I have to get to know him.”

So, I did. The second thing I learned was that he never finished his sent… He would have the best thing to sa--- Then he would change and start talking about this one time in the freezing rain out on the--- “Look at that!!!” He would suddenly say. Only to point off in a completely different direction the next half second. He is the only person I know who can interrupt himself. But, she liked him. “Sigh…” I thought again to myself, “I’ll try and figure him out even if he single handedly started the whole ADD fad.”

Then it happened, I saw it. In the most bizarre circumstance possible, he stood against the grain of what was happening. Intrigued, I watched. He stood up to the rushing water and successfully changed its course. Here was one man standing up against the seeming world and winning. She loved him. ”I’m so glad,” I thought, “He is the right man for the job.”

Rosalie Comer
Chalcedon Term
January 16, 2008
Word Count: 246

My Oral Final

I will tell you what I did in Lordship, going into my oral final. I sit down. Mr. Appel pulls out his chair. He sits down.
I start with “Umm…” All of a sudden I am in a world of “Umm’s” and that is all I can think of. Not baptism. Not the sacraments. Not even Augustine.

“Let me tell you about my dream.”

The corner of his lip slowly begins to rise.

“Well, you see, I was pregnant.”

One sinister eyebrow rises a quarter of an inch. Thinking about how lucky I am to get such a response from the man of stone, I continue.

“I was pregnant, and then I realized I didn’t remember getting pregnant. So I asked my mother. ‘Hey Mom, how did I get pregnant? I just don’t remember…’ She looked concerned. ‘Well, Rosalie, honey, recently you’ve been eating a lot of pork. And you are going to have a baby pig.’ ”

Mr. Appel’s other eyebrow goes up, making his forehead look like the Arch of Triumph.

I wish I had stopped there. But I didn’t.

“Mr. Appel, just thinking about giving birth to a pig made me burn with righteous anger. So obviously, the only thing to do was to kill it. I chased the pig around the house with a butcher knife and screamed to my family, “We’re gonna have pork tonight!”

I finished my final telling Mr. Appel, “Dreams have consequences.” His jaw dropped.

Kenneth Trovato
WC: 250

Single? Why Wait? Grab a Snickers!

Awkward conversations are like fireworks. Even when you’re not a part of them, you can hear them coming, and when they explode, it is impossible to ignore them. I was in Bucer’s reading some book like it was a sleeping pill, but the conversation next to me was making it extremely hard to read or sleep. I don’t know what these two guys were hoping to accomplish by making the environment awkward for everyone, but they were clearly desperate for the same girl. I don’t pretend to know much about this stuff—she didn’t look to me like she was worth the trouble, but these two guys kept on wrapping themselves around her finger like she was the last woman on earth. I’m not sure how much progress either of them actually made with her, but in a split-second all the work that had scandalized me for an hour went to waste. A third guy walked in, and handed her a snickers bar, clearly stealing her heart. And then he walked right out again. To the jealous and confused looks of her original admirers, she said, “He ate all the snickers bars and didn’t leave any for me, but he just brought me one. Aww.” One of the guys, either getting desperate or knowing the battle was lost and going kamikaze, said, “Snickers is love.” The poor guys just got dumped for a snickers bar, and she looked at them with no sympathy and replied, “This snickers bar is everything to me.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


It seems that President Bush's advisors came into his office to notify him that three Brazilian soldiers had been killed. He went white in the face, and passed out. When he came to moments later, still ashen, he looked at his advisors and said, "Just . . . just how many is three brazilian?"

Monday, January 14, 2008

Checking in

Now that the first half of the year is over, the teachers are being somewhat less cautious about overloading us with homework, which means, ironically, that I'll be posting more frequently than usual, as I am settling into a much more restricted schedule. I plan to post each Saturday, largely upon what I have done throughout the week, more as a record to myself than as an announcement to anyone else.

This week's course work is as follows:

Monday: Back to school, Latin test; Math; Rhetoric lecture; Arabic.
Tuesday: Lordship lecture.
Wednesday: One lectio in Latin, colloquium, workbook; First six books (three volumes) of Quintillian due Rhetoric Declamation, twenty-five commonplaces, two poems daily, and 250 word original composition to present to class; First chapter of "A Tour of the Calculus" due to have been read twice by Math lecture; Arabic.
Thursday: New Testament due to have been read by Lordship recitation.
Friday: Review in Latin for Monday's test, completion of chapter, lectio, workbook and colloquium due in class; Math quiz, reading chapters V and VI twice each in "Mathematics Through the Ages" due by Lecture, plus outline of these and chapter one of "A Tour of the Calculus" due in Lecture; Disputatio: announcements and grades.
Saturday: sleep in, read a bunch, Sabbath begins at sundown, Sabbath dinner while watching the first two installments of my very own BBC A&E production of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for a movie night.
Sunday: continued Sabbath (which means have fun and relax), church, Sabbath ends sundown or shortly thereafter :-) , continued review for Latin test.

Jesse Broussard

Wodehousian Fun