Saturday, March 29, 2008

Checking Our Woods for a Lamp Post


It has snowed every day for the past week and a half, and is expected to snow all this upcoming week.  Moscow's idea of Spring differs greatly from mine.

Grades

Well, they're out.  CL in Rhetoric, MCH in Lordship (ouch), and M in Math (by literally one point on a quiz).  So, I am now four full terms behind.  My roommate Travis has dropped completely, Luke is down to two classes, and that is the general trend of the school.  Approximately half of the Latin class failed this last term, and no one failed Rhetoric, which is very odd.

Keep Sproul in mind--he is going home and probably not coming back.  He leaves on Monday, despite all that I could do to keep him.

Blessings.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Commonplaces



Augustine:  A spirit is that which is everywhere the whole.

Graham: Some people say, "I could never receive Christ, because I couldn't live up to what God expects of me."  That is like a person saying, "I can never fly on an airplane, because I don't think I have the strength to keep it in the air."

P. G. Wodehouse, via Bertie Wooster to Jeeves:  You can't be a successful dictator and design women's underclothing...it's really one or the other.

My rhetoric teacher:  I don't know why they're even in churches, because they're ordaining homosexuals...  They've thrown out all of Scripture; they must just like the outfits.

Ibid:  A certain turn of (unpoetic) mind is unhappily literal... over the last century or so, a certain school of hermeneutical interpretation has turned this failure of soul into an interpretative virtue.

Lewis:  For the church has no beauty but what the Bridegroom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely.

Supper of the Lamb: Book Review

I usually do not actually post my book reviews, so allow this to emphasize the joy that I am receiving from being forced to read Rober Farrar Capon's Supper of the Lamb (click on my title to purchase).  It is a small, wry, Chestertonian "cookbook,"  and worth the spare money and time that you nonchalantly leave lying around.

I have enclosed a small sample of the prose from this book dedicated to his wife: "The lightning behind all this thunder."

"The world may or may not need another cookbook, but it needs all the lovers--amateurs--it can get.  It is a gorgeous old place, full of clownish graces and beautiful drolleries, and it has enough textures, tastes, and smells to keep us intrigued for more time than we have.  Unfortunately, however, our response to its loveliness is not always delight: It is, far more often than it should be, boredom.  And that is not only odd, it is tragic; for boredom is not neutral--it is the fertilizing principle of unloveliness."

Enjoy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Compelled to agree...

From St. Anne's Public House (just click on my title):

"Smoking kills.  If you're killed, you lose a very important part of your life."
--Brooke Shields

The Sign of Jonah

Matthew 12:40 has Christ condemning his generation for seeking a sign, and then stating that the Son of Man will be in the depths of the earth for three days and three nights.  

Three days and three nights has long plagued me, but never too seriously, as I would generally allow the balm of apathy to soothe my doubts: "I'll figure it out after this next beer and bag of Kettle Chips."  We know that Christ was crucified the eve of the sabbath from the text itself, and we know that He rose on Sunday from church history as well as many, many external sources.  The problem should seem pretty obvious: Friday night burial to Sunday morning resurrection can be stretched into three days by desperate men bending over backwards in an attempt to "save the phenomena," as Plato said, but no amount of hand waving can add a third night into the mix.

The solution is also obvious, or at least obvious enough to make me feel really stupid.  But hey, my pastor at least is smart, which is apparently what I pay him for, except I actually don't.  It's what I would pay him for if I was making money instead of spending it on Kettle Chips, beer and cheese.  The crucifixion of Christ took place the eve of the Passover, the annual sabbath.  This was apparently on a Wednesday, and He rose Saturday night (following the pattern of eve then morn outlined in Genesis), leaving the tomb empty for the spectators on Sunday morning.

Excerpt from Westminster Rhetoric Lecture II

"IV. For Instance

In Matthew 16, Jesus answers those who say they want a sign.  He says no sign will be given except the sign of Jonah.  A little later in the chapter, Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ.  Jesus pronounces a tremendous blessing on him--on Simon, son of Jonah.  A little later, Peter pulls a Jonah and rebukes Jesus for His prediction that He will spend three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, thus fulfilling the sign of Jonah.

Fascinating, but we still want to stay closer to shore.  We simply want to know that something is the direct object here because it is in the accusative case and in the same sentence."

Included interspersed throughout this section were other points: Jerusalem was Ninevah, and did not repent, etcetera.  It was quite interesting, with our teacher's usual touch of hilarity.  A bit later on, the following topic merrily lilted itself into the lecture:

"V.  Read Carefully and Broadly

Last week, I said that you should ransack Scripture for its figures and metaphors.  What else, you might wonder.  Actually, this will take you the rest of your life, and the task is not as narrow as you might think.

Picture the main street of a desolate Western town, mid day, one hundred and fifty years ago.  The street is deserted, except for a few blowing tumbleweeds.  Some townspeople are looking out the windows of the shops.  Now, what is about to happen?  And how do you know this?  This is a particular motif, with which we are all familiar.

Now picture a man dressed in a biblical manner.  He is standing next to a well.  In the distance, a woman is approaching with a jar on her shoulder.  What is going to happen?  Now, what is the meaning of Christ's encounter with the Samaritan woman?  His father is seeking worshipers, that is to say, a bride for His Son."

Food...


Let us eat food, and not small children.

Have I Mentioned that I Love Rhetoric?

Behold my shameless boasting: it knows not how to blush.

I was one of four students in a class of forty-six to score an SCL on the rhetoric written final, which is the highest possible grade.  On my paper, I was given a CL, along with twelve others, and there were two SCL papers.  

Needless to say, I am delighted.  Grades come out on Friday, which I will post as soon as I receive them.

Blessings,
Jesse Broussard

Wodehousian Fun