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Essay #3


Essay #3. 
Your challenge in this essay assignment is to describe a total of six well-exemplified paragraphs on situations described inparables or events in the Bible, as they would best be described IN OUR TIME. 
Your challenge in this essay assignment is to write a total of six well-exemplified paragraphs--two paragraphs each upon THREE of the following FIVE possible assignments. The background of this is an assignment from Erasmus. 
Originally, Erasmus had his students consider the description in the Prodigal Son story: "He wasted all his substance in riotous living." Erasmus divides this by having the student discuss both 
1. all his substance in detail-- 2. the specific the wastage --The student apparently was to invent all manner of details for both (1) and (2)--so this is an exercise in rhetorical invention. 
But here I'm asking you to describe a prodigal son in our time -- and invent both (1) where all the money came from originally (perhaps the son's own work went into this, so you might mention all the hundreds of lawns he mowed, or hours stocking cans at the grocer's), or his inheritance from family members, or gifts from grandmothers, etc., and then (2) what was the riotous living involved. (Note that in the original story, the prodigal's brother, the older son, thinks he knows what his younger brother was doing -- he says something like "he wasted your money with his women" -- women not being mentioned in the original description about the prodigal son! Probably this detail of the story in Luke tells us something about the older son's imagination--and his wish as to what he could have been doing!) 
Well, here let your your imaginations run riot on such an assignment -- well, within limits, and writing well -- both illustrate (1) what good hard work went into the creation of the original weath and (2) what prodigality would consist of in our times. 

So  let's assume a modern young man (or woman, if you like) also "wasted his (or her) substance" in "riotous living." Write a narrative of two paragraphs, including one paragraph on where the substance came from (you can assume it came from the son's own work or allowance, and/or gifts from a father or mother, or gifts from a grandmother), but the point is--where did the substance come from? Not just gifts from whom, but where it came from originally! Had the grandmother's gifts come from the treasury notes she had deposited over xx years, or her late husband's work sweating a furnace in a steel mill over xx years, or .... you get the idea. A full paragraph upon the substance and its source. 
And then how about the wastage? How did he waste it, specifically? A paragraph about the wastage. (As a parallel, I've heard that, after three years, most NFL players end up broke? How could that possibly have come about???) 
OK--you get the idea? Two paragraphs apiece on THREE of the following FIVE biblical topics. A. First is the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), who takes his inheritance from his father, 

and "squandered it all in dissolute living," or in an older version, "wasted all his substance in riotous living," 

If this story were set in our time, where might it have come from? How much blood, sweat, tears went into the original income? And then what exactly might he have done to waste it? Maybe he got a hundred thousand . . . how did he spend it? Maybe he got three million--how did he possibly spend that? What kind of riotous living might have eaten all that up? B. You'll remember the story of Abraham and Lazarus (beginning at Luke 16:19)--where a rich man, dressed in "purple and the finest linen, feasted sumptuously every day, while a poor man at his gate name Lazarus, lay covered with sores and would have been glad to eat the scraps from the rich man's table; dogs used to come and lick his sores." 
Draw this portrait in our time. On the one side -- the rich man (traditionally named Divas); on the other side Lazarus. Where might the willful ignorance on behalf of the rich man taken place and what were the riches of the rich man -- in what lavish outlay might he have gloried in . . outlined in depth (in a paragraph); and then how might (in contrast) the poor man have suffered? (Will a description of a homeless shelter help? I don't know--Does one find insects, rats, streetsweepers, cops, more dogs etc. there?) -- in another paragraph. 
3. In Luke 12:16, we have the man who stores up treasure for himself . . . instead of doing something worthwhile with it. 

Draw this portrait of both sides of the story in our time. (Myself, I think he spent money on a boat, on jet skiffs, on a dock for a boat and on and on...) A paragraph onn what he spent on himself, AND a paragraph on what he might have done instead. Make this a graphic contrast. 
4. In Matthew, (13.24ff) we have someone sewing darnel (weeds) amongst the good seed. know exactly what this is like in our time . . . . What would be the good seed? and what would be the evil seed? What would be the excellent productive work, versus what would be the destructive seeds? 

5. Finally Mary was distracted by her many tasks (Luke 10:38)— and then was so irritated that she asked Jesus to order her sister to help her. 
Describe the tasks she was so flustered and troubled with, and then describe what she saw when she looked at her sister which tormented her so. Again more tasks, and then another look at her sister .... etc. 

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